Perth Symphony Orchestra is unique among orchestras. We are a Symphony Orchestra that rarely plays symphonies. We do not play in traditional concert hall venues. We rarely ‘stick to the rules’ of how concerts are presented. We like to be different. Here’s why:
Western Australia is our performance space, its landscape our stage, its people our life.
Perth Symphony or PSO as we’re known believes that music is made to be shared and experienced, that’s why you’ll find us playing in unique and unexpected places performing music from every genre imaginable. From Metallica to Mozart, Britney to Bach, Ellington to Elgar, and more!
We love the opportunity to bring orchestral music to people who wouldn’t ordinarily hear it, and in ways they couldn’t possibly imagine. We collaborate with other art forms and artists, such as painters, DJs, contemporary dancers and actors. PSO brings music to life in a way that you don’t just hear it, you can see it and feel it too!
We believe that our music has the ability to move and inspire people from all cultures and walks of life. Perth Symphony challenges traditions and creates powerful, compelling performances that are often unexpected and always truly memorable.
As Western Australia’s newest orchestra, we aspire to deliver an unforgettable experience to everyone who sees us perform.
Music for Everyone
The Perth Symphony exists to give the largest number of people possible the chance to experience the magic of the symphony orchestra. We wish for our music to bring people together, unifying communities and offering them unique experiences that move, inspire and bring joy.
We also fundamentally exist to give world-class opportunities to WA musicians, composers, conductors, arts administrators, and more.
We have five pillars: art, community, entertainment, education and musicians. These pillars are represented by five words:
PSO stretches both its players and audiences, breaking boundaries and barriers, exploring new ideas and challenging perceptions. We wish to create memories for everyone who experiences us whenever we PLAY.
Music is the fabric of a community. Music has the power to unite communities, helping them DISCOVER passions and create opportunities for people to come together as families, friends and neighbours to share remarkable experiences.
Music is pure joy. We perform and participate concerts that entertain, and EXCITE audiences through the diversity and quality of what we do.
Developing talent is critical to our future and sharing the experience of our best players with younger musicians is an obligation. We believe learning about music is a key part of a child’s development, and offering insights about what we do and our music enhances the experience of those not-so-young. We aim to inspire those we touch to LEARN more about music and themselves, explore more repertoire and dare to experience more live music.
It our musicians who bring the magic to all our activities, and enabling them to SHINE is what inspires us.
Perth Symphony Orchestra was launched in November 2011 in a gala open-air concert hosted by the University Club of WA, part of the University of Western Australia.
The orchestra had been forming behind the scenes since 2007, by Bourby Webster and her company North Street Music. Bourby, a viola player from the UK, was encouraged by many of WA’s outstanding classical players to start an orchestra.
The opportunity to create an infinite number of magical concerts – with WA as the backdrop – along with the need to showcase the incredible talent being nurtured in the State, meant a new orchestra for WA was not just an opportunity, but an imperative.
The orchestra quickly established a reputation for presenting exciting and moving concerts in magical places and spaces and after an invitation to perform at the 2012 Leeuwin Concert Series in Margaret River, in Western Australia’s south west, we secured our first corporate partner in AHG – Automotive Holdings Group – the largest motoring group in Australia.
In 2012 PSO secured Scotch College as a ‘home’ for rehearsing, commencing a relationship that has brought many benefits for both the orchestra and school.
The Perth Chamber Orchestra was a natural progression: enabling our musicians to play classical symphonies and chamber music in smaller more intimate settings where we could have some fun with the way the concerts were presented. The PCO launched in April 2013 to critical acclaim.
Also in 2013, PSO was invited to perform a flashmob playing a movement of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. The need for a chorus resulted in the creation of Perth Symphony Voices who have performed with the orchestra on several occasions.
In August 2014 we launched the Perth Symphony Big Band which performed the show ‘Swing on This’ to launch the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre in WA’s south west.
In 2014 PSO had grown so much in terms of activity and scope that a board of directors was appointed to oversee PSO’s growth and future.
2015 saw performances by the full orchestra with world class artists such as Bryn Terfel at the Leeuwin Concert, to John Farnham at Sandalford Estate; we launched our first year-long education program; our first ever Christmas Spectacular; and we started our most ambitious community project yet: PSO on the Streets presented by Hawaiian.
In 2016 we secured our first major community concert in partnership with Murdoch University and the City of Melville, performing to 2,500 patrons, we took part in Scotch College’s production of The Addams Family, and undertook several regional tours following invitations to perform in Karratha, Kalbarri and Perenjori.
And our journey is only just beginning …
|2011 November||PSO launched at Symphony by the Bay, UWA|
|2012 February||Performed with Marina Prior & David Hobson for the Leeuwin Estate Concert Series|
|2012 September||Performed Pecan Summer by Short Black Opera at the State Theatre Centre of WA|
|2013 February||Featured in the City of Joondalup’s Valentine’s Day Concert|
|2013 March||Launched the inaugural Symphony by the Lake concert – PSO’s signature summer proms concert|
|2013 April||Launch of Perth Chamber Orchestra (PCO)|
|2013 November||Performed with Opera Australia in South Pacific’s WA Season at Crown Theatre|
|2013 December||PCO’s Beethoven, Beer & Bratwurst named in The West Australian’s top 10 events of the year|
|2014 February||Toured The Music of Queen – an international show featuring the leads from We Will Rock You|
|2014 February||Performed the 2014 Leeuwin Estate Concerts with Grammy award-winning jazz singer, Diana Krall|
|2014 April||Launched Perth Symphony Friends scheme|
|2014 November||PCO played ‘Vivaldi by Candlelight’ – Italian music, Italian food, Italian wine – a sold out concert with over 100 on the waiting list|
|2015 February||City of Joondalup’s Valentines Concert with David Hobson & Silvie Palladino to 8000 people|
|Opening of Business News’ 40 Under 40 Awards with the Perth Symphony Strings at Crown Theatre, Perth|
|2015 March||2015 Leeuwin Concert with world-class opera stars Bryn Terfel and Rachelle Durkin, and music theatre and TV star, Lisa McCune|
|Perth Symphony Strings performed with Rod Stewart at Perth Arena|
|Launch of the first year-long Perth Symphony Education Program: “PLAY” for our home school: Scotch College|
|2015 August||Performed with 2013 X Factor winner – Dami Im – for Foundation Partner AHG’s 2015 Awards for Excellence, finishing with a standing ovation|
|2015 September||Perth Chamber Orchestra perform ‘Vivaldi by Candlelight’ at the St. George’s Cathedral – SOLD OUT|
|2015 December||PSO’s first Christmas Spectacular: The Snowman – hosted by Scotch College with over 1,700 patrons in attendance|
|2016 February||PSO Big Band & Strings perform Music @ Murdoch – made possible by a unique partnership between Murdoch University, PSO and the City of Melville|
|2016 April||The Perth Chamber Orchestra (PCO) takes Vivaldi by Candlelight to Armadale, selling out two concerts and receiving and standing ovation in association with John Christmass|
|2016 August||Perth Symphony performs a new work by WA composer Kevin Penkin ‘Houn Maru’, commissioned by Rio Tinto. An original score to celebrate Rio Tinto’s 50 years of iron ore.|
|2016 September||PSO ensembles tour to Karratha, Kalbarri and Perenjori reaching new regional audiences|
|2016 October||PCO returns with ‘Beethoven, Beer, Bratwurst (…& Björk!) at B Shed in Fremantle. The program included a world premiere of ‘Remembrance’ by local composer Sean Tinnion, and two Björk songs with Helen Shanahan, reimagined by 24 year old WA composer Jared Yapp.|