JESSICA’S STAR ON THE RISE

PSO’s Chief Conductor, Jessica Gethin, has quickly followed her recent announcement as Inaugural Fellow at the Institute of Women Conductors with the Dallas Opera (USA) with the news she has been awarded the 2015 Brian Stacey Emerging Australian Conductor Award.

The $10,000 prize has been awarded annually since 2002 and recognizes an Australian Conductor, early in their professional career who shows both potential and skill on the podium.  Jessica is the fourth female to receive the prize and the second last recipient as the prestigious award is in its penultimate year.

Jessica flew to Melbourne in June for the announcement at the Helpmann Awards Media Launch and found there was much interest in the Perth Symphony Orchestra. Jessica explains –

“I was both humbled and excited to receive this award, and look forward to putting it towards projects in the USA and Asia that will assist me in further developing my conducting career.  I hope this in turn will benefit Perth Symphony as I will be able to bring new skills, greater depth of experience and fresh ideas back to my home orchestra.  I believe PSO is on its way to being a really great orchestra; each concert goes from strength to strength. Contributing to that journey is a privilege and something I am excited to be a part of moving forward.”

In recognition of this latest achievement, Jessica was invited to be a presenter at the Helpmann Awards at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre on July 27, where she announced the award for ‘Best Musical Direction’. The awards were broadcased live on Foxtel Arts. We wish Jessica all the best luck with all her future endeavors!

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Jessica with cellist James Beck at the Helpmann Awards in Sydney, 27 July 2015.

 

 

BHP Billiton supports Perth Symphony

Perth Symphony was extremely delighted to receive a contribution from BHP Billiton last month to help the orchestra buy some much needed equipment, and take music to young school kids in the outer metropolitan suburbs of Perth.

“BHP Billiton is a proud supporter of the arts in Western Australia.

Helping the Perth Symphony Orchestra to purchase equipment  that will be used in classrooms across the State ensures more young people will have access to the world of music.

We believe that by combining education with music is a powerful way to engage and at the same time have a little fun.”

– Richard O’Connell, Senior Manager Community, BHP Billiton

With the contribution from BHP Billiton, Perth Symphony will be able to purchase some brand new drum screens and orchestral baffles – equipment which is essential to the occupational health and safety of our musicians.  These items will help to protect the precious ears of those playing in the orchestra – because, where would out musicians be without their hearing?

We will also purchase some new battery powered, LED lights which will help to transform the places where we perform into magical spaces.  Think spotlights on soloists, lit-up heritage building features, softly coloured trees and so much more…

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Perth Symphony Director, Bourby Webster, and Technical Manager, Gaetan Schurrer, with BHP Billiton Senior Manager Community – Richard O’Connell (middle) pictured here at Rottnest Island. Photo courtesy of Rottnest Island Chamber of Commerce.

 

 

BHP Billiton has also made a contribution towards Perth Symphony’s Education program: ‘PLAY WITH US’.  Together, we will take elements of this brand new program to children in less fortunate areas who may not have easy access to a wide range of live music performances.  We will collaborate with a small number of schools, creating a tailored program with the aim of bringing about a “musical revolution” for many children who have little or no exposure to live music, particularly classical. We hope to do for children and music what Jamie Oliver has done for children and food.

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Perth Symphony percussionist – Paul Tanner with a percussion student at Scotch College, where ‘PLAY WITH US’ was launched at the beginning of 2015.

 

 

 

We are thrilled to announce this new relationship with BHP Billiton.

If you know of a school that would benefit from PLAY WITH US, please contact us to let us know more.

Congratulations Jessica – Institute of Women Conductors with the Dallas Opera

Congratulations to Perth Symphony Chief Conductor & Artistic Director – Jessica Gethin.

Jessica was recently announced as an Inaugural Fellow into the prestigious Institute of Women Conductors with the Dallas Opera. She was selected as one of only six conductors chosen internationally from 27 countries to travel to Dallas this November to participate in the elite opera program for distinguished professional conductors. 

The IWC will consist of master classes and one-on-ones with Dallas Opera Music Director Emmanuel Villaume and Principal Guest Conductor Nicole Paiement; seminars, discussions, and networking opportunities; as well as the chance to conduct The Dallas Opera Orchestra in a public concert performance the evening of December 5, 2015 onstage in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas, Texas.

Read more HERE.

Well done Jessica – we know what an incredible talent you are, and are more than happy to share you with the Texans! Enjoy being totally immersed in such a creative environment, we can’t wait to work with you when you return in December, full of inspiration and knowledge.

At Perth Symphony, we are working our hardest to grow the music and culture scene in WA, so that talented musicians and artists like Jessica have world class opportunities here in Perth.

PSO’s End Of Financial Year Giving Campaign off to a great start!

