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.


Romance on the Green

We are delighted to be here, in Rockingham with you all tonight.

We sincerely hope you enjoy this concert, featuring Justin Burford, Penny Shaw, Jun Zhang, Mark Underwood and Alana Fay. All under the baton of Jessica Gethin and brought to you by the City of Rockingham.

Here is the program:

OVERTURE TO CANDIDE – Leonard Bernstein
BRINDISI (from La Traviata) – Guiseppe Verdi
HEROES – David Bowie
GRANADA – Augustin Lara
BARCELONA – Freddie Mercury & Montserrat Caballé

– interval –

LA DONNA E MOBILE (from Rigoletto)
ALL I ASK OF YOU – Andrew Lloyd Webber
CIRCLE OF LIFE – Elton John, Tim Rice
THE PRAYER – Bayer Sager & Foster


Thank you for sharing this special night with us. If you took any photos, please tag us and use #perthsymphony so we can see them too!

Women On The Podium

Perth Symphony Orchestra, under the fearless leadership of our Founder and CEO Bourby Webster are proud to announce this brand new initiative; Women On The Podium!

This idea began as support to our Chief Conductor, Jessica Gethin, by enlisting 21 incredible women to form our Conductor’s Circle. This idea was only the beginning… Bourby endeavoured to help more Western Australian women step into leadership roles in WA, specifically conducting. So the proposal came forth for Women On The Podium, a program for a selected group young women aged 18-26. These women will learn the art of music leadership, exploring conducting as well as Music Directing and much more.

Bourby commented:

“[Women On The Podium will give] young talented WA women a chance to physically and metaphorically step onto the podium in the only program of its kind in Australia. The ultimate aim would be to create a centre of excellence for conducting here in WA for women.”

By encouraging women to become great leaders, this in turn attracts the discovery of new talent; We hope to develop future Concertmasters, Artistic Directors, Conductors, Music Directors and Producers. With a higher concentration of females in these roles this will mean a brighter future for any women seeking a career in music, and furthermore, a career in music leadership.

If you’d like to support Perth Symphony develop more projects like this one, please consider donating to the Orchestra here.

Romance in Rockingham

We at Perth Symphony have decided to be brave at this year’s Romance on the Green hosted by the City of Rockingham. Taking place on the beautiful lawn of the Village Green this open air concert will feature a usual mix of rock and pop, but this year we are featuring more of your favourite classical and operatic pieces. Joining Perth Symphony on stage will be soloists Jun Zhang and Penny Shaw lending their voices to the highest of heights with pieces by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Giuseppe Verdi to name a couple.

In contrast to this we welcome back some of our favourite frontmen, Justin Burford and Mark Underwood to bring their rock edge to the stage, as well as welcoming a new face (and voice); Alana Fay, a recent Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) Contemporary music graduate. Alana is an up and coming talent in the Perth music scene, she’s performed regularly with the WAAPA Gospel Choir who have partnered with Perth Symphony in shows such as our ‘Faith & Freedom: The Music of George Michael’ and ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Music of Stevie Wonder & Aretha Franklin’. This will be Alana’s first time as a featured soloist with Perth Symphony.

Alana said of the upcoming show:

“I can’t wait to share the stage with such talented musicians as well as Jessica Gethin, she is an absolute icon for Women in music! Singing with an entire Orchestra has always been a dream of mine so I’m so happy to be able to do it with Perth Symphony.”

Perth Symphony has always been passionate about sourcing local talent and showcasing this at as many shows as possible. We hope to see Alana around our music stands much more as the future progresses!

This concert will be a wonderful musical experience for the whole family, or perhaps just you and your loved one! Bring down a drink and a picnic blanket and enjoy amazing music under stars with us.

Where: Village Green, Cnr Patterson Road and Flinders Lane, Rockingham
When: Sat 23rd Feb, 6pm-10pm
Tickets: Free of charge

To find out more visit the City of Rockingham website

Swan River Pedestrian Bridge Project

On Sunday the 21st of January, 12 Perth Symphony musicians came together in small groups to improvise some incredible music for the new Matagarup Bridge. As you walk across the bridge there are now motion-activated sound pods that will play music inspired by themes of transience of water, conflict, crossings and life of the river.

Local composer Ash Gibson-Greig composed a short melody that our musicians improvised around, playing in different keys, at different tempi and using a variety of instruments. We played in really unusual combinations – who has ever heard of oboe, French horn, didgeridoo and guitar in collaboration before!?

Here’s what some of our musicians had to say about it all:

“It was such a great experience. Would love to explore so much more of this with you all”

Sacha McCulloch (Cello)


“…All the musicians that were involved have been ‘BUZZING’ about it”

Tresna Stampalia (Flute)

It was an incredible experience for our musicians and crew! Many thanks to Audrey and Arif Satar for inviting Perth Symphony to be part of this project and to our extraordinarily talented musicians who embraced the opportunity and delivered such impressive results.

Take a walk over this spectacular bridge and have a listen – let us know what you think by tagging us in your pictures!  @PerthSymphony on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Image by Samuel Wiki (via Wikipedia)