Perth Symphony was founded in 2011 and is known as the orchestra that breaks the rules. With over 220 musicians regularly employed by us, we are creating a home for WA talent.
We play in places and spaces you’d never expect to find an orchestra, from sheds to warehouses, foyers to art deco cinemas and aeroplane hangers! We perform music from Mozart to Metallica, Björk to Beethoven and everything in between. Our mission is ‘Music for Everyone’ and by taking the orchestra out of the concert hall and into communities across WA, we are proud to have performed to over 250,000 people so far.
We are unique amongst orchestras and believe that our music has the ability to move and inspire people from all cultures and walks of life. We challenge traditions and create powerful, compelling performances that are often unexpected and always truly memorable.
Bringing orchestral music to people who wouldn’t ordinarily hear it, and in ways they couldn’t possibly imagine is our primary focus. We collaborate with other art forms and artists, such as painters, DJs, contemporary dancers and actors. Perth Symphony brings music to life in a way that you don’t just hear it, you can see it and feel it too!
Founded by CEO Bourby Webster, the orchestra has grown exponentially over the years. Our Chief Conductor Jessica Gethin was born in WA, but is in regular demand throughout Australia and Asia, and has performed on stages across Europe the UK and USA.
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.
|2018||PSO performs Valentine’s Day themed concerts for Town of Claremont and Sorrento Quay Boulevard, PSO partners with City of Rockingham once again for a free community concert, PSO returns to Murdoch University for another instalment of Music At Murdoch, PSO takes its ‘Faith & Freedom: The Music of George Michael’ show to South Perth and the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, PSO collaborates with Mellen Events to perform Ministry of Sound: Orchestrated at King’s Park, PCO returns to St. Matthew’s Church in Armadale to present ‘Baroque by Candlelight’, PSO returns to The Astor Theatre to present two nights of ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Music of Stevie & Aretha’, PSO members perform at WA Day Festival, PSO performs with Michael Bolton at Perth Concert Hall, PSO collaborates with Jonté Designs and VJZoo to provide performances for the Brookfield Winter Lights Festival… stay tuned for much more to come this year!|
|2017||PSO welcomes WAAPA as a performance partner, PSO performs ‘Romance Under the Stars’ free concert for Sorrento Quay Boulevard, PSO duo performs ‘Classic Flow’ for Perth International Arts Festival, PSO partners with Murdoch University again for the second ‘Music @ Murdoch’ free concert, PSO partners with City of Rockingham for ‘Romance on the Green’ free concert, as well as visits by PSO musicians to primary schools within the City of Rockingham for performances and workshops, PCO performs ‘An Irish Night’ at Fremantle Town Hall in partnership with Hewshott International, PCO partners with City of Armadale for ‘Baroque by Candlelight’, 13 piece PSO string ensemble performs ‘C.A.L.M’ (Come And Listen to Music) alongside a yoga teacher at 235 St. George’s Terrace office building in partnership with Hawaiian, PSO String Quartet tours as part of Gascoyne in May, PSO performs with ‘The Wonder of You’ Elvis tour at Perth Arena, PCO presents ‘Steampunk Mozart’ at the Midland Railway Workshops as part of the 2017 Heritage Concert Series in partnership with MSWA and Hewshott International, PSO performs ‘Faith & Freedom: The Music of George Michael’ to a sold out crowd at The Astor Theatre with performance partner WAAPA Gospel Choir, PSO performs in ‘Art of Symphony’ with Kate Ceberano, PSO performs ‘Scotland the Brave’, PSO performs at the ‘Path of Hope’ Ball, PCO performs ‘Serenades in the City’, a unique morning concert at Government House Ballroom, PSO and the WAAPA Gospel Choir perform highlights from ‘Faith & Freedom: The Music of George Michael’ at the 2017 Altitude Ball, PSO performs with The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses tour, PCO performs Baroque by Candlelight at St. George’s Cathedral iin partnership with the City of Perth, PSO sells out Unplugged: Nirvana Reimagined at His Majesty’s Theatre, PSO performs at the Innovation Awards and the Pinnacle Awards, PSO collaborates with WAAPA Classical and Contemporary students for Music Under the Stars at ECU Joondalup, PSO performs at Act-Belong-Commit’s ‘Rock Symphony’ for the City of Kwinana, PSO members perform at ‘IGA Christmas Carols’ at Langley Park.|
|2016||PSO Big Band & Strings perform Music @ Murdoch – made possible by a unique partnership between Murdoch University, PSO and the City of Melville, 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, 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, PSO ensembles tour to Karratha, Kalbarri and Perenjori reaching new regional audiences, 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.|
|2015||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, 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, Performed with 2013 X Factor winner – Dami Im – for Foundation Partner AHG’s 2015 Awards for Excellence, finishing with a standing ovation, Perth Chamber Orchestra perform ‘Vivaldi by Candlelight’ at the St. George’s Cathedral – SOLD OUT, PSO’s first Christmas Spectacular: The Snowman – hosted by Scotch College with over 1,700 patrons in attendance.|
|2014||Toured The Music of Queen – an international show featuring the leads from We Will Rock You, performed the 2014 Leeuwin Estate Concerts with Grammy award-winning jazz singer, Diana Krall, launched Perth Symphony Friends program, PCO played ‘Vivaldi by Candlelight’ – Italian music, Italian food, Italian wine – a sold out concert with over 100 on the waiting list.|
|2013||Featured in the City of Joondalup’s Valentine’s Day Concert, launched the inaugural Symphony by the Lake concert – PSO’s signature summer proms concert, launch of Perth Chamber Orchestra (PCO), performed with Opera Australia in South Pacific’s WA Season at Crown Theatre, PCO’s Beethoven, Beer & Bratwurst named in The West Australian’s top 10 events of the year.|
|2012||Performed with Marina Prior & David Hobson for the Leeuwin Estate Concert Series, performed Pecan Summer by Short Black Opera at the State Theatre Centre of WA.|
|2011||PSO launched at Symphony by the Bay, UWA.|