Unplugged: Nirvana Reimagined back by popular demand!

It was the sold out success story of 2017 when Perth Symphony Orchestra and Justin Burford presented UNPLUGGED: NIRVANA REIMAGINED at His Majesty’s Theatre, a unique concert that has since led to international interest in the artists and charts written for the show. After receiving so many emails, messages and phone calls from people who missed out or those who are dying to see it again, we’ve listened! And we’re bringing it back – for one night only.

“This was no regular concert, this was an immersive experience… The performance left no doubt as to why this event sold out well in advance. Unsurprisingly, they received a well-deserved standing ovation.”
The Music

“the first thing that struck you was the stage set up with the lilies and the candles … you just knew that Kurt would have been so happy with it.”

“beautifully heart-stopping, a testament to the talent… There were cheerleaders, crazy lights… and it was so overwhelming I didn’t know where to look. But when one of the violinists came out and smashed a violin onto the stage floor, everyone’s attention was very much directed there. It was ridiculously fun…”

More information on this concert can be found HERE.

When: Friday 28 September
Where: His Majesty’s Theatre
Tickets: From $79 +bf – on sale now!

Book here.

PSO Executive Director Bourby Webster finalist for Western Australian of the Year Award

We are delighted to announce that Perth Symphony Orchestra’s Executive Director Bourby Webster is a finalist for the Western Australian of the Year Arts & Culture Award. She was nominated by PSO supporter and donor Paula Rogers.

Bourby had this to say about her nomination:

“I’m exceedingly honoured. PSO is only where it is today because of PSO’s amazing team, who have worked and continue to work tirelessly over the years, and always go above and beyond. So, in my view, the nomination is actually for all of PSO!”

The Western Australian of the Year Awards will be held at Crown on Friday 1st June, and we wish Bourby the best of luck. As all of us at PSO, and anyone else who knows Bourby will attest, this nomination is well deserved!

You can read Bourby’s story, along with the stories of the other Arts & Culture finalists HERE.

‘Baroque by Candlelight’ returns to the Armadale Arts Festival 2018

Perth Chamber Orchestra will be returning to St. Matthew’s Church in Armadale on Saturday 12th May, as part of the Armadale Arts Festival.

Children will recount their experiences of living in Baroque times as Perth Chamber Orchestra (PCO) presents their most acclaimed concert to date: “Baroque by Candlelight”

Following a sell-out perform in August 2017 at St. George’s Cathedral, this concert transports patrons back in time, offering an unforgettable evening.

Enhancing your musical experience with a glass of wine and sweet in hand this is just the entrée for a feast of baroque music set to warm the heart in the candle-lit Church.

Intended to offer a unique musical, spiritual and historical experience, the concert will be under the artistic direction of Jessica Gethin, the leadership of virtuoso violinist, Paul Wright, with soprano Prudence Saunders, and solos from Jenny Coleman (trumpet) and nine-year-old Joshua Crestwell on the banjo.

CLICK HERE for tickets!

Perth Symphony Orchestra to perform with Michael Bolton

We are excited to announce that Perth Symphony Orchestra will perform with Michael Bolton as part of his Symphony Tour on 24th June Perth Concert Hall.

Perth Symphony Chief Conductor & Artistic Director Jessica Gethin will not only be conducting at this concert, but will also be joining Michael for the duration of his tour across Australia and New Zealand to conduct. We wish her a fun and exciting journey on tour!

Multiple Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter and social activist, Michael Bolton has announced he will be touring Australia in June 2018. MICHAEL BOLTON SYMPHONY TOUR will feature Michael performing with a full orchestra as he takes fans on a musical journey of the Greatest Hits – those he has released himself and those he has written for others.   

“Its always a joy to tour Australia and I look forward to coming back in June and playing all my greatest hits with a full orchestra.  Its going to be a fun tour and I look forward to seeing you all there,” said Michael Bolton.  

Known for his soulful voice and touching lyrics, Michael will deliver his catalogue of hits accompanied by a specially selected 30 piece orchestra and joined by a soon to be announced special guest.  

