Unplugged: Nirvana Reimagined Teaser Announced

We are excited to announce a concert coming soon! Unplugged: Nirvana Reimagined.

Kurt Cobain: spokesman for a generation. Nirvana: flagship band of Generation X. No one flinches when you say it.

In the year Kurt would have turned 50, Perth Symphony Orchestra presents a concert event unlike anything seen before in WA. Or anywhere, for that matter.

This isn’t Nirvana with strings. Prepare to witness a fully-fledged orchestra in bloom, transformed for one night into a raging rock beast.

Already regarded as “the orchestra that breaks rules” for their radical reinterpretations of everything from Beethoven to WA’s greatest ever songs at RTRFM and the WA Museum’s flagship event A Moment in Time, Unplugged: Nirvana Reimagined will take orchestral sounds to some heavy, heavy places.

Using Nirvana’s legendary MTV Unplugged in New York as inspiration, which took place just five-months before Kurt’s untimely death in 1994, PSO will take songs from the concert and from throughout Nirvana’s discography and blow them up.

Imagine About a Girl and Where Did You Sleep Last Night backed by a wall of sound big enough to match the angst in the songs. Picture Smells Like Teen Spirit and Lithium pushing the year punk, alternative and grunge broke through, 1991, into the stratosphere.

Unplugged: Nirvana Reimagined will not only take you back there, it will remind you of music, culture and a generation changing forever.

Joining PSO is award-winning songwriter and the veteran of sold out Nirvana reinterpretations from Melbourne to Perth, Justin Burford. Fresh from a return tour with End of Fashion, one of the greatest voices WA has ever produced will lead the concert alongside conductor Jessica Gethin, and no one nails Kurt quite like him.

Burford and PSO have bandied together to reveal their most ambitious show ever. This is a dream event for the artists and Nirvana fans alike, and it is fitting that it will be one of the first concerts to take place at the Crown Pyramid, a new venue within the Crown Complex – a venue big enough to capture the hopes and dreams of a generation.

More information coming soon, get excited!

Chief Conductor Jessica Gethin awarded Churchill Fellowship

Congratulations to our Chief Conductor Jessica Gethin, who was recently awarded a 2016 Churchill Fellowship for ‘Performance Excellence in Classical Music’ sponsored by Mr and Mrs Gerald Frank New. Jessica will be travelling to the United Kingdom and United States over the coming year, to gain further insight into the creative and directive roles of the conductor in some of the major established arts organisations across the globe, including The Met, Covent Garden, New York Philharmonic and London Symphony Orchestra.

“I’m really looking forward to gaining a more global perspective into the role of a conductor in different houses and halls, bringing my new experiences back to Australia in my work with orchestras such as Perth Symphony, as well encouraging other young Australian conductors across a variety of genres to further develop their skills on podiums within Australia’. Jessica also thanked her mentors for the project, Brad Cohen (WA Opera), Paul Wright (PSO Concertmaster), Bourby Webster (PSO Director) and Andrew Tait (Churchill Fellow mentor) for their support and advice. ‘Mentors in this industry are essential, people who can help you with career direction, motivate you artistically and provide advice. I’m very appreciate of the time Brad, Paul and Bourby have given me as well as Andrew who as a previous Fellow, will be providing practical support as I undertake the Fellowship in the coming year.”

We wish Jessica all the best on her travels, and we are excited to see what the fellowship will bring for her! You can find out more about the 2016 Churchill Fellowship here.

WAAPA Gospel Choir collaborate with PSO

For our upcoming concert Faith & Freedom: The Music of George Michael, we are excited to be collaborating with the remarkable WAAPA Gospel Choir, led by Matt Allen, Head of Contemporary Voice at WAAPA. The evening showcases WA’s incredible talent brought together for the first time in concert. Joining Matt will be members of the Gospel Choir for duets that saw George perform with the likes of Aretha Franklin and Elton John – be prepared for voices that will blow you away.

PSO was delighted to welcome WAAPA as a Performance Partner of the orchestra in December 2016. The announcement followed the signing of an MOU with the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts at ECU, marking the start of a strategic partnership that promises to bring significant benefits to both organisations.

You can find out more about the show here, and buy tickets here!

Music @ Murdoch returns in 2017!

We are pleased to announce the return of Music @ Murdoch for 2017! On Sunday 19th February, join us as we take you on a journey through musical theatre, film classics and rock hits in the beautiful surrounds of Bush Court in Murdoch University.

This concert is made possible thanks to Murdoch University, Perth Symphony Orchestra, the City of Melville and support from Gold Partner AHG and Concert Partner Hawaiian.

Last year, over 3000 tickets were snapped up by keen concert goers in under 48 hours for the Music @ Murdoch début concert. Tickets will be made available for this year’s concert at 9am on February 1, via the Perth Symphony Orchestra event page and Facebook event.

