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Senza Sord JULY 2019

“Orchestra Victoria began in a Chinese Methodist Church Hall in Darlinghurst, Sydney...�

Orchestral histories The journeys of orchestras in Australia and New Zealand

Senza Sord JULY 2019 Contents

Contents Contents__________________________ 1 Overture Tania Hardy Smith________________ 2 History of the ASO Paul Blackman____________________________________ 3 AHistory of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra Richard Madden__________________________________ 8 West Australian Symphony Orchestra – A History Jody Harrison and Rachael Kirk__________ 12

SOMA Industrial Report Paul Davies________________________________________ 37 The TSO – A reminiscence with Alison Malcolm William Newbery________________________________ 38 Melbourne Symphony Orchestra – A history John Jones_______________________________________ 43 Orchestra reports___________________________ 46

NZSO History Timeline 1946 – 2018 Lyndsay Mountfort_________ 17

Adelaide Symphony Orchestra__________ 46

Opera Australia Orchestra – a brief history Mark Bruwel, Rachel Westwood, Pete Jenkin and Rachel Easton____________________________ 22

Opera Australia Orchestra_________________ 48

The Elizabethan Melbourne Orchestra – State Orchestra of Victoria – Orchestra Victoria 50 years of then and now Tania Hardy Smith______________________________ 27 Who we are and where we’ve come from An overview of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s history Emily Long_________________________________________ 32

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra_______ 47 Orchestra Victoria _____________________________ 49 Sydney Symphony Orchestra ___________ 50 Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra_______ 52 West Australian Symphony Orchestra__________________________________________ 53 New Zealand Symphony Orchestra__________________________________________ 55 SOMA Federal Executive meeting _____ 57

Cover: ASO country tour to Woomera, 1966 Left: Sydney Symphony Orchestra in the Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House Photo Tim Skinner

Design by Bayliss Design + Illustration www.baylissdesign.com.au 1


Overture Tania Hardy Smith Orchestra Victoria

Hi everyone Thankyou to all for the wonderful contributions of orchestral histories and photos that have helped make this issue a bumper magazine! It could have been a lot larger but I think it’s great that we now have our national orchestral histories, and that of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, all in one place. At least some of the SOMA history has been collated!

Richard Runnels, John Noble and Liz Duffy, State Orchestra of Victoria, 1999

It is such a rich history, not only for players past and present, but as a national cultural collection and resource. And I’m hoping this is just the beginning of a larger and longer project to gather material over time into a digital storage repository. Hopefully we’ll start working on this soon and will let you know how you can contribute your old player lists, programs, memorabilia and images so we can all enjoy access to the orchestral past. As we’ve all moved between orchestras during our careers, there is a certain interconnectedness of players over time that makes the history and images much more poignant and interesting. The national SOMA Conference is happening soon in Sydney on August 11 and 12 – I hope it’s a great experience for all those attending and a chance for those who haven’t yet met Bruce Ridge to make his acquaintance. As Guest Speaker, Bruce is the former Chair of ICSOM (the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians) and has 2

done some incredible work for orchestras in the United States, raising positivity and support, and generally advocating tirelessly for our artform. And happy birthday to Orchestra Victoria which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year – so many times we thought we wouldn’t make it but we’re still here!! Thanks to all the people who have helped our orchestras thrive, and long may the best job in the world remain a serious vocation for our young instrumentalists! all the best Tania




ASO with augmenting players c. 1936, William Cade conducting

Paul Blackman*

The ASO was formed in 1936 by the Australian Broadcasting Commission. It came about as a result of two things – firstly, Adelaide, like other cities around Australia, had been developing a taste for orchestral music as well as a desire over many years to establish a permanent orchestra. Secondly, the recent development of radio meant that there was a lot of silence on the airwaves that could be efficiently dealt with by playing music which was enjoyed by the public. 3

1936 TO 1948 In 1936, on the advice of Sir Bernard Heinze, the ABC established studio broadcasting orchestras in all states although Sydney and Melbourne had small ABC orchestras from 1932. In the smaller states, there would be a core group of musicians which for Adelaide would end up as fifteen players. The ensemble provided a permanent nucleus of musicians that would be augmented with casuals for public concerts. The difference between the ASO and the previous South Australian Orchestra run out BACK TO CONTENTS

Bernard Heinze conducting the ASO in 1939 with

exception to this situation with the visit in 1944 of the celebrated conductor Eugene Ormandy to play at Army bases and give free concerts around the country. While here he met the Prime Minister, John Curtin, and he would write to him to argue that Australia should have full size professional orchestras in each state. Within six years, all Australian states had established larger professional ensembles capable of presenting public performances.

