People of all ages, backgrounds and musical tastes streamed into His Majesty’s Theatre on Friday 2nd August as Perth Symphony took them on a psychedelic trip for their ears. As the audience put on their laser specs, they were transported to the roaring 60s and were embraced with music from one of the greatest rock bands of all time, The Doors.

As the second instalment in the Perth Symphony’s Reimagined series came to an end, the orchestra was met with a full standing ovation with cries asking for more of Justin Burford’s amazing performance, inspired from Jim Morrison.

Thank you to Presenting Partner KPMG for making this concert possible.

Here’s what reviewers are saying:

Karen Sainsbury, Xpress Mag – 8.5/10 stars – Read the full review here.

“The musicians dressed to the theme of the 60s with beehive wigs and knee high boots spotted, a personal favourite being the beatnik tucked away in the back row. The crowd was all set for a psychedelic experience evoking the 60s and a new way of hearing the music of The Doors – and of course the lyricism of Jim Morrison, performed by Justin Burford.

 This experience took us places the original music never did, places that were hiding between the original notes and the dark places inside Jim’s lyrical mind. ”

Leigh Andrew Hill, Out in Perth – 4.5/5 stars – Read the full review here.

“when the lights came on we were immediately engaged with the visual feast of the entire orchestra dressed in a vibrant and eclectic mix of 1960’s attire”

Andrew Thompson, Around the Sound –  Read the full review here.

“The show itself was a riot of sound.  It was kind of like Phil Spector got hold of The Doors’ music back at the peak of his creativity, before guns and crazy wigs were his calling cards, and squeezed every drop of creative goodness out of it.

…Justin Burford inhabits Morrison’s reptilian epidermis so convincingly that, close your eyes for a moment, and you could believe that Jim was still alive.”

Karen Lowe, Amnplify – Read the full review here.

“By Break On Through, people were standing and singing along before giving a standing ovation to Burford and the conductor, Jessica Gethin before they walked off stage. Of course, you knew there was only one song that would (or could) officially end the show – The End and they truly saved the best for last.

Burford walked back on and looked at the audience. “You haven’t left yet?” He asked. “That means we have more work to do.” The arrangement for this one was perfectly melancholy and sombre – exactly what this song calls for.”

The Rockpit Australia – Read the full review here.

“Perth Symphony Orchestra were Rock Stars tonight. After tackling ‘Nirvana’ in their first Re-imagined concert taking on the greatest hits of one of the world’s most-loved bands is something you really do need to experience..”


After receiving nothing but positive and supportive feedback, ‘Women on the Podium’ returns in August!

The initiative originally launched in March this year and encouraged women to become great leaders through providing education in the art of Conducting.
Perth Symphony Chief Conductor, Jessica Gethin heads this second weekend program, which will engage eight participants and as well as a number of observers. Jessica has a wealth of experience and knowledge in the world of conducting, conducting across Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the USA, as well lecturing conducting at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). 

If you’d like to learn more about Perth Symphony Orchestra’s Women on the Podium initiative, check out this video from our first weekend program in March 2019. 

We’d like to thank St. Mary’s Anglican Girl’s School for hosting us once again, to our Women’s Conductors’ Circle and the Minderoo Foundation for proving the funds to make this exciting program a reality.



Recording Peter and the Wolf for West Australian Ballet

We are excited to be in the studio recording Prokofiev’s ‘Peter and the Wolf’ for West Australian Ballet this year!

The story of Peter and the Wolf is one of bravery, innocence and kindness.

For those who aren’t familiar, it is a sweet tale of Peter, whose grandfather warns not to go beyond the garden gate because of lurking wolves. But when he does and a wolf appears, Peter must work with his other animal friends to catch the scary creature!

This work has become Prokofiev’s most popular creation, with over 400 recordings and several films – including an animated Disney Feature.
This specially adapted fairy tale is the perfect way for young children (and their grown-ups!) to discover the magic of ballet. 
Peter and the Wolf will be performed as part of the Awesome Arts Festival in October 2019. 

When: 5th to 11th of October 2019 
Where: Perth Culture Centre
Tickets are free – more information can be found here.

