The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) was established in 1906 and is Australia’s oldest orchestra. It currently performs live to more than 200,000 people annually, in concerts ranging from subscription performances at its home, Hamer Hall at Arts Centre Melbourne, to its annual free concerts at Melbourne’s largest outdoor venue, the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. The Orchestra also delivers innovative and engaging programs to audiences of all ages through its Education and Outreach initiatives.
Sir Andrew Davis gave his inaugural concerts as the MSO’s Chief Conductor in 2013, having made his debut with the Orchestra in 2009. Highlights of his tenure have included collaborations with artists such as Bryn Terfel, Emanuel Ax, Truls Mørk and Renée Fleming, and the Orchestra’s European Tour in 2014 which included appearances at the Edinburgh Festival, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival and Copenhagen’s Tivoli Concert Hall. Further current and future highlights with Sir Andrew Davis include a complete cycle of the Mahler symphonies. Sir Andrew will maintain the role of Chief Conductor until the end of 2019.
The MSO also works with Associate Conductor Benjamin Northey and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Chorus, as well as with such eminent recent guest conductors as Thomas Adès, John Adams, Tan Dun, Charles Dutoit, Jakub Hrůša, Mark Wigglesworth, Markus Stenz and Simone Young. It has also collaborated with non-classical musicians including Burt Bacharach, Nick Cave, Sting, Tim Minchin, Ben Folds, DJ Jeff Mills and Flight Facilities.
The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra reaches a wider audience through regular radio broadcasts, recordings and CD releases, which include recent discs of Strauss’ Four Last Songs, Don Juan and Also sprach Zarathustra with Sir Andrew Davis and Erin Wall on ABC Classics. On the Chandos label the MSO has recently released Berlioz’ Harold en Italie with James Ehnes and Ives’ Symphonies nos. 1 and 2, both led by Sir Andrew Davis.
For more information on the Australian Orchestras, please see the Orchestral Fact Sheet.