Serenades in the City – ‘an exhilarating, rhetorically astute performance that will stay long in the memory’

Our Serenades in the City concert was a beautiful morning, and we got some fantastic reviews!

“Perth Chamber Orchestra strings positively danced their way through a perfectly curated program of miniature romantic masterpieces… Sutherland was one of Australia’s finest composers, with immaculate taste and a fine ear for counter-melody. Her Concerto for String Orchestra is traditional yet novel, tuneful yet challenging. It received the performance it deserved, with Gethin bringing out the gorgeous, sometimes piquant cantabile quality of the part-writing to perfection.

The other highlight was the Tchaikovsky, even in excerpt arguably the best work on the program. Here the PCO played with a precision and vitality equal to any other string band, anywhere. This was an exhilarating, rhetorically astute performance that will stay long in the memory.”

– William Yeoman of The West Australian. Read the full review here.

“Hosted by Ros Appleby, well-known journalist, music critic and author, Serenades In The City was a delight. Conductor Jessica Gethin and leader Paul Wright steered a well-schooled string ensemble through a program of excellent music drawn from a wide repertoire. Thank you, Perth Chamber Orchestra, for another most enjoyable presentation. 5 out of 5 stars.”

– Satima Flavell of ArtsHub, giving us 5 out of 5 stars. Read the full review here.

“It’s cliché to use the term “a delight to the senses”, yet when you are visually and aurally stimulated in such a joyous way, it is difficult to avoid the cliché. A pleasant aperitif on a Sunday morning to brace you for the rigours of the week to follow, and one that has me eagerly awaiting the baroque conclusion to the PCO’s Heritage series.”

– David O’Connell of Xpress Magazine giving us 8/10. Read the full review here.

Thank you William, Satima and David for your kind words and we’re so glad you enjoyed the morning.

We particularly loved collaborating with ballerinas Sara Ouwendyk and Kirsty Clarke, currently studying at WAAPA and artist Ben Brennan – we look forward to working together again in the future.

Fabulous images capture by PSO photographer Richard Jefferson from the morning are available on the WATCH & LISTEN section of our website. We would like to thank series co-presenter MSWA, series concert partner Hewshott International, and event partner Barton Jones Wines in bringing this concert to life.


We are very excited to announce the program for tomorrow evening’s concert Faith & Freedom: The Music of George Michael.

Too Funky
I Knew You Were Waiting For Me
I Can’t Make You Love Me
I’m Your Man
A Different Corner
Kissing A Fool
One More Try
Careless Whisper
Last Christmas
Wake Me Up Before You Go Go
Father Figure
Fast Love
Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me

We asked composer Johannes Luebbers to arrange these pieces for our string section, add in some drums and electric bass (we wanted George to know we loved his groove!) and what he did was truly  – a unique concert celebrating the life and music of a wonderful artist who was taken away too soon.

Hear Perth Symphony Executive Director Bourby Webster in conversation with Matt Allen (Founder, WAAPA Gospel Choir and Head of Contemporary Voice, WAAPA) in our Perth Symphony podcast ‘Music on the Move‘. Listen here, also available on Soundcloud.

Perth Symphony is also pleased to announce that all proceeds from the raffle and merchandise stall at ‘Faith & Freedom’ will be shared with the WA AIDS Council. Bring your spare change and support two worthy WA charity organisations! Prizes include a double pass to Perth Symphony’s UNPLUGGED: Nirvana Reimagined and Vinaceous Wines Burlesque sparkling.

Update: Unplugged: Nirvana Reimagined

ANNOUNCEMENT! We are excited to announce that our ‘Unplugged: Nirvana Reimagined’ concert has a new date and new venue. Join us on Saturday 7th October at His Majesty’s Theatre for a night like you’ve never experienced before. The magic of the orchestra, the nostalgia of Nirvana and the beauty of this venue.  Tickets on sale Wed 28 June, more info HERE.

Join our mailing list (see the panel at the top of this page!) for access to an exclusive presale from Mon 26 June.

Faith and Freedom: The Music of George Michael SOLD OUT!

We are excited to announce that Faith & Freedom: The Music of George Michael has now SOLD OUT! A huge thank you to all of you who have purchased tickets for this concert. We look forward to putting on a wonderful show for you with our friends in the WAAPA Gospel Choir.

These brand new charts, brilliantly orchestrated by Johannes Luebbers, under the Musical Direction of Jessica Gethin and Matt Allen have all arrived and we cannot wait to begin rehearsals this week!

The set list includes Faith, Freedom! ’90, Careless Whisper, Father Figure… and so many other George Michael classics!  We won’t give away too much for those lucky enough to snap up a ticket!

