Seasons Greetings from Perth Symphony

“Well, what a year it has been!
It’s hard to believe that six months ago it looked as though we wouldn’t have the opportunity to play again this year, but instead we finished the year strong with two spectacular stadium concerts, a regional tour with Phil Wally-Stack, a candlelight concert at Perth Concert Hall, the launch of a new show S.T.R.I.N.G.S in Karratha, a number of community Christmas Carols concerts as well as countless PSO duos, trios and quartets playing across Perth throughout November and December. After an incredible debut performance at Telethon in October, I’m thrilled that INNEKA, our newest electric string quartet is in high demand.

Even when we weren’t able to play, PSO continued to develop and deliver important programs. We created a new program for Aged Care facilities through a partnership with Brightwater Care Group and our Women on the Podium program continued through COVID-19 with a series of international faculty workshops conducted over Zoom. I am proud to have had four of our 2020 members take the podium for their debut this year, Elise Chong for Bowie, Jen Winley for Eurythmics, Kate Milligan for Claremont Christmas Carols and Kate McNamara with WA Ballet. These programs are so important to me and really epitomise Perth Symphony.

And in between all of that, we have grown so much we have moved! Our team now includes two new senior staff, Georgina Harvey in Brand and Development and Nicky Sudmeyer in Finance and Operations. You can find us down the road at 525 Stirling Highway. Thank you to Tim Roberts Giving for providing us with our new space. Our musicians also found a new home this year at MLC, who has been so gracious in welcoming us to share their incredible music space.

We could not have finished 2020 in such a strong, positive position if not for our wonderful supporters. Thank you to our donors and sponsors for sticking with us through the year and continuing to believe in our vision of Music for Everyone.

I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the additional support we have received from State and Federal Governments. These financial boosts have made it possible for us to play in front of record crowds and as we look towards 2021, I am committed to working with the government to ensure this support continues to aid recovery for the Arts.

And finally to team PSO, who has weathered the storm this year with me and to our musicians, for never losing faith. I am so excited for what is to come in 2021 and look forward to sharing our program with you all soon. Already, February is packed with large-scale community events, Sound and Waves has been rescheduled for March and we are embarking on our first co-presented stage production with CHESS: The Musical in June.

If 2020 has taught us nothing else, it is the importance of community and I look forward to creating music to connect and inspire us all.

Merry Christmas everyone” – Bourby

CHESS THE MUSICAL officially on sale!

The wait is over, CHESS THE MUSICAL tickets are up for grabs!

CHESS THE MUSICAL will feature a special twenty-five piece West-End orchestration of the score which promises to be one of the theatrical highlights of 2021.

With music by Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus (ABBA), and lyrics and story by Tim Rice (The Lion KingEVITA); CHESS THE MUSICAL is arguably one of the most powerful and impactful rock-opera scores ever heard on the musical theatre stage.

WHEN: Saturday 5th June, 2021
WHERE: Perth Concert Hall

Perth Symphony performs Love Actually in Concert!

Perth’s ramping up the Christmas cheer this holiday season with a very special presentation of the world’s most beloved seasonal feel-good film, Love Actually. But it’s a presentation with bells on—the Perth Symphony Orchestra will perform the soundtrack live-to-picture at HBF Stadium on 19 December 2020.🎄
Now the ultimate rom-com is transformed into the ultimate way to celebrate the silly season with a magical night that combines the film favourite projected on a huge screen with an extraordinary live music experience.

Perth audiences will experience the film in a whole new way as BAFTA award-winning Craig Armstrong’s evocative score reaches new heights. Perth local, Craig Dalton will conduct the Perth Symphony Orchestra live, filling the stadium with song. It’s the perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit with loved ones, friends and family.

Due to popular demand, there are now two sessions available on the 19th of December.

  • Session 1:  3.30pm
  • Session 2:  7.30pm

Both sessions have premium early bird discounts, so get in quick while you can!

