Perth Symphony praised in Pecan Summer Opening Night

Last night, Perth Symphony Orchestra members performed for the opening night of the WA Season of Pecan Summer, the remarkable history-making opera created and sung by Indigenous Opera Star, Deborah Cheetham, this coming September at the WA State Theatre Centre.

Twenty four of Perth Symphony’s leading musicians squeezed into the State Theatre pit, moving from their rehearsal base at Scotch College, the home of the Perth Symphony orchestra. The Perth Symphony Orchestra was the first symphony orchestra to perform in the pit of the Heath Ledger Theatre.

There was not a dry eye in the house for the opening night, with the poignant, sometimes funny, many times harrowing, performance taking place on stage above the orchestra’s head. Deborah praised the orchestra in her speech at the post-performance VIP function, “we could not have done this without the talent and hard work of the Perth Symphony Orchestra and their management”, Cheetham said.

Perth Symphony Director, Bourby Webster, is particularly proud of the orchestra’s performance, “there is not one bar, in one part, where someone can take a moment to relax. The score is stunning yet complex with every instrument taking almost a solo role,” she said. “The orchestra performed superbly for the Opening Night and I am looking forward to hearing the orchestra perform for the rest of the season as their empathy with the music grows with familiarity.”

Pecan Summer tells the powerful story of children who were taken, the exodus of the Yorta Yorta people from their homeland and the inevitable and unending quest for belonging.

Sixty thousand years of Yorta Yorta history.  70 years of dispossession. The summer of 1939 will change the lives of the people of Cummeragunja forever.

Alice is nine years old. Her family is her entire world. Alice’s world is about to be torn apart.

Pecan Summer is an opera for the 21st century, a contemporary opera for Indigenous Australians, a story for all Australians. With only two shows remaining, this is a stunning piece of opera that anyone and everyone will enjoy and be touched by. Tickets from BOCS Ticketing or available from the Box Office before the show.

Performance starts at 7.30pm tonight and tomorrow, 7th and 8th September.

About Deborah Cheetham

Deborah Cheetham, Yorta Yorta woman, Soprano, composer and playwright, made her international debut in 1997. Since that time Ms Cheetham has performed in the theatres and concert halls of the USA, Europe, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and throughout Australia.

In June 2003 Ms Cheetham was presented with the Centenary Medal, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the arts in Australia. In 2010 Ms Cheetham was a finalist for Australian of the year in Victoria.

In April 2007 Ms Cheetham was awarded a prestigious two-year fellowship by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts board of the Australian Council for the Arts. With the support of this fellowship Ms Cheetham created Australia’s first Indigenous opera, Pecan Summer.

The success of Pecan Summer and a strong desire to create a pathway for Indigenous singers in the world of opera, led Ms Cheetham to create Short Black Opera Company, a national not-for-profit opera organization devoted to providing education, training, guidance, and performance opportunities to Indigenous singers who wish to pursue a career in the demanding world of classical vocal music. Short Black Opera Company is devoted to uncovering and encouraging new talent within the Indigenous community.

To read more about the story of Pecan Summer, visit WA Today.

The Perth Symphony Orchestra’s Facebook Page hosted a competition to win a double pass to see Pecan Summer. The competition gathered much interest but unfortunately there could be only one winner- Annalee Stearne won the double pass and will be going on September 7th, for the opening night.

For tickets call BOCS ticketing on +61 8 9484 1133 or visit

Winner of PSO’s Inaugural WA Composer’s Competition announced

olivia davies composer

We are proud to announce the winner of the Perth Symphony Orchestra Inaugural WA Composer’s Competition!

Olivia Davies (pictured), 25, a current composition student of University of Western Australia, won us over with her piece ‘Ferchensee’ about the lakes and mountains in southern Germany.

Conductor Jessica Gethin and Perth Symphony Orchestra will work with Olivia in the run up to the premier of her work at Symphony by the Lake, 8th March 2014.