Disclaimer: Information correct at time of publication. Management reserves the right to alter details as this may become necessary.


WOWAK (breathe) is a magical performance, resulting from a collaboration between four Noongar family groups and Perth Symphony Orchestra.

Experience Noongar culture that has resounded throughout Western Australia for thousands of years and experience a new way of the old.

You can expect a beautiful performance of Noongar dance, song, and story, both traditional and contemporary woven together with classical instruments and composition to create a fresh, original evening of song.

WOWAK is composed by Rebecca Erin-Smith and draws on music from the Wadumbah, Middar, Kwarbah Djookian and Koolangka Kreate cultural groups. WOWAK is presented as part of the Fremantle’s Festival’s ’10 Nights in Port’.

When: Sunday, 21st July 2019
Time: 6:00pm
Where: Freo Social
More info and tickets here.

This project is proudly supported by BHP.

Bourby is awarded Western Australian of the Year, Arts & Culture!

Perth Symphony Orchestra (PSO) CEO, Bourby Webster has been celebrated for her contribution to the arts with the Western Australian of the Year Art & Culture award.

The award, which was presented as part of the annual WA Day celebrations, recognises excellence in achievement and contribution to the development, promotion and profiling of arts and culture in WA.

Bourby, founder of the not-for-profit Orchestra, has been a driving force for increasing the accessibility of orchestral music in WA.  Since founding the Orchestra in 2011, PSO has performed to nearly 350,000 people in locations all over the State.

Commenting on her award, the former violist turned business-woman said: “This award is a true honour and is further validation that WA recognises and appreciates the work we do. 

“We work hard to ensure symphonic music is accessible to everyone and that there are exciting opportunities for emerging conductors and young musical talent.

“Music is a force and we see first hand the social and cultural impacts it has on our communities from improved health and wellbeing to increased social interaction and cultural connection.” Bourby added.

“Accolades like this are so valuable.  They help raise profile and with that comes new funding and growth opportunities.  Ultimately we want to nurture the next generation of musicians and continue to increase our reach and impact and the value of classical music across WA.” Bourby said.

PSO was established in 2011 with a mission to delivering world-class musical experiences across Western Australia –  ‘Music for Everyone’.  It is known for supporting the growth of classical music opportunities for young musical talent and for ‘breaking the rules’ through its delivery of creative, immersive and engaging musical programs and events. The Western Australian of the Year awards form part of the annual WA Day celebrations and recognise outstanding contribution to arts and culture, sport, youth, indigenous, business and professions by those born and bred in Western Australia, or those who have chosen to make Western Australia their home.

Reimagined Series Gets a Sequel

Known to be an orchestra that constantly breaks the boundaries and borders of what an orchestra “should” do, Perth Symphony is bringing another smashing and innovative concert to the His Majesty’s Theatre stage.

After the immense success of “UNPLUGGED: Nirvana Reimagined” in 2017 (and an encore in 2018) the next powerful instalment in this series comes in the form of another killer group; The Doors.

They were the counterculture giants of the 60’s and one of the highest selling rock bands of all time, the Doors took the world by storm. This comes as no surprise considering their frontman was the charismatic Jim Morrison: An American Poet.

Taking their name from Aldous Huxley’s mescaline-imbibed book ‘The Doors of Perception‘, from 1967 they released eight albums in five years to become as important and influential as acts such as Janis Joplin, The Jimi Hendrix Experience and even The Beatles.

The Doors have always been of great interest to many of Perth Orchestra’s musicians and staff members, with songs such as ‘Light My Fire‘, ‘LA Woman‘ and ‘Riders Of The Storm‘ how could they not entice you?

KPMG Presents ‘Love Him Madly: The Doors Reimagined’ on Friday August 2nd at His Majesty’s Theatre. Tickets on sale now! Book via His Majesty’s here or on Ticketek here.

Perth Symphony wows the Regal Theatre!

“The shadow of Fascism spreads across Italy as Mimma, a young journalist from Turin, takes refuge at her Uncle Lorenzo’s nightclub in Soho, London. As another World War becomes inevitable, Mimma forges an unassailable friendship with Sarah, an aspiring jazz singer…”

This is just a taste of the compelling storyline that has been hitting the Regal Theatre stage! MIMMA: A Musical of War & Friendship started on April 9th and features 21 of our Perth Symphony musicians.