Missed out on tickets?  There will be a limited number of door sales available on the evening from the Box Office. Doors open 7pm – this will be your last chance!

Steampunk Mozart: A Roaring Success!

Perth Chamber Orchestra’s Steampunk Mozart concert at Midland Railway Workshops was a roaring success, with rave reviews from patrons and critics alike.

Melanie Coram of The West Australian gave 4★’s and said:

“Between pieces conductor Gethin shared sweet stories of the workshops that infused the building with life and laughter from the past. Steampunk Mozart was as much a theatrical experience for all the senses as it was a classical music concert.” 

Read Melanie’s full review HERE.

Rosalind Appleby of Limelight Magazine also gave 4★’s and had this to say:

“It was an impressive night, full of creativity and multiple opportunities to connect. Another indication that if you dig below the surface in Perth’s classical music scene to the small-medium arts sector you will discover the future of classical music is in very good hands.” 

Read Rosalind’s full review HERE.

Lynn Grierson of The Midland Reporter was very complimentary:

“The inaugural Steampunk Mozart concert at the Midland Railway Workshops on Wednesday delivered on a promise the 18th century maestro would have been proud to witness.”

Read Lynn’s full review HERE.

We’d like to extend a special thanks to Series co-presenter MSWA, Series concert partner Hewshott International, and event partner Barton Jones Wines for helping us bring this concert to life. Valued support also comes from Academy Cafe and The Little Champagne Cart.

Steampunk Mozart – Program Announce

We are so excited to announce the program for the Perth Chamber Orchestra’s next concert in our 2017 Heritage series – ‘Steampunk Mozart’.


MENDELSSOHN – OCTET IN E-FLAT MAJOR, OP. 20 – Allegro moderato ma con fuoco

W.A. MOZART – CLARINET CONCERTO IN A MAJOR, K.622 – Adagio (Soloist: Catherine Cahill)

W.A. MOZART – DUO FOR VIOLIN AND VIOLA IN G MAJOR, K.423 – Allegro (Soloists: Teresa Vinci, Jared Yapp)





ARZENZIANO – STINKIN’ GARBAGE (a train inspired adaption feat. Perth Symphony Percussion Trio)



Ticket holders will be treated to a pre-concert talk between PSO Director and concert producer Bourby Webster and PCO Artistic Director Jessica Gethin while they make their way to Midland with a PCO first – ‘Music on the Move’. The pre-concert talk will be uploaded to YouTube and concert goers can listen in the car or on the train to get themselves in the ‘Steampunk Mozart’ vibe.

Conductor’s Circle – an incredible group of women to support Chief Conductor, Jessica Gethin

In December 2016, Bourby Webster (PSO Executive Director) formed the Jessica Gethin Conductor’s Circle. This was a vision to see the career of Perth Symphony’s Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, and good friend, soar.

Jessica is one of the most talented people Perth Symphony is honoured to have on their team, and one of PSO’s greatest assets. We strongly believe her career, nationally and internationally will fly with the right support.

As a mother, woman and Western Australian, she faces more barriers than most to launching her international career. Bourby had the vision to change this, with the support of other incredible women who want to see Jessica succeed.

“Jessica is a phenomenal world-class talent. I truly believe that when Jess reaches her full potential (and she is well on her way to doing so, in no small part due to the incredible support of the women who joined the Circle), the impact on other Western Australian women and girls hoping for a career on an international stage despite being based in Perth will be profound. She is a true role model on and off the stage, and I am incredibly proud of what she has already achieved. She so deserves the support she needs to go to the next level.”
Bourby Webster, June 2017

There are currently 22 women in the ‘Jessica Gethin Conductor’s Circle’, who have committed $1500 per year for two years to assist Jessica in some of the following activities:

  • Sourcing an Australian agent to increase booking potential with Australian orchestras – involves flights to Sydney and Melbourne.
  • Creation of professional promo material including video footage from a rehearsal (staged) and a concert
  • Meetings with head artistic programming personnel from the main target orchestras in Sydney Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, Adelaide Symphony, Queensland Symphony
  • International business development trip to Japan and China, to include flights and accommodation to meet with Artistic Teams from the Tokyo Phil and others.

Jessica has achieved so much in her musical career so far, and the last few years especially have seen her grow exponentially. This year (August) she will be the touring Conductor with ‘The Legend of Zelda:Symphony of the Goddesses’, which is touring with a 57 piece orchestra and 24 piece choir, kicking off in Perth later this year featuring Perth Symphony Orchestra.