Thank you to all composers who applied this year. The standard of work was truly remarkable, and sets the standard for more activity of this nature for WA composers and musicians.

Perth Symphony Orchestra to join Diana Krall at 30th Leeuwin Concert Series!

With Special Guest JAMES MORRISON
15 & 16 February 2014

Perth Symphony Orchestra returns to Leeuwin Estate in 2014 following their successful performance in 2012 with David Hobson and Marina Prior to join Canadian jazz pianist and contralto singer Diana Krall and jazz trumpet maestro James Morrison onstage for the 30th Leeuwin Estate concert series at the Margaret River winery on February 15 and 16.


The recipient of two Grammy Awards and eight Juno Awards, Diana Krall has sold more than 15 million albums worldwide. She has also earned nine gold, three platinum, and seven multi-platinum albums. Billboard magazine named her the second Jazz artist of the 2000-09 decade and she is the only jazz singer to have eight albums debuting at the top of the Billboard Jazz Albums Chart. Acclaimed for her contralto vocals and remarkable piano playing, Diana Krall’s concert performances receive outstanding reviews.

POST CONCERT ARENA PARTY: Australian trumpeter and Jazz virtuoso, James Morrison, will perform as a special guest and his post concert “Motown Revisited” show promises to keep guests in the main arena dancing until late.



Diana Krall – Boy from Ipanema (Live in Rio)
Diana Krall – So Nice (Live in Rio)

Perth Symphony Orchestra launch West Australia Composer’s Competition 2014!

The Perth Symphony Orchestra is thrilled to launch the inaugural WA Composer’s Competition for 2014.

We are committed to supporting local talent and endeavour to program a contemporary West Australian composition in each concert where and when possible. We are passionate about nurturing the musical careers of young composers in West Australia and aim to provide a platform for them to have their works performed at every opportunity.

All West Australian residents and/or composers currently studying in West Australia are eligible; no age limit or pre-requisite study required.

The winning composition will be performed and audio recorded by the Perth Symphony Orchestra at ‘Symphony by the Lake’ on March 8th 2014. Compositions will be judged by a panel comprising of both orchestral musicians and composers, and all decisions are final. The successful applicant will be notified by email and announced at Perth Chamber Orchestra’s ‘Beer, Bratwurst and Beethoven’ Concert on Tuesday 10th December 2013.

Click here to download the PSO Composer Comp Eligibility, Guidelines and Application Form (PDF).

For more information please email Bourby Webster.

Justin Burford joins PSO

justin burford

Justin Burford will be one of several incredible WA-based artists to perform at the 2014 Perth Symphony Summer Proms Concert: Symphony by the Lake. Justin recently joined the strings from Perth Symphony at a family concert for the Town of Claremont performing hits by INXS, Lou Reed and John Lennon. Whilst discussions are still taking place to decide which songs Justin will front at the concert, our money is on Lennon’s “Imagine” after the reception he received at the strings concert. We will be sure to announce his chosen song very soon so BOOK NOW to secure tickets to hear Justin in action with the Perth Symphony Orchestra!

About Justin

Over the past 10 years, Justin has carved out a legacy for himself, releasing three records, earning platinum sales and receiving a multitude of awards including two ARIAs.

More recently, Justin has turned his eye to acting and played the lead role of Drew in the Australian production of the Broadway smash-hit musical, Rock Of Ages, for which he was nominated for a Helpmann Award. The Age described Justin’s singing voice as akin to “honey with gravel in it” and his performance received a five star rating in their review.0030_JustinBurford_H1048_small-199x300

In 2012, Justin wrote and performed in his own show KURT that was premiered at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. The show was a smashing success, playing two sold out nights and receiving consistently glowing reviews. 2012 also saw Justin moving over into the field of screen acting; landing the lead roles in three short films before writing and performing in his own black comedy short, See You Next Wednesday, due for completion 2013.

