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Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra moves out of the concert hall and into the pub

TSO Live Sessions at Hobart Brewing Company, Macquarie Point, Hobart

Since August 2016 the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra has actively expanded its audience base with an initiative known as TSO Live Sessions, concerts which target younger ticket buyers with little or no history of attending orchestral concerts. ‘Out of the concert hall and into the pub’ is one of the slogans that has been used to sell the series. As it suggests, TSO Live Sessions take place in micro-breweries, beer gardens and other non-traditional venues.

Given space limitations at the venues, Live Sessions ensembles typically consist of a string orchestra of 12-16 players with an additional woodwind or percussion musician. The repertoire is wide-ranging – from Bach to Bartók, Britten, Gershwin, Piazzolla, Sculthorpe, Kats-Chernin, Koehne, klezmer and bluegrass.

As an initiative to reach a new audience, TSO Live Sessions have been phenomenally successful: 60% of ticket buyers are new to the TSO and 100% would recommend TSO Live Sessions to a friend.