Following a difficult year, ASO is grateful for government support received through JobKeeper, which acted as life support for the orchestra. The company also took action by implementing a 20% reduction in pay to support its activities during the pandemic.
In exciting news, the 2021 season is well under way – this will be our 85th year of continuous music-making. Highlights so far have included ASO performing with Indie rock icon Ben Folds, who crafted a symphonic love letter to his Australian ties at a half-capacity, socially distanced yet fully engaged Thebarton Theatre.
The ASO board announced the launch of The Miriam Hyde Circle, an exciting new ASO initiative committed to greater representation of female composers – past, present and future – on the stage. The circle is part of the ASO’s inclusive cultural agenda and will celebrate the significant contributions made by women in music while supporting the future of Australian and international female composers. During ASO’s 2021 Symphony Series, each concert will feature at least one work by a female composer.
2021 has already seen the premiere of the specially commissioned Kaurna Acknowledgement of Country, collaborating with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musicians and composers Jack Buckskin and Jamie Goldsmith with arrangements by South Australian Mark Simeon Ferguson. The result is Pudnanthi Padninthi (“The Coming and the Going”). Pudnanthi Padninthi reflects the musical heritage of the Adelaide Plains and our connection to the land where we work and make music. The two-and-a-half minute piece will be played at the start of the majority of Adelaide Town Hall and Adelaide Festival Centre concerts.
ASO Managing Director Vincent Ciccarello says, “ASO’s musical acknowledgment to Kaurna Country is a step towards building respectful relationships, learning and sharing cultures through music. Many months in the making, this project has been a true collaboration and forms part of our strategic priority to showcase and develop new Australian work as our commitment to building respectful relationships and sharing cultures as outlined in our Reconciliation Action Plan.”