This year will also see the completion of Justin’s first feature film. Justin won the lead role of Jesse Milton in the locally produced supernatural thriller, Foreshadow. He has also made an impact with his guest appearances on up coming web series productions, The Legend Of Gavin Tanner and Super Dingo 2.0 as the delightfully villainous, light sabre swinging Garth Roth.

In his rare stints of down time, Justin enjoys the arts and is currently working on a series of paintings for his own show. Music however, will always be a passion for Justin and he can still be found performing solo acoustic shows at local venues with an eclectic mix of his well known originals and favourite covers.

Symphony by the Lake 2014 returns!

Symphony by the Lake is back! And it promises to be yet another remarkable evening of orchestral music on an epic scale. This signature gala concert will showcase the exciting Perth Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Jessica Gethin in full force joined by many special guest artists including singer Justin Burford, and soprano, Amy Manford.

Book now to secure your tickets!

Family, Group, VIP and U18 tickets available. Children under 5 years are FREE.

Guest Concertmaster Semyon Kobets will lead the orchestra and feature as a soloist in the emotional theme from the film, Schindler’s List, in a program that covers the entire spectrum from classical to rock, film to jazz. Over 120 musicians will grace the stage and we are again joined by the combined Scotch College / PLC choir and the incredible Scotch College Pipe Band who will perform the theme from the film “Last of the Mohicans” with the orchestra.

Enjoy a massive programme of works including Prokofiev’s Festive Overture, ‘Tonight’ from West Side Story featuring soloists Amy Manford and Jay Weston, the film themes from Harry Potter, Last of the Mohicans and Schindler’s List as well as contemporary numbers such as ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ by INXS performed by End of Fashion front man, Justin Burford. The stunning vocal talents of Idol finalist, Lizé Heerman, will be on show with ‘Don’t Cry for me Argentina’ as will the compositional skills of young WA Composer, Olivia Davies, who won our Composer Competition to have a work performed by the PSO.

The concert, presented by Foundation Partner of the PSO, AHG, and hosted by Scotch College will again be held on Scotch College Playing fields but has been relocated to the far end of the area so the stage will now have the stunning backdrop of the lake and the trees that surround it. Whilst food and beverage options are available, patrons are encouraged to bring a picnic and bottle of wine, round up friends, family, clients and colleagues and bring a group for a night of magic created by the Perth Symphony.

The gates open at 5pm and we are delighted to welcome Scotch College Jazz again to welcome picnickers as they arrive. The Perth Symphony Orchestra takes to the stage at 7pm and the concert is expected to conclude at 9.30pm.

* Limited parking is available on site for a $2 donation to Rotary of Crawley. Please ensure you read the terms and conditions on the Try Booking site to ensure we meet your expectations.

The concert is made possible through the support of our Event Partners:

Presenting Partner: AHG | Hosting Partner: Scotch College | Event Partner: St. George Bank | Community Partner: Town of Claremont

Sponsorship and corporate packages are available. Please email Concert Director, Bourby Webster, for more information.

Perth Chamber Orchestra’s Vivaldi reviewed

The new Perth Chamber Orchestra has excelled again. After the inaugural concert where reviewer Neville Cohn from The West Australian stated “Make every effort to listen to the Perth Chamber Orchestra at its next gig. It’s too good to miss”, the second concert drew the following praise from ArtsHub reviewer Carol Flavell Neist, “Already the cognoscenti are comparing Perth Chamber Orchestra, launched only months ago, to some of the world’s best ensembles.”

To read the full review from the PCO’s sold out Vivaldi by Candlelight on the ArtsHub website, click HERE or read it: 130925 Vivaldi Artshub Review


Scotch College the official home of PSO!

Scotch College, located in Swanbourne, is now the official home of the Perth Symphony Orchestra.

The School – one of Australia’s leading Schools for boys – is partnering with the orchestra, and will be providing rehearsal facilities and equipment from stands to percussion for the Orchestra to use in preparation for a number of concerts.

