Johannes Luebbers – arranger for ‘Faith & Freedom: The Music of George Michael’

We were delighted to collaborate with one of Australia’s most interesting young composers, Johannes Luebbers, to write charts for our recent Faith & Freedom: The Music of George Michael shows. We invited him over to Perth to conduct the concert when we performed for the 10,000+ people at ‘South Perth Sounds’ in February.

Executive Director Bourby Webster interviewed Johannes last month shortly before the show – you can listen to the podcast here or via your favourite podcast app.

Winner of the 2011 ‘Young Australian Jazz Artist of the Year’ (Australian Jazz ‘Bell’ Awards) and the 2011 ‘Jazz Work of the Year’ (APRA/AMC Art Music Awards), Johannes Luebbers has established himself as one of Australia’s leading jazz composers. Graduating from WAAPA in 2006, Luebbers studied arranging with Graeme Lyall. He has been the recipient of numerous other awards, and has also released two albums with the Johannes Luebbers Dectet (JLD), which was established in 2007.

You can listen to some of his compositions here.

Perth Symphony began the podcast series ‘Music on the Move’ in 2017. Now up to its 10th episode, the podcast has seen us gain insight through interviewing inspiring contributors such as Justin Burford, Ros Appleby, Paul Wright and Gordon Hamilton.

Perth Symphony collaborates with 12 Buckets for raffle!

We were delighted to partner with 12 Buckets once again this year to fundraise through our raffle at Music at Murdoch. 12 Buckets provided a wonderful team of people to sell raffle tickets for us this year.

12 Buckets has grown from being an Unincorporated Association where a few friends banded together to offer their time, skills and abilities to a local Perth Primary School to becoming a highly regarded and formally recognised children’s charity.

At no charge to schools and without Government funding, 12 Buckets delivers its first-class One-to One Mentoring Program, Basketball Program, Debating Program, University Aspiration Program to four primary schools in Perth’s northern suburbs.

We look forward to many more partnerships with 12 Buckets!  Thank you to Murdoch University for allowing us to fundraise at Music @ Murdoch this again this year. We so appreciate your ongoing support.

Murdoch University is well known locally for supporting local charities and organisations. They raise significant amounts for Telethon by hosting the Telethon Community Cinemas each year on their beautiful South Street campus.

PSO welcomes Natalie Oakes, Executive Support

We are delighted to welcome another new staff member to the Perth Symphony team – Natalie Oakes has joined us as Executive Support, aiding PSO Executive Director Bourby Webster and General Manager Tina Nguyen with administration and organisational support.  It truly is so exciting to see our admin team grow as a reflection of PSO’s ever expanding schedule and demand across Perth and WA.

We asked her a few questions about joining PSO:

What do you love about PSO?
I love the range of audiences they appeal to and the absolute absence of boundaries when it comes to what music they play. As cliché as it sounds there honestly is a little something from everyone in the program. The level of care PSO has for everyone they work with clients, musicians, sponsors and staff – is brilliant, definitely a benefit of not operating as a huge corporate company!

What is your personal connection to music?
I grew up listening to the likes of Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Lionel Richie. My mum likes to think the reason I’m pursuing dancing professionally now is because she played music so often while she was pregnant with me! As a dancer music is a HUGE part of my life!

What was the last concert you attended?
George Maple – incredible Australian female artist.

What music are you currently listening to a lot?
BIG BAND MUSIC! Currently rehearsing a routine to Benny Goodman’s Sing Sing Sing so listening to this on repeat, anything with brass interments just puts me in a good mood.

We’re very glad to have Natalie on board to provide our team with valuable support!

Perth Symphony visits schools in Rockingham

We were thrilled to be invited by the City of Rockingham to return to primary schools in the Rockingham area with our noisy, interactive, fun incursions. We have visited four schools so far and are really excited to be visiting many more over the next few weeks. By the end of April, we will have reached 5,500+ Primary school children and 100+ high school kids in the local area.

Our percussion, brass, string and mixed (strings with woodwind) ensembles are ready to make lots of happy memories with these lovely kids. Pictured above are some of the great kids at Baldivis Primary who we visited on the 14th of March.

Thanks again to the City of Rockingham for this opportunity, and to the school staff for being so welcoming.

PSO welcomes new General Manager, Tina Nguyen!

We are excited to have welcomed a new staff member – Tina Nguyen, who is joining us as General Manager. Tina brings a wealth of experience to PSO, and has previously worked for Johnson & Johnson, the WA Vietnam Business Council and Spinifex Consulting. We asked her a few questions about music and working at PSO!

