Paul Wright on the Adelaide Guadagnini violin

Concertmaster Paul Wright will perform on the historic Adelaide Guadagnini violin – crafted in 1751 at the upcoming Vivaldi by Candlelight concert this September.

This year’s Vivaldi by Candlelight concert will be even more rich in sound and history as the Adelaide Guadagnini violin crafted by J B Guadagnini in Milan, 1751, will be showcased.

Today, almost 60 years later the Ngeringa Arts Foundation has awarded the precious instrument to acclaimed Baroque violinist and Perth Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Paul Wright.

PSO_2015_sponsorsnights_036The violin made its way to Australia after Carmel Hakendorf was invited to London in the early 1950’s to debut her outstanding talent.  She was discouraged by the poor quality of her violin, so the Music Committee of South Australia fundraised and was able to purchase the Guadagnini at just 1, 750 pounds for Carmel to play.  Today, the violin is worth infinitely more.

We are honoured that Paul has decided to share this remarkable work of art with the Perth Chamber Orchestra in the upcoming performance of Vivaldi by Candlelight, a concert which he not only leads, but is also co-Artistic Director.

Like all instruments, it needs ongoing maintenance. The Guadagnini recently returned home to Italy to be restored, resulting in an outstanding transformation and a much more powerful voice.  We so look forward to hearing the instrument in all its glory, in the amazing acoustics of St. George’s Cathedral, where Perth Chamber Orchestra have taken their ever popular concert for 2016.

For those lucky enough to have snapped up a VIP ticket before they sold out, you will get to experience this beautiful instrument up close and personal,  as Paul gives an exclusive solo performance during the VIP pre-function in the heritage listed Burt Hall, adjacent to the Cathedral.


Tickets are on sale now – click HERE to read more about this spectacular concert experience and to purchase tickets.

Read more about the Adelaide Guadagnini violin HERE.

Perth Symphony welcomes Hawaiian as sponsor of ‘PSO on the Streets’ (#UrbanPSO)

The West Australian property group is well known for its patronage of the arts, and the new relationship between Hawaiian and Perth Symphony marks the start of a partnership aimed at bringing about a musical revolution on the streets of Perth.

The partnership with Hawaiian has given life to an initiative that has long been a pipe dream for Perth Symphony.  ‘Hawaiian Presents: PSO on the Streets’ will bring the suburbs of Perth alive with world-class music, giving Western Australians the joy of experiencing music in the heart of their community.

Chamber ensembles comprising of musicians from each section of the orchestra will appear in Hawaiian owned properties across the metropolitan area over the next 12 months from The Mezz in Mt Hawthorn to Claremont Quarter; from Forrestfield Forum & Marketplace to Carillon City.  Ensembles will be accompanied by PSO Street Team members who will share insights with the community on the local music scene, give away merchandise and share information on the instruments being played.

People will be able to see where and when the ensembles will be appearing by following the hashtag #UrbanPSO.

“The inspiration came from my memories of visiting cities in the UK such as Bath, Oxford, Manchester and London when I was a kid, where you’d find young classical musicians pumping out crazy fast Vivaldi, or stunningly brilliant Mozart on a street corner.  There is something just so exciting seeing brilliant musicians in action where anyone from anywhere can stop and experience that for a moment or longer”.

Perth Symphony Orchestra – Executive Director, Bourby Webster

The partnership was a vital step for the initiative to be able reach the widest possible audience. With eight shopping centres across the metropolitan area and three Perth CBD locations, close to half of Perth’s population falls within the catchment of Hawaiian’s properties.  This enables thousands of people to have access to live performances by Perth Symphony ensembles, many of whom would not have experienced a live music performance before.

“Giving back to the communities we do business in is an integral part of Hawaiian and how we operate. With properties spanning a 20km radius of the CBD, communities can access experiences such as ‘Hawaiian Presents: PSO on the Streets’.  The vibrancy of PSO, we believe, will inspire some to embrace their own and local arts cultures.”

Hawaiian – Director, Kate O’Hara

The performances will commence later in 2015. For news and info, simply keep your eye on #UrbanPSO! We look forward to sharing photos, thoughts, and our music with you!

For more information contact: Caitlin Irving, Publicist


Vivaldi by Candlelight VIP tickets sold out in a week.

Perth Chamber Orchestra’s announced it’s next concert – Vivaldi by Candlelight last week.  Tickets were available to previous donors, Perth Symphony Friends (members) and sponsors during an exclusive pre-booking last week and open to the general public as of midday today (Wednesday 19th August).

Wednesday 30th September
Doors open 6.00pmbook-tickets
Tickets from $85, available HERE

All tickets include small plates of Italian food (by Comestibles) and Barton Jones Wines, designed to complement the music.

In this week we have had an incredible response to the upcoming concert – selling out of all VIP tickets!  The VIP package includes –

– Exclusive pre-concert function
– Solo performance by Concertmaster Paul Wright (during pre-function)
– Talk by Maestra Jessica Gethin
– Dedicated VIP entrance
– Reserved seating in front rows

We are so excited about this response and cannot wait to bring this magnificent concert to life, this year in the iconic St. George’s Cathedral in the heart of Perth.  The Gothic Cathedral will provide the perfect back drop to transport you back to 1600s Venice, while the Perth Chamber Orchestra play the music of Vivaldi and his contemporaries, in the building’s naturally beautiful acoustic.


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!




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…



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.




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!



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.

Leeuwin Concert 2015 - Photo Elements Margaret River-119 Leeuwin Concert Samples - Photo Elements Margaret River-4 Leeuwin Concert 2015 - Photo Elements Margaret River-111 Leeuwin Concert 2015 - Photo Elements Margaret River-70

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


Photo credits: Leeuwin Estate and Elements Margaret River