the Podium -

In this, our second edition
of The Podium, we bring you a
range of views & news from
around the world.

Since the launch of Symphony Services International back in August, we’ve been working flat out to perfect our new website and to expand our services.  We’re excited by the changes that we’re seeing and the feedback we’re receiving – please keep it coming!

Recently we were delighted to host our first season of Orchestral Summits.  Members and Associates from Australia and New Zealand came together for three very special gatherings.  First off the rank was the Librarians Summit, held in the stunning conference room of the Sydney Opera House with guest speaker Claire Mirabello from TressCox Lawyers.  Next came the Chief Executives and Artistic Administrators Summits, with an inspiring guest speaker in Cathy Milliken, Director of the Berliner Philharmoniker’s education program, Zukunft@BPhil or “Future@BPhil”. More information on all of the Summits can be found here.

This edition’s “thinking piece” is by writer David Garrett, who has been closely associated with this company and with all of the six Australian symphony orchestras and whose program notes many of you will have read.  David is close to completing his PhD at the University of Wollongong, writing about the early history of our Member orchestras and their association with the ABC from the 1930s on. 

David has also kindly summarised a conference he attended at the University of London in July, where he presented a report on his findings and heard many other speakers.  And if that’s not enough, you can also read about my experiences at the Association of Asian and Pacific Region Orchestras conference in Hong Kong in October!

So there’s plenty to keep you up to date on orchestral issues from all quarters of the globe.  This will be our last newsletter for the year so may I wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday break and I look forward to catching up with you all in 2011.

Kate Lidbetter
Chief Executive Officer
Symphony Services International


The Accidental Necessity: ABC involvement with the Australian orchestras - by David Garrett

Australia now has six fully-professional symphony orchestras, all of whom are Members of Symphony Services International, but their existence was not inevitable. So how did it happen? David Garrett looks at the early history and the role of some visionaries.

There was no historical necessity that a broadcasting organisation, the Australian Broadcasting Commission (as it then was), should become the builder and presenter of orchestral music in Australia, and yet this was what happened. The ABC provided the biggest stimulus to the creation of an Australian orchestral culture. A national broadcaster created a national vision out of what may have been haphazard and uneven. How did that come about? Read More>

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10% - 25% discount on hire of Symphony Services Music Library top 20s

The Symphony Services Music Library has compiled lists of the top 20 overtures, concertos and symphonies hired from our library in the last ten years. As the first special offer of 2011, we are offering a discount of 10% on the hire of any single title from the lists or 25% off all titles if you choose one title from each list. Visit for more details. Back to top

Associate Profile: Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra

APOAuckland Philharmonia Orchestra (APO) is the resident orchestra of New Zealand’s biggest city, and has achieved iconic status in its 30 year history. The orchestra was formed in 1980 when 19 players from the collapsed Symphonia of Auckland founded a cooperatively-run orchestra. APO is now supported by Creative New Zealand, the ratepayers of Auckland, The Auckland Philharmonia Friends, Guild and Foundation, a board of trustees, donors and a large number of trusts, organisations and companies. Read More>

Next issue: the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Back to top

Symphony Services Music Library announces new hire charges for 2011 - better value than ever

Our rates remain well below typical commercial rates and we’ve introduced a revised pricing structure which will allow hirers to make considerable savings on chamber music and small orchestral works:

  • Chamber Sets are now charged at less than half the rate of Small Orchestral Sets.
  • Works up to 10 minutes’ duration are now considered Small Orchestral Sets (previously up to 5 minutes).

We continue our policy of charging only for the period of hire and not for the number of performances. You can download a complete list of our 2011 hire charges at

Become a Subscriber of Symphony Services International and receive a 20% discount on all hire fees as well as exemption from prepayment and deposits – for more information about becoming a Subscriber, email Vi King Lim, Library Manager. Back to top

Foreign Correspondence:

Notes from the Association of Asian and Pacific Region Orchestras conference, Hong Kong, 2010

Kate Lidbetter (CEO) attended the Association of Asian and Pacific Region Orchestras (AAPRO) conference in Hong Kong from 14-17 October 2010.  She delivered a speech on Audience Development which can be read here, and provides a run-down on other presentations throughout the conference. Read More>

Notes from The Symphony Orchestra as Cultural Phenomenon a conference hosted by the Institute of Musical Research, University of London

From 1-3 July 2010, our colleague David Garrett attended a conference hosted by the Institute of Musical Research, University of London, titled The Symphony Orchestra as Cultural Phenomenon.  David kindly agreed to provide us with a report on the sessions he attended. Read More>

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Top Tip: when bringing an artist to Australia...

... visiting artists must have a visa that allows them to work in Australia, and be paid in accordance with Australian taxation and superannuation legislation.

Unless they are travelling on an Australian or New Zealand passport, artists visiting Australia will need a work visa – usually a “subclass 420 (entertainment)” visa. Their application must be sponsored by an approved business sponsor, and they should only work for their sponsor whilst in Australia.

If an artist wishes to work for more than one presenter in the course of a trip to Australia, separate visa and sponsorship applications should be submitted for each presenter’s dates. Alternatively, arrangements can be made so that all payments are managed by one sponsor in order to comply with visa and sponsorship conditions. It is also crucial that complete and accurate information about activities and earnings is provided with a visa application. Most details cannot be changed once an application has been submitted.

Note, even non-members access our tour co-ordination services

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Speed read: articles worth looking into

Gary P.Steuer points out that music journalists have been heralding the demise of the symphony orchestra for 40 years, but there’s no excuse for complacency…

In this article, the American Symphony Orchestra seems to be bucking the contract-shrinking, concert-cancelling trend…

and here are some constituents asking for a tax to save the Detroit Symphony!!

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About us

Symphony Services International, formerly Symphony Australia, has for many years been orchestrating excellence in Australia. Supporting the ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards and setting international benchmarks with the Conductor Development program, we also hold the southern hemisphere’s largest classical print music library, offer over 3,500 program notes and take the headache out of tour management. Now all members of the global orchestral community can benefit from our products and services, assisting orchestras and classical musicians to perform at their best. Back to top


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Symphony Services International