Bronislaw Huberman at the Adelaide Town Hall

of the Adelaide University could not have been more stark. One had been struggling to survive financially using local conductors and soloists while the other could take advantage of the ABC network of orchestras, and was flying in famous artists on a regular basis at a time when air travel was only for the very rich. In the early years, the ASO’s subscription series was referred to as the Celebrity Series and included eminent conductors and soloists such as Sir Thomas Beecham, Rafael Kubelik, Arthur Rubinstein and Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, to name just a few. With the enlargement of the orchestra for public concerts, the use of local casual musicians would sometimes be a challenge to the notion of upholding artistic standards. The renowned conductor Georg Szell in 1938 told the ABC General Manager “Between the best they can offer and the least I am prepared to accept, there is an unbridgeable gap.”!!! When the conductor Otto Klemperer was rehearsing the orchestra, it is reported that after hearing a horn player crack some notes for the third time, he screamed out “SABOTAGE!” The Second World War period was a testingtime as the flow of overseas artists was cut off and the orchestras were seriously depleted by wartime call-ups. There was one significant 4

1949 – 1973 In 1949 under a new funding agreement, the South Australian Symphony Orchestra was formed replacing the role of the ASO, with auditions for all positions. The size of the permanent strength of the orchestra was increased to forty-five players with a minimum of fifty-five for subscription concerts. This new agreement required the orchestra to serve the community of South Australia, including playing for younger audiences with schools and youth concerts and giving regional performances. The appointment of Henry Krips as the new Resident Conductor would make him a well-known figure in South Australia. He was certainly hard working, taking the orchestra throughout the state to so many small towns such as Tumby Bay, Jamestown, Yorketown, Mannum and Penola on a regular basis. All these towns had their own (sometimes very) small subscriber committees to attract the orchestra and help encourage sales of tickets. It was usual that schools concerts were held during the day and followed by a public concert at night. During the 50s and 60s, the orchestra played between twenty and thirty regional concerts like this per year. They also started doing concerts in the Botanic Gardens and at the Colley Reserve, Glenelg. Being part of a national network of orchestras under the control of the ABC had good and bad aspects. On the good side, having BACK TO CONTENTS

• Issues were all decided by ABC management. Musicians were never consulted and their comments and suggestions rarely if ever appreciated or followed up.

Otto Klemperer announcing death of Richard Strauss in Adelaide Town Hall with the SASO, 1949

been perhaps the world’s largest orchestral network, the ABC enjoyed a favoured negotiating position when dealing with most conductors and artists. This benefitted smaller centres like Adelaide. On the other hand, all decisions about conductors and major artists were made in Sydney. A survey of SASO musicians was carried out as part of a Masters thesis finished in 1977 by the renowned clarinettist, Gabor Reeves. He uncovered a number of issues that contributed to low morale amongst the players: • There was no input from the players into any workplace issues such as conductors, programs, rosters and tours.

• Decisions on all local issues were made in Adelaide by a committee of the Music Supervisor, the Concertmaster, the Orchestral Manager and perhaps the resident conductor when available. The players though were able to appeal any of these decisions with an approach to the same committee.

1974 – PRESENT In 1974, the name would be changed back to the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. This was also the year the orchestra moved to the Collinswood studio for its new home. Twenty-one years ago, the ASO then moved to the Grainger Studio in the city. By 1974, the permanent strength had been gradually rising with the help of additional funds from the State Government – It would continue to increase up to eighty for the first Ring Cycle production performed in 1998, then reducing back to its current size of seventy-five.

Country tour to Woomera, 1966



went belly up, the ABC, arguably, could still have been responsible for the debts.

Opera in the Outback, Beltana SA, 1988

The period of twenty years or so from 1974, was a time when some politicians and other economic rationalists had questioned whether government should be funding orchestras around Australia, especially in the less populated centres. They were also challenging the notion that orchestras should be part of a broadcasting company. From the middle of the 1980s, the orchestra also took on the role of playing for SA Opera and would deliver orchestral services for the Australian Ballet tours to Adelaide. From this time the orchestra started to look for broader audiences by playing with pop groups like the Little River Band in the 70s, Split Enz in the 90s, through to the Hilltop Hoods a few years ago. But through this time, the federal politicians spent a great deal of money and time holding reviews into the ABC Orchestras on a regular basis. The Tribe Report had recommended the orchestras be divested from the ABC in 1985.

