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 hangars! 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.
Jessica Gethin was our Chief Conductor from 2011 – 2019. Born and residing here in WA, she is in regular demand throughout Australia and Asia, and performs 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.