Led by Jessica Gethin, the orchestra will deliver the soulful classics with rich grandeur as Michael brings his own energy and passion to make for a truly extraordinary evening. 

Michael Bolton is one of music’s most successful and loved performers.  His songs are some of the best selling songs of all time – “How Can We Be Lovers,” “When A Man Loves A Woman,” “Said I Love You.. But I Lied” and many more. He has covered some great music classics – his version of Otis Redding’s “Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay” topped charts acoss the world and is still heard  on radio today.   

Click here for tickets to the Perth show!

Perth Symphony receives glowing review for Ministry of Sound: Orchestrated

We are delighted to have received a glowing 8.5/10 review for our performance with Ministry of Sound: Orchestrated in King’s Park for Mellen Events last month.

Alfred Gorman of Xpress Magazine had the following to say:

“There’s nothing quite like a live orchestra in full flight. Something about the layered tapestry of many instruments in sync, all combining to create a huge sound. The rising strings, the bassy drone of brass, the intricate percussion and delicate melodies dancing over the top.

Conductor Jessica Gethin stood on a platform front-right, back to the crowd, with the orchestra in the palm of her hand, wearing sneakers and tight, black leather pants. This was not your average orchestra.

There was definitely a lot of love in the air. The crowd didn’t want it to end. It took time for the smiling, shell-shocked people to disperse, still basking in the glory of a very special, memorable performance – one that really tugged at the heart strings and evoked a lot of memories. Bravo!”

You can read the full review here.

Groove Terminator, also known as Simon Lewicki, is the creative brains behind Ministry of Sound’s ‘ORCHESTRATED’. He joined Perth Symphony Executive Director Bourby Webster for a podcast about how we planned to blur the boundaries between a dance floor in Ibiza and traditional concert hall. You can listen to the podcast here.

Photo: Duncan Barnes, Mellen Events

Second night added for ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’


Perth Symphony Orchestra (PSO) and WAAPA Gospel Choir have announced a second Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Music of Stevie & Aretha concert at the Astor Theatre on Wednesday, May 30, in addition to the previously announced and close to sold out first show on Thursday, May 31. Tickets to both shows on sale now.  

CLICK HERE for tickets.

Balcony seats only available for Wednesday 30th May as the Stall are booked for a private event, however the show remains exactly the same for both nights.

Board of Directors

We are so grateful for the time, effort and generosity of our Board of Directors.



Maurice graduated in Law in Ireland in 1978 where he practiced for 10 years before coming to Perth in 1988 with his family. In Western Australia he practiced mainly in the areas of Medical Law, Professional Indemnity, Planning and Local Government Law. Maurice was appointed a full time Member of SAT at its inception in January 2005 and in June 2011 he was appointed as a Senior Member.  In addition to his position as Chair of the Perth Symphony Orchestra, Maurice is also currently Chair of the Clinical Ethics Committee at Princess Margaret Hospital and King Edward Memorial Hospital, having previously been the Chair of the Research Ethics Committee for many years. He is also a past board member of Mercycare and a past Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Research on Children’s Environmental Health. Maurice is an accredited mediator with a particular interest in the role of facilitative dispute resolution generally and the application of ethical decision making in the clinical context.


PHIL THICK (Chair elect)

Phil is a Civil Engineer whose career commenced with Alcoa at their Kwinana alumina refinery.  He then moved to Shell where he had a 20 year career in Australia and around the world and was Downstream Director for Shell Australia for his last 3 years.  This was followed by a 5-year stint as CEO of Coogee Chemicals in Kwinana and then as Managing Director of New Standard Energy Limited, a junior listed oil and gas explorer based in Perth.

Phil joined Tianqi Lithium Australia as General Manager in August 2016.  He is responsible for the construction and operation of the $700 million Lithium Hydroxide Processing Plant in Kwinana, which commenced construction in October 2016.

In addition to his “day jobs” Phil has been on the Board of Avivo, one of WA’s largest Not-for-Profits, for 10 years and Chairperson for the past 7 years.  He has also had other Board roles with Esperance Port Authority, Disability Services Commission and Wesley College.