The biggest musical challenge the orchestra had faced was performing the entire Wagner Ring Cycle three times over a four week period. This was first done in 1998 with Jeffrey Tate conducting and repeated in 2004 with Asher Fisch. Fearing that the latest report by James Strong would deliver a bad outcome for the ASO, in 2004 SOMA (Symphony Orchestra Musicians’ Association) arranged a meeting with Alexander Downer, the Federal Government’s Foreign Minister. He greeted the SOMA Committee with a big smile and the comment: “Ah yes, SOMA! I have just had the Police Association! It must be union day today! Pity they don’t vote for us!?” Pleasantries aside, he proved a keen supporter of the ASO and seemed genuinely concerned about our situation, giving us over an hour of his precious time. He understood and agreed with all our points, even the more subtle ones that would make mere mortals glaze over. The Strong report finally came out a couple of weeks before Easter 2005. Its

The musicians were often reminded of the financial burden of running their orchestra on a regular basis and for many of these years the future existence of the ASO seemed insecure. Finally the ASO was corporatised the following year. A local Board was set up so that all decisions both artistic and operational would happen locally. There was still however a theoretical link with the ABC. If the orchestra 6

In 1995, The Friends of the ASO organised a petition to State Parliament


organizing an amazing amount of support through emails, saying it was second only to the response to the trial of Schapelle Corby, in Indonesia. The orchestra was finally divested at the start of 2007 cutting the last links with the ABC. 1996 was also the year that the ASO completed its first overseas tour performing in Singapore, South Korea, China and Hong Kong.

recommendations meant that the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra would be downsized 25% from seventy-five players to fifty-six FTE (full time equivalent). As a union, and with a sympathetic ASO management, we decided to fight this recommendation with all our energies. We had our own website Save the ASO.com which had lots of useful information for the media and a couple of thousand Save the ASO bumper stickers started appearing around Adelaide. We communicated with many state and federal politicians. We did a media event in the mall which went very well. We had three players (flute, violin and tuba) playing the quartet Eine Kleine Nachtmusik with one empty chair symbolising a downsizing of 25%. The message got out very clearly and soon reports were coming in from far and wide across the country about the effectiveness of the exercise.

Anytime an orchestra plays Mahler Symphony No.8, as the orchestra first did in 1968, it is a big deal. In 2010, as a finale to the Festival of Arts, the ASO teamed up with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra with Arvo Volmer conducting. From a musician’s perspective, we know that gradually over time artistic standards continue to rise and it would be unfair and pretty pointless to make comparisons between orchestras eighty years apart. Every generation has had some individuals of exceptional talent whose efforts bring joy and inspiration to their colleagues as they do to the audience. For amusing ASO stories over the years, go to https://aso84.wixsite.com/asoheritage/ amusing-aso-stories. Also google ‘ASO Heritage’ for the dedicated website to get more in-depth understanding of ASO history.

To cut a long story short, our efforts triumphed. There would be no cut in numbers to the ASO and the ASO’s funding would be increased to secure the numbers of players. Alexander Downer later congratulated us on our efforts in 7

From the Advertiser 17/3/2005




Queensland’s orchestral history dates back to 1871, when violinist R.T. Jefferies arrived in Brisbane with a passion for sharing the exhilaration of live symphonic music. However, it wasn’t until 1947 that Queensland established its own – and Australia’s second – professional symphony orchestra, which was the result of a partnership between the Australian Broadcasting Commission, the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council. Bernard Heinze was determined to create a permanent symphony orchestra in all six Australian capital cities. In Queensland, his plans received a boost with the arrival of the great conductor Eugene Goossens, who made his Australian debut here. Soon, all three layers of Australian government contributed funding and in 1947, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra was established, the first ABC orchestra outside of Sydney to do so. Auditions for the permanent players who would become part of the new Queensland 8

Symphony Orchestra were organised in all six Australian states. The Selection Panel consisted of long-time ABC Conductor and former trumpeter Percy Code, internationallyacclaimed Australian cellist Lauri Kennedy, and the ABC’s future Federal Director of Music, the organist Herbert Cannon, assisted in each state by local ABC conductors. The forty-five member Queensland Symphony Orchestra took to the stage for the first time on March 26 1947, performing for 2500 music enthusiasts at the Brisbane City Hall. The performance, featuring guest conductor Percy Code, pianist Eunice Gardiner and works by Wagner, Grieg, Berlioz and Tchaikovsky, marked the beginning of a new era of Queensland music-making. In its first year, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra performed thirty-one live concerts, and initiated the annual regional tour of North Queensland. Under inaugural Chief Conductor John Farnsworth Hall and his successor Rudolf Pekárek, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra became Queensland’s flagship performing arts company during the 1950s and 1960s. The calibre of its guest artists from those early decades is remarkable and includes: conductors Otto Klemperer, Sir John Barbirolli, BACK TO CONTENTS

QSO in the John Farnsworth Hall era

Eugene Goossens, Rafael Kubelik and Walter Susskind; violinists Isaac Stern and Yehudi Menuhin; cellists Mstislav Rostropovich and Jacqueline du Pré and pianists Daniel Barenboim and Vladimir Ashkenazy.

history, when, one after the other, the returning conductor Rafael Kubelik, soprano Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, and the legendary Otto Klemperer, all appeared with QSO at City Hall.

