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This will be Symphony Services International’s final edition of The Podium for 2015 and I hope you’ve enjoyed our array of stories and features this year.

Since the last Podium, Symphony Services International has hosted our third biennial Orchestral Summit. Held in Sydney in late November, the Summit brought together delegates from all of our Member and Associate orchestras, and featured international guest speaker Russell Willis Taylor. Russell was President and CEO of US-based National Arts Strategies until earlier this year, and has extensive senior experience in strategic business planning, financial analysis and planning and all areas of operational management. She spoke a number of times throughout the event, and is currently touring Australia to spend a full day with each of our Member orchestras. We are grateful to the Australia Council for the Arts for their support in bringing Russell to Australia.

We were also fortunate to have the CEO of Australian Philanthropic Services, Antonia Ruffell, on the list of speakers. She brought an Australian perspective to the discussions around philanthropy, enhanced by a wonderful panel of donors to the Sydney Symphony, who provided insights into their reasons for giving and their individual perspectives on the process. The Macquarie Group Foundation generously provided the venue and catering for the event and it was hailed a great success by delegates.

This edition of The Podium contains a feature by our good friend and colleague Rudolph Tang. One of the best-connected music journalists in China, Rudolph leads us on a study of classical music culture in China today. His perspectives on concert halls, orchestras, and the impacts that swift change and development are having on his country are insightful.

Gordon Williams’ ‘Letter from LA’ explores some of that city’s recent productions and presentations, as well as some new and beautiful geographical territory.

Replacing our usual Top Tip, in this edition we provide details of some of our newest publications through the Goodear Editions imprint. Goodear Editions has gone from strength to strength and is increasingly popular with orchestras around the world. And our new online sales system makes it even easier to purchase physical or digital scores and parts.

The Speed Read provides some interesting media titbits from around the world and we are happy to once again feature our Associate, Orchestra Victoria.

The staff and board of Symphony Services International join me in wishing all of our readers a safe and happy festive season. Our offices will be closed from 25 December until 4 January, and we look forward to bringing you more stories and news in 2016.

Kate Lidbetter
Chief Executive Officer

The Future Lies In Our Orchestras

At a time when the Western media regularly foretell classical music’s imminent demise, the Chinese interest in Western classical music sounds like a good news story. But is this exactly the true situation? Rudolph Tang investigates.

Letter from LA

Gordon Williams discusses recent music in Southern California, from the LA Philharmonic to The Industry, which has just staged its most recent experimental opera (seen here in Josh Lipton's photograph). Read more.

Featured Associate Orchestra: Orchestra Victoria

In each edition of The Podium we feature an Associate or Member orchestra. This time you can read about our Associate, Orchestra Victoria.

Established in 1969, Orchestra Victoria is a specialised Ballet and Opera orchestra. As the proud performance partner of The Australian Ballet, Opera Australia and Victorian Opera it is one of Australia’s busiest and most respected orchestras. Read more.

Goodear Editions

Goodear Editions, Symphony Services International’s publishing arm, finishes the year with the publication of Rachmaninov’s last composition, the Symphonic Dances Op. 45, written in 1940 and dedicated to Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Characteristic of the composer’s more harmonically complex late style, featuring strongly rhythmic episodes and quotations from Russian Orthodox and Gregorian chant, the Symphonic Dances have become one of the most popular works in the standard orchestral canon. The newly engraved Goodear Editions score and parts correct hundreds of errata and inconsistencies which are well-known to orchestral librarians in the original Charles Foley edition as well as incorporating emendations and alterations believed to be made by the composer after the work’s premiere. The revisions include four bars in the first dance which insert chromatic runs in the piano along with a more prominent harp accompaniment and small harmonic changes in the woodwind and string parts in the final movement’s “dance of death”. Both the original and revised versions of these passages are presented as options in the score and parts

The full catalogue of Goodear Editions can be found here. To purchase Goodear Editions, email us, or visit our new online shop at, soon to be launched in early 2016. Our spiral-bound scores and parts printed on high-quality 100gsm paper will be able to be ordered online while selected titles will be made available for digital download for the first time. All Goodear Editions can also be hired by emailing the hiring department.

Speed Read

Since the last Podium...

The China National Traditional Orchestra is taking bold steps to attract young audiences to Chinese classical music.

Richard S. Ginell finds familiar patterns in the Grammy’s classical music nominations.


Taylor Swift has given $50,000 to the Seattle Symphony after hearing Become Ocean.