General admission is free, and Premium tickets are also available for $50 (includes open seating in reserved seating area, a chair and invitation to a pre-function).

Perth Symphony will be joined by soloists Jay Weston, Emma Pettermerides and Justin Burford.  For more information, see the Music @ Murdoch event page.

WAAPA and PSO sign MOU as Performance Partners

(Above: WAAPA Graduate, Sophie Foster, on stage with PSO Big Band and Strings and The Dance Collective at Music @ Murdoch 2016)

Perth Symphony Orchestra (PSO) is delighted to welcome WAAPA as a Performance Partner of the orchestra. The announcement follows the signing of an MOU with the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts at ECU, marking the start of a strategic partnership that promises to bring significant benefits to both organisations.

In the five years since Perth Symphony Orchestra’s inception, numerous alumni from WAAPA have been engaged by PSO and their talent showcased to a wider audience. PSO’s Executive Director, Bourby Webster, and Chief Conductor, Jessica Gethin, are both currently engaged by WAAPA as teaching staff, offering courses in Business Skills for Musicians and Conducting respectively. Jessica is also a graduate of WAAPA.

“We have a core value of showcasing outstanding WA talent, and many of our orchestra members are WAAPA alumni,” said Webster. “We engage a range of talent from across all genres and WAAPA has a track record of producing leading musicians across classical, jazz and contemporary music streams. Closer collaboration with WAAPA aligns perfectly with our desire to deliver outstanding orchestral concerts that are exciting, diverse and draw on emerging talent as well as WA’s leading professional musicians.”

As well as working with both alumni and current teaching staff, PSO is keen to offer students unique opportunities such as performing orchestral works by student composers or inviting students to perform as a soloist with PSO.

The MOU, which commenced on the 1st December 2016, is initially for a three-year term. The agreement outlines a commitment by both organisations to explore collaborations across all activities; offer outstanding current students opportunities to perform at a professional level; championing each other as leading performance organisations in WA; sharing each other’s events and productions; and exploring ways to innovate, create and promote excellence in music.

Director of WAAPA, Professor Julie Warn, welcomes this new partnership.

“This memorandum of understanding is very exciting for us – it opens up further performance opportunities to our music students as well as exposing them to some of WA’s best professional players.”


PSO welcomes exciting new Sustainability Partners

PSO is incredibly excited to announce the Minderoo Foundation and Tim Roberts Giving are Perth Symphony Orchestra’s new Sustainability Partners, in a relationship that commenced on December 1st, 2016.

“The support provided by these two Foundations is a significant step in the orchestra’s journey,” said Bourby Webster, Executive Director of Perth Symphony Orchestra.

PSO Board Member, businessman and philanthropist, Tim Roberts, along with high profile philanthropists, Andrew and Nicola Forrest, are supporting the orchestra with a contribution of $100,000 a year for two years, with part proceeds going towards the orchestra’s core operating costs and part going to the Orchestra’s Fund that is being held as a reserve to ensure the Orchestra’s long term future.

Tim Roberts stated “I have admired the vision of Perth Symphony Orchestra to ensure ‘Music for Everyone’ since meeting Bourby and hearing the musicians perform. Assisting the orchestra at this critical time in the orchestra’s journey is essential and I am delighted to be able to contribute in partnership with Nicola and Andrew, and am proud of what the orchestra has so far achieved, and excited in regards to the future.”

“Thanks to the generous support of Andrew and Nicola Forrest and Tim Roberts in contributing towards the orchestra’s operating costs, Perth Symphony Orchestra has a chance to re-invest funds previously used for administration into growing the orchestra,” said Webster. “We now have the chance to increase the level of activity to a critical point where we can be more self-sustaining. This contribution is helping us help ourselves.”

Minderoo Foundation has long been committed to helping organisations and causes become sustainable in the long term through their philosophy of giving a helping hand-up, rather than a hand-out.

“We are delighted to support a young cultural organisation that is committed to showcasing outstanding WA talent,” said Minderoo Foundation CEO, Nicola Forrest.

“The Perth Symphony’s mission of ‘music for everyone’ aligns with Minderoo’s goal to nurture new talent and ensure greater access to the arts across the community. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for PSO,” she said.

To learn more about the remarkable work of the Minderoo Foundation, visit their website.


Perth Symphony Orchestra re-signs The West Australian

wan_stacked_cmykPerth Symphony’s Exclusive Media Partner, The West Australian Newspaper, has offered PSO a partnership for a year, commencing December 1, 2016, effectively renewing the relationship between the orchestra and the State’s daily newspaper that commenced on July 1, 2015.

The West Australian provides contra advertising space to support the orchestra and our program of events and activities. This is in addition to supporting through editorial wherever possible, assisting PSO in sharing important news with a wide audience.