LOGO-Scotch_colour_PRINTMusic is an integral part of the curriculum at Scotch College, with over 600 boys learning an instrument each week. Students are also encouraged to form ensembles – over 20 rehearse each week, and guided by skilled music educators, the boys perform throughout the year at many formal School concerts, official functions and weekly School assemblies, often travelling as far as the Eastern States to participate in other external festivals, competitions and community events. To enhance the balanced nature of musical endeavours, strong links have been fostered with Presbyterian Ladies’ College (PLC) to enable both Music departments to develop several combined large ensembles.

Notable Scotch College Alumni include Iain Grandage, Ashley Arbuckle, Pendulum (Rob Swire-Thomson, Gareth Williams), Charles Mellor, Oliver Cuneo, Robert Gladstones, Andrew Raymond, Tom Woods, Nicholas Woodend, Burke Turner, and Brian Hanly.

As time progresses, it is hoped that the boys from the School will benefit from the orchestra rehearsing on school grounds, as they will be able to sit in on many rehearsals and potentially follow scores and meet with players, giving them the opportunity to gain tips, tricks and valuable knowledge from professional musicians.

Beethoven, Beer & Bratwurst

Doors at 6pm. 6.30pm Tuesday 10th December
B Shed, Victoria Quay, Fremantle

If you like your Beethoven full of bravado and brilliance, then this next offering from the remarkable new Perth Chamber Orchestra will surpass all your expectations. Join this new, exciting and dynamic orchestra playing Beethoven’s memorable 7th Symphony the way it should be played in a format as powerful and robust as the music. It promises to be amazing, so BOOK NOW!

Beethoven, Beer and Bratwurst brings alive this famous composer’s 7th Symphony almost exactly 200 years to the day from when it was first performed in an historic setting, the B-Shed in Fremantle Port on the edge of the harbour.

Under the Director of Conductor Jessica Gethin and led by PCO’s esteemed Concertmaster, Paul Wright, the orchestra will perform the complete 7th Symphony along with other exciting works from the Chamber Orchestra repertoire accompanied by Beers and Bratwurst giving audience members a truly authentic Germanic experience that brings Beethoven to life.

As with all Perth Chamber Orchestra concerts, the music is just the beginning so expect some wonderful surprises and a unique concert experience like no other.

Catch the train to the end of the line in Fremantle, and enjoy some remarkable music to transport you away from the pre-Christmas mayhem with one of the world’s most loved symphonies played by one of Australia’s most exciting orchestras.

The concert is again supported by event partner St. George Bank, food design by Comestibles and with wine for those who prefer wine to beer from Barton Jones.

B Shed
Peter Hughes Drive
Victoria Quay Waterfront
Fremantle, WA 6160

CONTACT PCO Director: Bourby Webster +61 407 816 614

AHG and PSO celebrate ONE YEAR in partnership: Special Offer

Perth Symphony Orchestra and AHG are celebrating one year in partnership together, bringing the magic of the symphony orchestra to Western Australian families far and wide.

AHG-Logo-Foundation-Partner-small-300x133AHG and PSO want our followers, supporters, families and friends to share our one year anniversary, and as a result, AHG is offering supporters of PSO special rates on all makes and models, new and used, across the entire range (which spans a huge range of cars, vans, trucks and even bikes).

There is a dedicated AHG representative to point those in the market for a new (or used) car in the right direction: please contact Dealer Principal, Andy Diamantis on 08 9273 2777 or email: .

Andy is based at Subaru Osborne Park but will point Perth Symphony followers to the dealership of choice, and ensure that everyone is looked after.

Please ensure you say you’re a fan of the Perth Symphony Orchestra when contacting Andy. We look forward to seeing many people celebrate with us as they drive around Perth in their new AHG car!

Perth Symphony Orchestra thanks AHG for their continued support making so much possible.