What do you love about PSO?
THE DIFFERENCE! I like PSO as it is a young cultural organisation, committed to making a difference in Western Australia. Perth Symphony is a unique orchestra which aims to provide ‘Music for Everyone’ through their innovative approach, and I am so pleased to be a part of it.

What is your personal connection to music?
Since I was small, I have always loved listening to music, all types of music. I lived in a small mountainous village where we could never afford to watch live music. We as young kids always loved to play music on boxes, food cans, or saucepans – anything that could make noise! We pretended we were a band, and it was so much fun! I still remember my mother telling me that when it got dark, sometimes a village musician would walk around the village and play traditional songs on the flute. He would bring music to every home, but unfortunately I never got to see him, maybe I was sent to bed too early!

What was the last concert you attended?
My husband bought me and our children tickets to listen to Andre Rieu in Perth. That is probably the first and greatest one I have ever been to.

What music are you currently listening to a lot?
I like the contemporary Pop and Rock songs coming from young artists at the moment, but I also like listening to classical pieces too! 

We’re very happy to have Tina on board, and can’t wait to see what she brings to PSO!

Chief Conductor Jessica Gethin returns to Dallas

Perth Symphony Chief Conductor and Artistic Director Jessica Gethin has returned to the USA, and is currently in Dallas assisting on the US Premiere of Van Der Aa’s 3D Opera, ‘Sunken Garden‘ working with Nicole Paiement (Principal Guest Conductor, The Dallas Opera) and Michel Van Der Aa (Composer/Director). A 3D opera… how exciting! Love the innovation from The Dallas Opera.

Sunken Garden is Van der Aa’s fourth work for music theatre. Like its predecessors it employs a distinctive combination of live action and video projections to tell its story, and for the first time includes 3D film!

Nicole Paiement has gained an international reputation as a conductor of contemporary music and opera. She has conducted multiple performances for The Dallas Opera, and returns this year to conduct Sunken Garden.

Michel van der Aa is a truly multidisciplinary figure in contemporary music. A unique voice, he combines composition with film and stage direction, and script writing. Classical instruments, voices, electronic sound, actors, theatre and video are all seamless extensions of his musical vocabulary.

 

It’s been a whirlwind 2018 for Perth Symphony so far!

We’ve been super busy here at Perth Symphony, opening our new office in Cottesloe, putting on a grand total of seven free community concerts around Perth Metropolitan area over summer, and taking our Faith & Freedom: The Music of George Michael show to the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, and soon to be dancing the night away for Ministry of Sound: Orchestrated at King’s Park later this month. In February alone we have reached almost 20,000 people across Perth with our music – what a way to start the year!

Did you manage to catch us last month? If you did, make sure you let us know by using #perthsymphony and tagging us in your photos on Facebook, instagram, twitter or however you share your stories!

If you’ve been to any of our summer concerts and liked what you’ve heard, be sure to grab your tickets to Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Music of Stevie & Aretha later this year!

PSO’s 2017 Wrap

2017 was a huge year for Perth Symphony Orchestra, and we’re set for an even busier 2018!

Our community initiatives took off in 2017, from visits to the remote community of Burringurrah, to pop ups in Kwinana, to Perth Symphony strings and percussion accompanying a lunchtime yoga class on St. George’s Terrace, we engaged in a diverse range of community activities across Western Australia. We visited a number of schools to educate children about classical music, and Perth Symphony string quartet toured the Gascoyne Region as part of the Gascoyne in May coordinated circuit of festivals, journeying over 2700km across the most sparsely populated region in the state to bring music to Western Australians from all backgrounds.

Perth Chamber Orchestra continued to push boundaries with a series of unique concerts, beginning with An Irish Night: Strings, Stout and Storytelling which celebrated traditional Irish music and culture, Baroque by Candlelight which brought to life the amazing music of the baroque era in both Armadale and Perth City, Steampunk Mozart which saw orchestra members dressed in steampunk attire, performing the music of Mozart in the industrial setting of Midland Railway Workshop, and Serenades in the City, in which PCO collaborated with ballet dancers from WAAPA and local painter Ben Brennan to present a beautiful brunch concert at Government House Ballroom.

Perth Symphony pushed forward with our goal to bring orchestral music to all, with free concerts Romance Under The Stars at Sorrento Quay, Music @ Murdoch at Murdoch University, Romance on the Green in Rockingham and Music Under The Stars at ECU Joondalup, and two unique and daring Perth Symphony ticketed concerts: Faith & Freedom: The Music of George Michael in which we performed the music of the late, great George Michael alongside performance partner WAAPA Gospel Choir at The Astor Theatre, and Unplugged: Nirvana Reimagined, in which we recreated Nirvana’s 1993 live recording of their MTV Unplugged in New York album at His Majesty’s Theatre.