“As a media channel with significant reach, The West Australian is an important partner for the Orchestra,” said Bourby Webster, Executive Director of the PSO. “Whilst assisting us in with advertising, which we hope triggers more ticket sales, we are also aware that advertising through The West raises our profile and communicates who we are and what we do, both critical when building a new orchestra with a brand we wish to be synonymous with incredible orchestral music,” she said.

pso-27th-julyThe initial sponsorship term offered PSO the opportunity to run a brilliant campaign sharing stories about the orchestra and our members, that created interest and awareness.

“Look out for some of our concerts advertised through the paper, with the eye catching designs we have created by our brilliant creative agency, Anthologie,” said Webster. “We look forward to working with the team at The West for another year.”

Beethoven, Beer, Bratwurst (…& Björk) program announce

We are delighted to announce the program for the Perth Chamber Orchestra’s next instalment: Beethoven, Beer, Bratwurst (…& Björk!).  This program was thoughtfully put together by Co-Artistic Directors Jessica Gethin and Paul Wright, and Perth Symphony Director Bourby Webster.  We know you will enjoy this diverse program, with something sure to inspire and ignite everyone’s love of music.

Boccherini – Nights of Madrid
S Tinnion – Remembrance
Björk arr. J Yapp – Lionsong/Pneumonia (soloist: Helen Shanahan)
Beethoven –Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61, Rondo (soloist: Paul Wright)


Beethoven – Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 36

Perth Symphony has incorporated the works of two young, local composers in this program. Perth Chamber Orchestra will be performing the world premiere of ‘Remembrance‘ by 24-year-old Sean Tinnion. This beautiful work was written ‘for those mourning the loss of a loved one’ and features harp and choir.

This will be followed by an arrangement of two Björk songs, cleverly orchestrated by 24-year-old Jared Yapp, specifically for PCO and local songstress Helen Shanahan who’s Björk-esque voice will sure to be a show stopper.

“The opportunity to collaborate with talented local artists is central to the orchestra’s vision of embracing local culture, creating their own unique sound alongside works from the great masters.”
Jessica Gethin, Chief Conductor and Artist Director

For the Beethoven connoisseurs, the sounds of stellar concertmaster Paul Wright’s Adelaide 1751 Guadagnini violin (kindly on load from the Ngeringa Arts Foundation) will be displayed in the final movement from Beethoven’s Concerto, followed by the highlight of the concert; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 in D major.

There really is something for everyone in this program, true to Perth Symphony’s motto ‘music for everyone’. Tickets are still available, you won’t want to miss this fantastic concert.

More information and tickets herebook-tickets




PSO on the road!

A Perth Symphony quartet has been on the road with tour manager Tav White visiting Kalbarri for Zest Festival and Perenjori for Blues for the Bush. The quartet, led by Margaret Blades, with Andrea Mendham, Katie McKay and Catherine Tabi have been having a blast enjoying the warmth of WA’s north, seeing the wildflowers along the way and performing for the locals.

Zest Festival saw them perform under the stars and magnificent Bluff’s Point, in a masquerade themed opening party.  The itinerary for Blues for the Bush includes a range of performances, workshops and collaborations with locals and other festival guests.

Follow us on instagram (@PerthSymphony) to see fun behind the scenes pictures and surprise moments with the quartet!

pso-kalbarri perenjori-primary-school

Bach program announced

As preparations are coming together ahead of the next in the Perth Chamber Orchestra’s candlelight ‘Heritage Series’ concerts, we are delighted to reveal the final program.

“While musical excellence in each piece is essential, the overall concert blend of repertoire takes each audience member on a journey. For this concert, we have chosen to feature some of Bach’s most famous works alongside contrasting repertoire that will compliment, highlight and intrigue. We are very excited about collaborating with legendary jazz saxophonist Jamie Oehlers, alongside the Bach greats of Brandenburgs and a movement from his famous Concerto for Two Violins.”
– Jessica Gethin, Co-Artistic Director

J.S. Bach: Toccata & Fugue
J.S. Bach: Brandenburg No. 4 Allegro
J.S. Bach: Concert for Two Violins BMW1043 Largo

J.S. Bach: Prelude for Cello in D minor
J.S. Bach: Ebarme
W.F. Bach: Sinfonia Adagio Allegro e forte

J.S. Bach: Air on a G String
J.S. Bach: Brandenburg No. 3 Allegro – Adagio – Allegro

“Audiences play a key part in our programming for each concert and I believe this concert will be extremely engaging for both experienced Bach lovers and our very welcome Bach newcomers.”
– Jessica Gethin, Co-Artistic Director

Comestibles have put together a delicious menu and together with Barton Jones Wines, we will trick your taste buds into believing you truly are in Bavaria!

General Admission tickets are still available, with premium reserve tickets sold out.  Book your tickets here.

Join us for our first exploration into the music of J.S. Bach, and expect a few Bach inspired surprises along the way.