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Orchestra performing on concert hall stage

Classical Music

The heart of the Opera House

Great orchestral music is woven into the fabric of the Sydney Opera House – it helped inspire its creation, and will always be part of its future. The Sydney Opera House Presents’ classical music program showcases and celebrates a diverse array of orchestral and chamber music from celebrated international symphony orchestras, ensembles and soloists, to home-grown Australian classical music masters and experimental contemporary ensembles, giving audiences the chance to experience the world’s finest musicians playing classical music both at its grandest and most intimate.

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

Utzon Music Series

Now in its triumphant second decade, the Opera House’s flagship chamber music series Utzon Music continues to showcase and celebrate renowned soloists, acclaimed chamber ensembles and inspiring emerging talent. The annual program has featured luminaries such as: flamboyant American organist Cameron Carpenter, virtuoso clarinettist Andreas Ottensamer, Latvian accordionist Ksenija Sidorova, and the Australian debut of distinctive Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman performing in the intimate space for which the series is named, the exquisite Utzon Room. Framed by sweeping harbour views on one side and the vibrant Utzon tapestry on the other, it is the only Opera House performance venue entirely designed by its architect Jørn Utzon.

Just as the Opera House is evolving for the 21st century, so too is Utzon Music. This striking new chapter of the esteemed series introduces new influences and genres including folk, jazz and world music, while continuing to present some of the world’s most celebrated classical musicians.

Throughout the year, Utzon Music artists share their insights into chamber performance and repertoire in masterclasses for young musicians, building on the Sydney Opera House Presents’ commitment to provide a platform for emerging artists and instil a lifelong passion for classical music. 


London Symphony Orchestra performs in 2014
London Symphony Orchestra in the Concert Hall. Image: Prudence Upton

World Orchestras

In 1973, Maestro Lorin Maazel and the great Cleveland Orchestra performed the first public concerts in the new Concert Hall. The Opera House has been the home of great orchestral music ever since, continuing this tradition with our prestigious World Orchestras Program. In recent years, some of the world’s greatest orchestras and conductors have brought their thrilling musical vision to Sydney, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the London Symphony, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Academy of St Martin in the Fields. In 2018, distinguished German orchestra the Staatskapelle Berlin, under acclaimed conductor Daniel Barenboim, captivated audiences in an Australian exclusive appearance on the 60th anniversary of Barenboim’s first visit to Australia. 

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