Photographer: James Horan

Sydney Symphony Orchestra celebrates its return to live performance

With the start of its 2021 Season, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Chief Conductor Designate Simone Young welcomed audiences back to live performances, which marked the end of the longest silence in the orchestra’s almost 90-year history.

The return of the Sydney Symphony to the stage marked a pivotal moment in the orchestra’s history. After almost a year of silence, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s first program for the season was performed to sold-out crowds at the Sydney Town Hall.

The Sydney Symphony experienced an outpouring of support from patrons who donated their cancelled performance tickets back to the orchestra – a tremendous act of generosity and solidarity that was truly encouraging for the musicians and staff. The Sydney Symphony’s board and leadership team also acted quickly through company-wide discussions to negotiate reduced working hours and scaled salary reductions. The generous and unified act of the musicians and administration team ensured that this uncertain period could be managed and the Sydney Symphony would be in a state of readiness to return to the stage as soon as possible. The combination of unwavering support from the public, the determination of musicians and staff, access to the Federal Government’s JobKeeper support, and the Sydney Symphony’s dedication to live music enabled the orchestra to return to the stage in February with its Chief Conductor Designate at the helm.

In 2021, audiences will have the opportunity to hear the nation’s leading artists perform with the orchestra, and experience the unsurpassed virtuosity of the orchestra’s own players. Thirty-five Sydney Symphony musicians take the spotlight performing as guest conductors, as part of chamber ensembles and specially curated programs. The season includes the premiere of 18 works, 15 of which are world-premieres created through the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s major commissioning 50 Fanfares project throughout the year.

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra is indebted to its many supporters and looks forward to continuing to share the experience of live music with audiences eager to return to concert halls across NSW.