PSO is not the promoter for this event. For ticket enquiries, please contact Ticketmaster or for venue details, contact HBF Stadium 

Sweet Dreaming: Eurythmics Reimagined singers and specials guests announced!

Are you ready to hear the three voices each representing different eras in the unparalleled career of Annie Lennox?
Our Sweet Dreaming: Eurythmics Reimagined concert welcomes to the stage,

🔥 Freddie Mai
⚡ Sabrina Davies
✨Ali Bodycoat

PLUS, Perth Symphony welcomes a new face to the conductor’s baton, Jen Winley!
As well as PSO’s own INNEKA, the act that took Telethon by storm, play a special featured set.

Have you got tickets to this amazing concert yet?

Mozart by Candlelight increased capacity!

If you missed out, now is your chance!
After officially reaching ‘sold out’ last Friday, excellent new seats are now available due to the government’s relaxing of restrictions this week! With less than two weeks until for PSO’s acclaimed Mozart by Candlelight, now everyone can experience the magic of real candles flickering against the backdrop of Perth Concert Hall’s plush red velvet seats, surrounding the musicians in a softly lit aura.

From Mozart to Muhly, this mix of the classical and contemporary (largely influenced by hit Amazon Prime TV show Mozart in the Jungle) promises a night unlike any other in 2020.

For more information about this event visit, here.

Perth Symphony’s home base!

We’re excited to announce our unique partnership that gives us permanent home at MLC!
The partnership formed from a shared commitment to making music accessible to all, to further excellence and opportunity in music, women in the Arts and to build awareness and capacity in the myriad careers in the arts that scaffold the success of every arts organisation.

Perth Symphony’s CEO, Bourby Webster said that PSO could not be more exited to commence a partnership with MLC, coming at a time of transition and growth for the orchestra. The College’s commitment to music is exemplary, and for the orchestra, it is extremely important to be embedded in the community, working with young people, and having a commitment to excellence – MLC embodies these values too.

Ms Webster said: “Several of our musicians are former MLC students and have come through the MLC music program. We were particularly excited to host our acclaimed ‘Women on the Podium’ program at the school during August of this year and have some MLC musicians in attendance. The program assists in developing female conductors, a rarity in the world of orchestras, giving them access to international faculty so to be able to inspire girls whilst still at school is just fantastic.

MLC’s Principal Dr Marie Perry said that the College was honoured to provide a home for the Perth Symphony Orchestra, and that its MLC and PSO’s shared objectives that make this much more than the College being a ‘space for hire’.

Dr Perry said: “MLC’s internationally renowned music program and its commitment to growing skills in musicians through performance, and PSOs mission to make music ‘for everyone and accessible to everyone’ really makes our partnership vibrant, genuine and progressive.

Tickets to Sweet Dreaming: Eurythmics Reimagined now available!

You can now access tickets to our Sweet Dreaming: Eurythmics Reimagined concert! 🥊

Featuring the hits of Eurythmics and Annie Lennox including; Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), Sisters Are Doing it for Themselves, Who’s That Girl, Walking on Broken Glass, Why?, Miracle of Love…the list goes on.

We are going to give WA audiences the rare and unprecedented opportunity to hear the music of one of rock’s most enduring symbols, the amazing Annie Lennox, live. Complete with innovative orchestral arrangements breathing new life into the songs, this is the band who were unlike anything before them, in a way you’ve never heard them before.

​We’ve hit the ground running with many tickets already snapped up from our presale. So don’t miss out, get tickets while you can!

Get in quick before you miss out!
Tickets can be found, here.

Women on the Podium returns with international mentors and a brand new format!

Perth Symphony’s conducting initiative, Women on the Podium, is back for its final instalment of 2020, bigger and better than ever. The program, historically run over one single weekend, will take place every Saturday throughout August, and sees five world-class conductors from the UK and Australia virtually joining as mentors to 11 participants.