Perth Symphony was also engaged to perform by a number of touring and Perth local events, including Zep Boys ‘Hammer of the Gods’ performing the music of Led Zeppelin, Elvis Presley The Wonder of You, Art of Symphony with Kate Ceberano, Scotland the Brave, Path of Hope, the 2017 Altitude Ball, The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses, Red Earth Arts Festival, the 2017 Innovation Awards, and the 2017 Pinnacle Awards.

If any readers are keen for their company to host a CALM concert (Come And Listen to Music – mindfulness session with live orchestra), engage musicians for a function, sponsor a concert or orchestra, or get music into their world, please get in touch.

And that’s a wrap – Happy New Year! Here’s a small taste of what we’ll be up to in 2018.

Concertmaster Development Program 2017 a big success!

 

We are delighted to announce that violinist Lucas O’Brien has completed the inaugural Perth Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Development Program 2017.

During his time in the program, Lucas served as Associate Concertmaster for Perth Chamber Orchestra for five concerts, Steampunk Mozart, An Irish Night: Strings, Stout & Storytelling, Beethoven, Beer and Bratwurst, Baroque by Candlelight and Serenades in the City, and lead five concerts for Perth Symphony Orchestra: Romance Under The Stars, Music @ Murdoch, Romance on the Green, C.A.L.M and Path of Hope. Here’s what he had to say about it:

‘The concertmaster development program has been invaluable for my development both as a musician, as well as an administrator by equipping me with crucial performance skills as well as allowing me to be involved in the artistic planning and longer term vision for the orchestra. It really is a unique and valuable initiative!”

– Lucas O’Brien

PSO’s Chief Conductor Jessica Gethin had the following to say:

“We were delighted to appoint Lucas O’Brien as the inaugural participant of Perth Symphony’s Concertmaster Development Program. Over the years Lucas had demonstrated a high level of both artistic and leadership qualities that we felt could be further fostered through mentoring opportunities. As part of the program, Lucas became a member of the artistic planning team, which he did with much enthusiasm, offering invaluable input with programming throughout 2017. We hope the experiences gained in the program are ones he will continue to expand in his career, we believe Lucas has much to offer the industry and will be extending our support behind him every step of the way.” 

– Jessica Gethin

Lucas has since been given a trial for a full-time position at the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra – please join us in wishing Lucas the best of luck on his journey with WASO and in his career!

PSO heads into 2018 with a new patron, a new board member and a new office!

Perth Symphony (PSO) is delighted to announce that we welcome 2018 with a Patron, a new Board Member and a new, second office!

Tim Roberts of Cottesloe-based Warburton Group has become a patron of Perth Symphony Orchestra. Over the past three years, Tim has made a number of remarkably generous donations to PSO, and recently secured a second office for the orchestra at No. 1 Station Street, Cottesloe.

Tim’s patronage marks a very exciting development in the short history of Perth Symphony, offering the orchestra the chance to grow, take risks and develop key programs.

Governance professional and experienced Director, Suzanne Ardagh, has also recently become a board member. Suzanne brings a wealth of insight and experience to the PSO board, having served on the boards of the Perth Festival, Musica Viva and in sectors including Health, Commerce and International Development.

Maurice Spillane, Chairman of the PSO board, welcomed the news, stating: “Perth Symphony Orchestra is in its infancy, but in that short time has achieved remarkable things. Tim Roberts becoming a patron comes at a time when the orchestra is moving forward in leaps and bounds, and Suzanne’s knowledge, passion and insight will be a valuable addition to the current board skill-set during this period of rapid growth.”.

Tim, in accepting the position of patron, stated:  “Music is, and always will be, something I am passionate about. After hearing Perth Symphony’s vision to create unique exciting concerts and experiences for every Western Australian, I felt it was something I both wanted to help and be a part of. I see my role as assisting the orchestra to become self-sustaining: a strong business with a legacy of increasing the cultural vibrancy of WA, creating opportunities for WA musicians, and making a difference in the lives of many through music. I am excited for the journey ahead, and look forward to encouraging others to join us.”

PSO’s small team continues to grow, and the new office Tim will provide as part of his support as patron will give PSO a new workspace to help us keep expanding. The PSO team will work across our two offices, the new base in Cottesloe as well as our existing home at Scotch College, Swanbourne, where we will continue to rehearse and engage with the school in many other ways. PSO will settle in to the new office in Cottesloe from February 2018.

‘Tim Roberts Giving’, Tim’s personal foundation, is, along with Minderoo Foundation, Perth Symphony’s ‘Sustainability Partner’.