“I am extremely honoured and overwhelmed by the generosity and support the inaugural members of the Women’s Conductor’s Circle have shown. As the Circle heads to celebrate our first six months, the benefits to my career have already been life changing. The Circle has allowed me to travel overseas twice this year, where I have already secured two international contracts and made contacts with several key personnel who are vital in increasing my future visibility in this unique and challenging career. A huge thanks to all these incredible women of the circle, led by PSO Director Bourby Webster; the driving force behind this initiative.”
Jessica Gethin, June 2017

To hear more about Jessica’s achievements and upcoming plans, please visit her website.  You can also follow Jessica’s journey on Facebook and instagram @jessicagethin.

The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses

We are excited to announce that PSO Chief Conductor Jessica Gethin will be touring with ‘The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses’ through Australia, New Zealand and Asia including Perth, Melbourne, Auckland and Singapore.  This is an amazing opportunity for Jessica and we are only jealous that Perth Symphony can’t tour with her!

Celebrating 30 years of stirring virtual adventure and memorable soundtracks with live orchestral renditions directly approved by franchise producer Eiji Aonuma, The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses brings the Zelda franchise to life with a full symphony orchestra, 24-person choir and a reimagined score that includes new movements from more recently released Zelda games such as Skyward Sword and the highly anticipated Breath of the Wild, while still paying homage to classic installments like Ocarina of Time and A Link to the Past.

The five-movement multimedia symphony concert regales fans with Nintendo composer Koji Kondo’s original music, recalling moments of Link conquering dungeons, running through forests, and struggling to decide what color tunic to wear. Throughout the evening, a video collage syncs up with the adventurous tunes to spotlight exciting moments from the venerable franchise.

Read more about this exciting concert, opening in Perth on August 24 here.

More news from Perth Symphony String Quartet’s Gascoyne in May tour!

It’s been over a fortnight since a PSO string quartet left for the Gascoyne region and cellist Nick updated the team in the office. Both Nick and first violin Ruth celebrated their birthday over the past weeks, so they’ve been having a great time!

“Since our last post, we’ve been exceptionally busy. On the 6th of May, we played at the TropiCOOL festival in Carnarvon, on an open air festival stage. It was a strange setting – most outdoor stage performances we do are with much bigger groups, so we made a concerted effort to fill the stage with energy through repertoire and movement. For our finale, we performed a larger scale collaboration of Happy, by Pharrell Williams, with sampler beats, rapping and singers.

Shortly after, the tour packed up and shipped out to Denham, Shark Bay. Our first few days in Denham were focused around rehearsing, getting set lists and refining the education program for the Barefoot Black Tie festival and a school visit.  We also celebrated mine and Ruth’s birthday on the 10th of May with a dinner at The Old Pearler. Our performance at Barefoot Black Tie really hit the spot with the audience – 25 minutes of extremely high energy pieces, all of which the audience knew and loved! We closed with Pharrell Williams’ Happy, which went off with a bang!

The next few days were spent relaxing, rehearsing and collaborating with fellow tour members and as a result, we have a few pieces ready to integrate into a hip hop fusion for the next festival. A few adventurous ideas that are as fun for us to perform as different for the audience to experience.

Tomorrow, we head back to Carnarvon before starting on our trip to Burringurah, a remote Aboriginal community, for the Festival of Fire. We’re all extremely excited to see somewhere that will be so different to our venues so far, and such a far cry from our lives back home. We lose all internet and phone reception so more news on the other side!”

We look forward to another instalment from Nick!

Gascoyne Barefoot Gascoyne in May 1

Steampunk Mozart: Our most unique concert yet!

Machines meet Mozart in this remarkable concert by the Perth Chamber Orchestra. Set in the industrial surrounds of the historic Midland Railway Workshops with a visually sumptuous ‘Steampunk’-inspired theme, the orchestra will perform magical works by the master that is Mozart among the machinery and rail tracks that remain from days gone by.

Producer Bourby Webster, and co-Artistic Directors, Jessica Gethin and Paul Wright, have designed an immersive evening featuring highlights of Mozart’s chamber orchestral repertoire contrasted with works that bring the remarkable surrounds to life with a reference to the trains that previously haunted the building.

CLICK HERE for more information and to purchase tickets.

Accompanied by a menu inspired by the vibe of the setting from the team at Academy, with beverages available from The Little Champagne Cart, the concert promises to be another indulge-all-the-senses experience like no other.

Be prepared to be hypnotised by the sublime music of Mozart, performed by some of Western Australia’s most talented musicians, alongside exciting, diverse, and often surprising repertoire. In true PCO style, expect the unexpected. An evening of entertainment that will inspire and delight.

We would like to thank Heritage Series co-presenter MSWA, Heritage Series concert partner Hewshott International, and event partner Barton Jones Wines for helping us bring this concert to life. Valued support also comes from Academy Cafe and The Little Champagne Cart. MOZART Sponsor Panel 600x110-1