MIMMA is a Western Australian original musical written by Giles Watson and Ron Siemiginowski. Watson, being the librettist of the show, found his influence through Siemiginowski’s playing of his own Italian Rhumbas and snippets of operatic arias. The variety of genres present within the musical has been noted by many, including Stage Whispers who wrote:

“The music… runs from soaring operatic arias, in Italian, through to smoky jazz, and tap numbers… members of Perth Symphony Orchestra create strong accompaniment to some amazing singers”

Our musicians have been working tirelessly to bring to life the stunning score from Siemiginowski, and it seems their hard work has paid off thus far, with Theatre Travels commenting:

“Perth Symphony Orchestra accompany this show beautifully, and tackle the score’s large variety of dynamics with gusto and unabashed power.”

Don’t miss out on the last few days of this spectacular musical!

When: ENDS 21st April 2019
Where: Regal Theatre
Tickets: Here.

Music and Nature In Perfect Harmony

We at Perth Symphony love this beautiful landscape that we live in. So what better way to celebrate than to create a concert that celebrates WA in all its splendour!?

On Wednesday the 27th of March at Perth Town Hall we will be bringing you a magical concert that will not only entertain, but also educate and enlighten. With pieces chosen that were inspired by nature, decorations of native Australian plants as well as visuals of the landscape to enhance your listening experience.

We are also very fortunate to have special guests such as Julia Relsser (Flourishing Oceans, Minderoo Foundation), Neil Canby (Sunrise Energy Group) and Dr. Bruce Webber (CSIRO and WABSI) just to name a few. These leading experts have been invited to discuss our four themes of the concert; ‘Thriving Oceans‘, ‘Drought Mitigation‘, ‘Renewable Energy‘ and ‘Protecting Biodiversity‘. You’ll also hear some of the initiatives that are currently in place to tackle climate change.

Our Founder and CEO Bourby Webster shared her enthusiasm in having this concert be enhanced by such knowledgable and supportive guests:

“These experts will share their ground-breaking work, give facts, figures and insights into how [WA] is leading the way in [tackling climate change]”

We’re also welcoming sponsors and partners such as Sin Gin, Voyager Estate Winery, Anthologie, Blue Ocean Monitoring and UWA Oceans Institute.

This multi-sensory experience will leave you feeling inspired and awestruck by our beautiful state we call home. We hope to see you there as we celebrate all that is WA.

Date: Wednesday 27th March

Doors: 5:30pm

Concert: 6:30-7:45pm

Where: Perth Town Hall

Tickets: Here

Bourby Webster, A W.A. Finalist!

Our fearless leader, Bourby Webster (Founder & CEO) has been named a finalist in the Telstra Business Womens Awards for 2019! She has been recognised for her tremendous efforts in doing business in Western Australia.

The ‘Purpose and Social Enterprise Award‘ is presented to those women who make a positive contribution to the world around them, from environmental issues to social change. As Perth Symphony Orchestra is not-for-profit organisation, this makes Bourby eligible for this outstanding award.

This is a massive honour and we could not be more proud to call Bourby our boss!

Read more about the Telstra Business Womens Award here.

“Inclusive, Incredible, Immersive Theatre!”

Saturday the 23rd of February 2019 saw the closing night of one of Perth Festival’s most unique theatre experiences; “The Nature Of Why“. A select few of our string players took part in this stunning display of dance, music and audience interaction. The reaction from the public was outstanding, with several reviews giving it a 5/5 score! said:

The Nature Of Why… [is] an event that is so incredibly you truly have to experience it to appreciate the true magnitude of its beauty”

The performance opened in the State Theatre Centre on Thursday the 21st of February. The unique energy created between the musicians, dancers and audience members was electric as the instruments were moved about, dancers turned themselves into chairs for violinists and audience members were integrated into the choreography.

Perth Symphony loved collaborating with the British Paraorchestra as well as conductor Charles Hazelwood and choreographer Caroline Bowditch

See reviews from, Isolated Nation and Witness Performance.