Bourby is a graduate of Oxford University in Music, the Royal College of Music in London in music performance (viola), and the University of Western Australia with an MBA for which she was awarded the Charles Harper Prize for contribution to the course and a Director’s letter for academic achievement.

She has been a recording artist, professional musician, and worked in several corporate roles in Marketing and Business Development for both private companies including Moore Stephens, DTZ, BBC Television, and MWH Global; and not for profit organisations such as the WA Institute of Sport and the Perth International Arts Festival.

In 2008 she left employment to set up North Street Consulting and North Street Music, the former generating income to support the latter. North Street Music founded the Perth Symphony Orchestra which first performed in November 2011.

Bourby is on the Committee of the Oxford University Society in WA, plays viola in the Western Australian String Quartet, and lectures business skills to musicians at the WA Academy of Performing Arts. She is in demand as a producer, presenter and guest speaker.



Joanne Palmer is a fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ), and currently an audit partner at Pitcher Partners in Perth. chartered accountant.  She was previously at EY for 19 years, seven as an equity partner, and led EY’s Financial Accounting Advisory Services team in Perth.

At EY, prior to her role leading the Financial Accounting Advisory Services team, Joanne worked principally in the field of assurance and audit services.  Joanne has over 22 years’ experience providing audit and assurance services on company listings, mergers, acquisitions and takeovers and has significant experience in auditing the operations of mining companies, particularly those that have international operations.



Dr Alec O’Connell commenced as the 7th Headmaster of Scotch College in June 2011. Before taking on the role of Headmaster at Scotch College, Dr O’Connell was the Assistant Director at the Catholic Education Office of WA where he held the portfolio of People and Organisational Services. He graduated as a teacher in 1982 and since graduating has worked across K-Tertiary, including holding a variety of both teaching and administrative positions.

Alec was the foundation Head and CEO of Trinity at the University of WA and held the positions of the Executive Director, Vice Chancellery and Executive of Academic and Student Services at The University of Notre Dame Australia. He was the WA Chairperson and a member of the National Board of the Australian College of Educators.

Alec is a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators, the Australian Institute of Management and the National Association of University Colleges and Halls and a Life Member of Trinity Residential College at the University of Western Australia.

Alec has a Doctor of Business Administration from the University of Western Australia where he investigated the concept of Values Congruence and its effect on Organisational Commitment.  He also holds a Diploma of Teaching, Bachelor and Master of Education, Graduate Diploma of Language Studies and Diploma Royal Society of Arts London.  He has provided a number of guest lectures on the topic of Leadership and Values.

He currently is a member of the Board of Kidsafe Western Australia, the UWA Business School Ambassadorial Committee and has recently been appointed to the Forrest Foundation Committee of the University of Western Australia.




Suzanne is a professional director and leads the Board Advisory Service for Executive Search Firm Lester Blades.  Her career has spanned diplomacy, corporate affairs, tertiary education and professional associations. She has lived and worked in Europe, Latin America and South East Asia where most recently she established the Australian Institute of Company Directors’ international division.

As a Director, Suzanne has served on both international and national Boards.  In addition to current roles with West Coast Fever Board and the Cancer Council, she is also the independent Chair of Stanley College, a private VET provider and Councilor of HBF Health Fund and a WA Committee member of the Australian British Chamber of Commerce.



Niamh is the Director of Donald Cant Watts Corke’s business, a multi- discipline advisory and project delivery firm that delivers strategic and innovative solutions in high risk projects in Western Australia and nationally. From commencement of her role as director in 2017, Niamh has trebled the size of the WA PM Business through the principles of LEAN Six Sigma into an industry leader and long-term sustainable business. Niamh is a member of Curtin University Project Management Advisory Board and a member of the Australian Institute of Company directors. Her skills include:  Strategic Planning, Governance, Project Management, Contract Negotiations, Procurement and Contract Management, Dispute Resolution, Risk Management, Independent Certification.

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!