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Classical Music

The heart of the Opera House

The passion for opera and symphonic music helped inspire the Opera House and classical music is still at its heart. Remarkable performing spaces provide inspiring platforms for classical music at its grandest and most intimate. The 2,700-seat Concert Hall showcases the sweeping majesty of symphonic music, including the Opera House’s World Orchestras program, while the Joan Sutherland Theatre is home to opera and ballet. The exquisite Utzon Room, home to the Utzon Music Series, offers the unique opportunity to hear superb solo artists and small ensembles up-close and personal in the only performance space designed entirely by the master himself, Opera House architect Jørn Utzon.

Remarkable performing spaces for music at its grandest and most intimate.
Freddy Kemf performs at the Utzon Music Series.

Utzon Music Series

The Utzon Music Series gives audiences the chance to hear some of the world’s finest musicians up-close and personal in the only Opera House performance venue fully designed by Opera House architect, Jørn Utzon. The abstract mural that is its centrepiece was designed by the master himself and inspired by two great artists, Bach and Raphael.

In 2017 the Utzon Music Series celebrates its first decade. Over the last ten years, the series has presented some  of the finest chamber performers in the world, including flamboyant American organist Cameron Carpenter, English pianist Paul Lewis’ in-depth exploration of Schubert’s oeuvre and the Australian debut of the distinctive UK tenor Ian Bostridge. 

The 2017 program, curated by Yarmila Alfonzetti and spanning strings, harpsichord, lute, piano and voice, continues to celebrate and expand the possibilities of chamber music.

London Symphony Orchestra in the Concert Hall. Image: Prudence Upton

World Orchestras

The world's greatest orchestras and conductors have performed in the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall since the very first season in 1973 when Lorin Maazel brought the Cleveland Orchestra to play in the brand new Concert Hall.

The tradition continues with SOHP’s World Orchestras. Recent seasons have featured the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle, the Vienna Philharmonic under Christoph Eschenbach, the London Symphony under Valery Gergiev and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra with Mariss Jansons, all of which have brought to Sydney their ravishing sound and thrilling musical vision.

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