Perth Symphony launched it’s Annual End Of Financial Year Giving Campaign at the end of May. Having recently been granted DGR Status, all donations made to the orchestra over $2 are now tax deductible.

We have five donation levels:

Donor levels - Yellow

Donor levels - Green

Donor levels - Orange

Donor levels - Blue

Donor levels - Pink

In the first week of the campaign, we were so humbled to receive two ‘blue’ donations, as well as so many generous donations of varying amounts.  As Perth Symphony is a completely unfunded orchestra, every dollar counts and we work our best to make every cent stretch as far as possible.

Click HERE to find out more about our 2015 EOFY Giving Campaign and to make a donation today.

Words of praise from John Farnham and Chong Lim

Words from John Farnham:

In my 40 years of touring, this [Perth Symphony] was the tightest orchestra I have ever worked with!

Easter weekend saw members of Perth Symphony Orchestra travel to Margaret River (one of our favourite places in WA!) to perform on stage with Australian pop sensations – John Farnham and Olivia Newton-John.

Chong Lim – John Farnham’s long standing Musical Director, is also MD for Australia’s Dancing with the Stars and has in the past worked with artists including Olivia Newton-John and Kylie Minogue.  This talented man took a long, hard look through John and Olivia’s incredible back catalog of hits and rearranged crowd favourites for a symphony orchestra, to be debuted at Sandalford Winery, here in WA.

Chong was an absolute pleasure and inspiration to work with.  For someone who is constantly surrounded by Australia’s stars, he was humble and approachable, and shared a very similar vision of the future of music as we do, here at Perth Symphony.

“Olivia, John and I had a great time working with The Perth Symphony. The orchestra has a wonderful sound and the enthusiasm and hard work from all the players and the administrative staff made it a very enjoyable experience. Nothing was too difficult. Thank you and best of luck!!!”

The concert was so much fun – with John and Olivia showing that they’ve still go ‘IT’.  The orchestra couldn’t help but smiling and singing along to favourites such as Summer Lovin’ and Get Physical, and there was an eruption from the crowd with the opening of The Voice, and again when the iconic Pipers appeared on stage!

After the concert, the orchestra, band and artists were buzzing with excitement with the first show of the tour a success! John Farnham had only praise and thanks for Perth Symphony – saying we were the tightest orchestra he had worked with in his 40 years of touring and performing!

What a night!

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‘PERTH SYMPHONY FRIEND’S SPECIAL BRYN TERFEL STORY

The Perth Symphony FRIENDS membership program is a great way to connect with music and Perth Symphony, and perhaps even make dreams come true..!

Malcolm Pratt has been a long time supporter of Perth Symphony, and chairman of the Perth Symphony Friends committee.  If you’ve seen us play before, you most likely would have seen Chief Conductor – Jessica Gethin conducting from a beautiful Jarrah podium, which was kindly donated by Malcolm.

We were able to give him some VIP tickets to see Perth Symphony play down at the Leeuwin Concert at the beginning of March and this is his incredible story..

“My late wife (Joan) passed away five years ago about a month before my birthday. After the funeral I began the task of going through her things to send those suitable to The Good Sammy’s when I discovered that she had already purchased my present. We used to buy each other CD’s as by our age we had virtually everything we really wanted. I had seen this particular new release advertised on the TV and happened to mention that I wouldn’t mind buying it as it was my favourite male singer singing some of my favourite songs. The CD was Bryn Terfel’s “Bad Boys”.

Malcolm BT CDIn conversation, I mentioned to Bourby that it was unlikely that I would go to the Leeuwin Concert and told her the story asking if she could possibly get Bryn to sign the CD for me as it has special significance to me. Not only did PSO arrange for me to attend the concert, they arranged for me to meet Bryn after the performance in his dressing room. He was gracious and generous with his time, and after I told him the story of how the last thing my wife gave me was a Bryn Terfel CD, he generously inscribed the CD for me. It now has even greater importance to me and is among my most treasured possessions.

The concert itself was terrific, I loved the variety of songs Bryn chose which displayed his mastery of opera and musical theatre, If I Were A Rich Man from Fiddler on the Roof is a particular favourite of mine and i smiled at hearing a Jewish milkman with a broad Welsh accent!! Rachelle Durkin was not overshadowed at all and displayed a beautiful sense of comic timing which nearly stole the show and I thought the PSO’s solo performance of the piece by Ian Grandage utterly spellbinding and perfect for the setting the lighting effects were simply brilliant.

Having now lost my Leeuwin Concert virginity I look forward to joining PSO there again soon.”

Leeuwin Concert for 2015

The Leeuwin Concert weekend is over once more, and what a weekend it was.

Perth Symphony played on stage alongside Bryn Terfel, Rachelle Durkin and Lisa McCune in the beautiful Margaret River region of WA.

