Photographer: Linda Dunjey

Collaboration is king for the West Australian Symphony Orchestra

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Creative collaborations are a hallmark of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra’s work and it has kicked off 2021 with an enviable list of artists, companies and festivals. Starting off the year with a world premiere commissioned production with Birds of Tokyo, WASO has performed with Ben Folds, Tim Minchin, Rachael Dease and West Australian Opera to great acclaim.

It’s only March, but WASO has already performed 30 concerts to over 40,000 people this year despite COVID-19 event restrictions remaining in place for WA.

Working with iconic performer Tim Minchin and established local artist Rachael Dease, WASO brought orchestral arrangements to fruition and world premiere performances for the two artists’ new albums.

Opera in the Park concluded the suite of shows in partnership with Perth Festival, with Dreams of Place rescheduled for later in the year. The rescheduled shows will see the orchestra collaborate with the Western Australian Youth Orchestra and local Noongar artists to deliver another world premiere performance.

Earlier in the year the orchestra worked with Australian chart-topping band Birds of Tokyo to premiere an orchestral arrangement of its new album across four sold-out nights. At WASO’s 2021 season opening concerts, the orchestra performed yet another premiere, this time of young WA composer Olivia Davies’ new work with Principal Conductor Asher Fisch.

If performing to some of Perth’s largest audiences wasn’t enough, WASO will reach across the state in the coming months to expand its engagement to the regions.

WASO Chorus will perform as part of the Kalbarri Skywalk Dinner, before the orchestra hits the road with a touring party of over 70 people for September concerts in Albany and Esperance. These concerts mark the first year in a commitment to annual regional tours over the next three years.

Having facilitated world premieres, collaborated across the music and arts spectrum and enabled work from a young local composer to reach the main stage, WASO’s diverse program will continue throughout a varied and exciting year.