CEO Bourby Webster described how she used coronavirus restrictions as inspiration to change the format of this session,

“Inspired by the world’s newfound comfort with online meeting programs, we saw a great opportunity here to access incredible world-class talent from the other side of the world, inviting the UKs leading female conductors to work with our Participants. This would have been thought impossible prior to COVID-19.”

“We wanted to offer each participant more podium time and experience despite being in lockdown, extending them further before orchestral rehearsals and concerts resume.”

It is planned for three Women on the Podium alumni to make their Perth Symphony debut in 2020.

The first four sessions will be hosted by acclaimed conductors from the UK including Alice Farnham (Founder, ‘Women Conductors’ program, Royal Philharmonic Society), Jessica Cottis (Artistic Advisor, Canberra Symphony Orchestra), Sian Edwards (Head of Conducting, Royal Academy of Music, English National Opera) and Jane Glover (Musical Director, Music of the Baroque).

The masterclasses will be run virtually, with a successful trial having been run in June with Alice Farnham, who reflected;

“Who would have thought when I left Perth on 6th April this year, that I’d be returning virtually so soon, in such different circumstances. This is a very exciting opportunity for us. The test masterclass was really exciting – not without the techniques teething problems one would expect, but rewarding nonetheless.”

The final session on Saturday 29th August will be hosted in person by Jessica Gethin (Inaugural Fellow of the Dallas Institute for Women Conductors, Women on the Podium Ambassador) – our very own world class conductor residing here in Western Australia.

The program finds a new home and will be hosted at Methodist Ladies College in Claremont.

Women on the Podium is made possible thanks to funding from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, The State of Western Australia, the Minderoo Foundation and generous donations from Perth Symphony’s Women’s Conductor’s Circle.

Farewell Jonty Coy!

This week, we’re saying goodbye to our Administration & Artistic Planning Assistant, Jonty!
After being granted a John Monash Foundation Scholarship he has an exciting journey ahead, studying a Masters in Early Music at the Royal Conservatoire of the Hague in the Netherlands.

Jonty has been with us over the past 2 years and has made a tremendous contribution to growing Perth Symphony.
Diligent and dedicated at work he still managed to get a chuckle from everyone around the office with his witty humour.

“He brought his remarkable knowledge of classical music and particularly contemporary classical music into our programs. The last Mozart by Candlelight concert where we commissioned Melbourne-based composer Joe Chindamo to write a new work for us was essentially programmed in its entirety by Jonty, with imagination, passion and a real empathy for what our musicians and audiences would want to hear. We shall miss him greatly but could not be more excited for his journey ahead.” – Bourby Webster

While we cherish the bubbling personality that he gives to the office, we are so proud of his achievements and wish him the very best in his future endeavours.


PODCAST: Music for Pasta and All Occasions with Silas Hite (LA)

Our latest podcast episode is ‘Music for Pasta and All Occasions’ with Emmy-winning film and television composer Silas Hite joining CEO Bourby Webster in conversation. Silas’ music features in our Music for Pasta playlist, currently available on Spotify, which is specially curated by the Perth Symphony staff and musicians, with additions and requests from the public welcomed. Read more about the playlists here.

Hear how a serendipitous meeting between Bourby & Silas came about some years ago, what it is like to soundtrack food and life in LA at the moment amidst the protests and unrest.

Listen on Spotify (below) or on your favourite podcasting app – simply search ‘Perth Symphony Orchestra.

The episode finishes on his ‘food symphony’ from the piece No More Doubt featured in the soundtrack to the Chef’s Table episode featuring n/naka and chef Niki Nakayama (S1 E04, available on Netflix), with a special mention to Ben Shewry of Attika Melbourne (S1 E05, available on Netflix).  Listen closely throughout the episode to hear music from Silas’ album ‘Sounds for a Dinner Party’ – which is especially on theme with our current ‘Music for Pasta’ interactive playlists.

Cover image by David Broach.