Bryn, Rachelle and Lisa performed as soloists and paired up for some incredible duets, featuring opera favourites and popular musical theatre tunes.  Perth Symphony opened the concert with the Crown Imperial March, followed by Bryn, in a dramatic opening with an aria from the opera ‘Boito’, whistles and all!

Rachelle had the audience captivated from the moment she walked on stage, took a ‘selfie’ with Perth Symphony conductor Jessica Gethin and the 6000 strong crowd and announced she was ‘up the duff’.  Her voice was flawless, and her stage presence was second to none.   Bryn and Rachelle performed a number of duets, each showcasing why they are two of the top opera singers in the world at the moment.

Lisa McCune was a beautiful addition to the bill performing light-hearted Musical Theatre tunes that everyone could sing along to.

One of the highlights of the night was Perth Symphony’s performance of ‘All that Glisters’ by Australian composer Iain Grandage.  We have received an enormous amount of feedback on the night and in the days following the performance. It is so wonderful to hear what an impression this ‘homegrown’ piece was able to make.

Ron Banks from the West Australian wrote a wonderful review:

“And a word of praise for the Perth Symphony Orchestra, which has been in existence only since 2011 and is fast earning a reputation for quality musicianship to rival WASO under its conductor Jessica Gethin.”

Read the full review here.

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See the full gallery of photos on our ‘Watch and Listen‘ page.

 

Photo credits: Leeuwin Estate and Elements Margaret River

Fabulous reviews for Joondalup’s Valentine’s Concert

Capacity crowds attended the 2015 City of Joondalup Valentine’s Concert on Thursday 12th February to listen to David Hobson and Silvie Paladino perform some of Broadway’s favourite songs, accompanied by 56-piece Perth Symphony Orchestra.  The air was buzzing with excitement as people queued from well before doors open to ensure they got the best seats on the greens!

Perth Symphony had an absolute ball performing with these talented Australians, and their banter and charisma on stage kept the 8000 strong audience captivated from start to finish.

“I’ve never been on a golf course singing to 8000 people but the venue was fantastic and the crowd was great and so responsive, standing up at the end and dancing with us.” – Silvie Paladino

World renowned tenor, David Hobson said the concert was among the best outdoor shows he had performed in.

“The geography and the landscape of the (Joondalup Resort) golf course are just so beautiful,” he said. “We were very spontaneous with a lot of numbers we did and we were lucky enough to have an orchestra that responded so quickly.”

Read the full review here.

 

Photo credit to the City of Joondalup.

An exclusive offer from AHG!

EXCLUSIVE OFFER for
Perth Symphony Orchestra Staff and Supporters
Valid until March 31st, 2015

As a proud partner of the Perth Symphony Orchestra, AHG is offering you – our friends and followers – the opportunity to receive a $100 voucher to use off your next service at your local AHG dealership when you register your details at ahg.com.au.

REGISTER ONLINE to receive these fantastic offers!

This voucher can be used with any scheduled service or repair on any make or model of passenger or commercial vehicle. Plus, as an added bonus, you will also receive a Free Summer Safety Check*.

With over 30 Service Centres across Perth and Western Australia, AHG offers the most professional level of vehicle servicing with fully qualified service technicians, genuine parts and the latest tools and diagnostic equipment.

*Conditions: Only valid at an AHG dealership. To redeem offer, present voucher to salesperson or service advisor prior to sale negotiations. Excludes Fleet Vehicles. Only one voucher per customer, per vehicle. Not redeemable for cash. Valid until 31 March 2015. ^Terms and conditions apply. Refer to dealer for more details.

 

A new visual identity for PSO!

We are extremely excited to share our new visual identity – via our brand new website – with you, thanks to the team at Linkletters.

Amy first heard Perth Symphony at the 2014 Leeuwin Estate Concerts and wanted to help us communicate our story to the widest audience possible – capturing the magic that is PSO in the process.

“The colours, images, and movement in our new brand, all capture exactly the unique energy Perth Symphony has on stage”.
Bourby Webster, Director, Perth Symphony.

Amy worked with us to really define the X Factor that makes everything we do special. We realised there are five words we keep at the front of our mind when creating every event and concert. These words are:

IMMERSIVE
UNEXPECTED
MEMORABLE
MAGICAL
FUN!

We also worked on the idea that Perth Symphony brings a unique energy, putting an electric current through every venue, every concert, every performance, and every location in which we perform.

Amy and her team found a way to visually capture this idea of ‘energy’ and we are really excited to see a vivid ‘current’ flow through our imagery. Look out for many more ideas and initiatives to build on this idea in future!

We feel the bright colours, strong bold fonts, and electric current absolutely captures everything Perth Symphony represents – and we hope you do too! We also hope our website creates a sense of what we do, and how we do it, being bright, bold, easy to navigate and with key information easy to find.

To see more of Linkletters in action, or to contact Amy, visit the website.