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Sydney Symphony Orchestra

An orchestra of world standing 

Founded in 1932 by the Australian Broadcasting Commission, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra is an orchestra of world standing and one of the leading orchestras in the Asia-Pacific region. The Sydney Symphony performs approximately 150 concerts each year to an annual audience of more than 350,000. The Orchestra not only performs core symphonic repertoire but engages in collaborations with other art forms and commissions new works by Australian and international composers to ensure the vibrancy of orchestral music for generations to come. David Robertson has been the Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the SSO since 2014.

“This is an orchestra worthy of sharing the international stage with America and Europe’s finest.”
Limelight Magazine

2019 Season

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra 2019 season is packed with musical treasures. Whether it’s pianist Lang Lang, The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, Peter Grimes the 2019 Opera in Concert, or Film with Live Orchestra performances of Harry PotterTM, there really is something for all musical tastes and ages.

“In our programming for 2019 you’ll hear heart-warming, familiar music, sometimes the brave voice of an emerging composer, or perhaps a rarity from a composer you know well. Each and every concert we’ll present acknowledges our shared humanity and represents the best of what we can be.” David Robertson, Chief Conductor and Artistic Director

Sydney Symphony Orchestra 2019 Season

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra 2019 season is packed with star-talent and musical treasures. There really is something for all musical tastes and ages. Choose music.

The Conductors

Four inspiring conductors join the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 2019, the starting point for fascinating musical journeys to the pinnacle of great music-making.

David Robertson

The Communicator

The 2019 Season bursts into life as David Robertson and our amazing Principal Oboe Diana Doherty reprise Nigel Westlake’s Spirit of the Wild oboe concerto. It’s an appropriate season opener – as vibrant and as enthusiastic as David Robertson himself and his six years at the helm as our Chief Conductor and Artistic Director. A bold artistic visionary, he has been fearless in bringing us new ideas and presenting new music. And with an enthusiasm that is only matched by his musical acuity, his ability to communicate with both musicians and audiences have made him a champion of music in our city. In 2019, his farewell season, Robertson will lead us to new musical landmarks including Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes and Every Good Boy Deserves Favour by Tom Stoppard and André Previn. Fittingly, he signs off with John Adams’ extraordinary Harmonielehre.

Donald Runnicles

The Renaissance Man

Donald Runnicles is a born-and-bred Edinburgh man – and one of the most compelling figures of the musical world. He has been General Director of Deutsche Oper Berlin for most of the last decade and is a frequent guest of the Metropolitan Opera, New York and the San Francisco Opera, among other equally celebrated institutions. Sydney audiences are no stranger to his technical mastery, and his ability to draw an emotional truth from the music and an expressive power from the musicians he leads. 2019 marks Donald Runnicles’ first season as our Principal Guest Conductor, and his three-year artistic cycle, Music of Inspiration, explores the connections between spirituality and music in works by the greatest composers.

Vladimir Ashkenazy

The Musician’s Musician

Sydney’s love affair with Vladimir Ashkenazy began when he stepped onto the Town Hall stage with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra as a soloist in 1969. Indeed, throughout the world he is regarded as one of the most brilliant musicians of our generation. With his affinity for Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Rachmaninoff – as well as English composers such as Elgar – every note of an Ashkenazy concert is utterly thrilling. To mark the 50th anniversary of his Australian debut, we are proud to announce that he has accepted the title of Conductor Laureate and will launch a three-year artistic cycle, Vladimir Ashkenazy's Masterworks.

Simone Young

The Visionary

The city of Vienna is perhaps the mecca of the musical world, and that’s where Simone Young places us in her three-year cycle of concerts – Visions of Vienna – beginning in 2019. For centuries, composers lived in Vienna, inspired by its beauty, its spirit of creativity, and the astonishing level of music-making. Simone Young’s leadership of top European opera houses and orchestras makes her a supreme interpreter of Romantic and late-Romantic music. Simone Young’s Visions of Vienna begins with rare and fascinating Schubert and Liszt and ends with Mahler’s magical fairy tale Das klagende Lied.