The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra announces 2015 Results

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The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra today announced record attendances in 2015, reaching an audience of over 330,000 people through its live orchestral performances and 2.15 million people through broadcasts on radio, TV and online, for a total audience of nearly 2.5 million.

Artistically the MSO is in the best place it’s ever been, attracting world-class talent and international recognition. The extension of Sir Andrew Davis’ tenure as MSO Chief Conductor through to 2019 was one of the year’s many highlights, along with reaching 87% paid capacity of all core concerts.

Despite this, the MSO recorded a deficit result for the financial year ending 31 December 2015 of $577,653. The surplus of 2014 was not sustained despite the record attendances and increased revenue from ticket sales.

MSO Chairman Michael Ullmer said: ‘Despite the strong growth in ticket sales, other income streams have failed to keep pace with the fixed cost base necessary to run an orchestra of the MSO’s quality.

‘We are proud to bring the magic of live orchestral music to over 330,000 people. Our aim is to secure a sustainable future despite a loss in 2015 and the potential of another loss in 2016. This has necessitated a reduction in administrative costs which, in tandem with strategies to drive increased revenue, will ensure that the MSO’s current performance scale, quality and artistic vibrancy can be maintained and grown.

‘International touring is an important artistic commitment for the Orchestra. With the support of the Federal and State Government and donors, the Orchestra visited Shanghai earlier this month, playing two sell-out concerts, the second jointly performed with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. This project is part of a three year agreement with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, cementing MSO’s position as a world-class orchestra in both the national and international spotlight year on year,’ said Mr Ullmer.

The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s 2015 at a glance

  • Over 120,000 people attended free MSO concerts, including 30,000 who attended the free Sidney Myer Music Bowl concerts
  • MSO performed 94 productions, resulting in 158 performances in 21 venues across the state
  • MSO performed 26 premieres, including 17 world premieres of Australian works
  • MSO recorded 10 albums released on CD, DVD and as online downloads
  • 32% of works performed were composed by musicians alive today, representing 11 nationalities
  • 21 guest artists appeared with the MSO for the first time
  • It is estimated 2.15 million people heard the MSO through broadcasts on radio, TV and online.

The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s 2015 annual report can be viewed online at


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