One of the central features of the 1948 season was the inauguration of the longest land-based orchestral concert tour in the world. Over the course of eighteen days in May 1948, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra under its Chief Conductor John Farnsworth Hall travelled more than 2,400 miles by rail, living on the train and giving concerts along the way, usually on consecutive nights, from Gympie in the south to Cairns in the north.

In the early 1970s the Queensland Symphony Orchestra continued to grow toward its eventual size of seventy-one members and achieved great artistic success under American Chief Conductor Ezra Rachlin. Its subsequent appointment of Patrick Thomas in 1973 (Australia’s first ‘home-grown’ Chief Conductor) led to a bold program and elevated performance standards, along with countless world and Australian premieres of new music.

While other Australian orchestras would make regional tours by train, none ever did so to the extent of the QSO. The annual ‘northern tour’ captured the public imagination, created its own folklore among musicians, and for a time even became internationally famous, with Time Magazine running a feature on it. In 1949, the ABC’s Brisbane subscription season featured arguably the most exciting six-week burst of activity in the Orchestra’s 9

The mid-1970s saw the Queensland music scene further stimulated with the formation of the Queensland Theatre Orchestra (subsequently the thirty-one member Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra) under the direction of Georg Tintner. Originally created to supply pit services for operatic and ballet performances, Tintner’s inspired direction resulted in the smaller orchestra beginning to perform concert repertoire as well, while Tintner himself was a regular guest artist with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. BACK TO CONTENTS

Eugene Goossens

Conductor Percy Code

The Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra achieved renown in the 1990s as a first-class chamber orchestra, and under the direction of then Artistic Advisor, Anthony Camden, attracted high-calibre soloists including James Galway, Pinchas Zukerman and Sir Neville Marriner. It took to the international stage with a tour to Japan in 1991, and a tour across South-East Asia in 1996. The Queensland Symphony Orchestra began to receive international acclaim in the 1980s when the newly appointed Chief Conductor, Werner Andreas Albert, later also the Chief Conductor of the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra, involved the Orchestra in international recording projects. The Queensland Symphony’s world-wide attention was enhanced further in the 1990s with the appointment of Maestro Muhai Tang as Chief Conductor, and the Orchestra’s first tour abroad to China. After years of endless debate on Orchestral services and funding, the phrase ‘political argy bargy’ was finally put on hold! In 2001, political and financial circumstances led to the amalgamation of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra. Australia’s third-largest symphony orchestra, The Queensland Orchestra, was born. While such artistic mergers have often proved fatal elsewhere in the world, The Queensland Orchestra, under its inaugural Chief Conductor Michael Christie survived and flourished. At just twenty-seven Christie was the youngest person to ever hold such a position in Australia. He went on to lead The 10

Rudolf Pekarek and baritone James Christiansen

Queensland Orchestra on a successful tour of Japan in 2002. In 2008, The Queensland Orchestra welcomed Maestro Johannes Fritzsch to the position of Chief Conductor. Since his appointment, The Queensland Orchestra has engaged audiences of all musical tastes, interests and ages with an extensive state-wide program spanning forty-seven weeks of the year. The Orchestra has attracted guest artists of celebrated international acclaim including Jose Carreras, Freddy Kempf, Stephen Hough, Mark Kaplan and Piers Lane. Performances of both classical and modern compositions have been described by critics as ‘breathtaking’, ‘impressive’ and ‘exhilarating’. 2009 marked the beginning of a major transformation for The Queensland Orchestra. The appointment of Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Pickett CSM and Director of Artistic Planning, Richard Wenn, sparked the beginning of a process of revitalisation. The innovation that characterised 2009 was continued in 2010, when The Queensland Orchestra became the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and former Chief Conductor Werner Andreas Albert was named as Conductor Emeritus. The Queensland Symphony Orchestra continued to thrive, welcoming renowned international and Australian artists, including Cyprian Katsaris, James Morrison and Hector McDonald. In 2010 the Queensland Symphony Orchestra celebrated a new beginning for all members of its organisation BACK TO CONTENTS

A young Patrick Thomas

Georg Tintner with the Queensland Theatre Orchestra

and renewed its commitment to touching the hearts and minds of all Queenslanders through classical music. Throughout the divestment period from the ABC, and indeed during the first decade of the 21st century, the QSO continued to be based at the ABC Studios in Ferry Road, West End. When the ABC announced plans to sell off the building and to construct a new state-of-the-art facility on Brisbane’s South Bank, the architectural design of the new building factored in the QSO also moving in alongside its founding organisation and lifelong institutional partner. Now, co-located with the ABC and nestled between the Queensland Performing Arts Centre and Queensland Conservatorium, the QSO’s physical location proudly demonstrates its centrality within the very fabric of Queensland’s musical life and its enduring ties with these key cultural institutions.

Ferry Road studios, 1977


So now our QSO story finishes with the past ten years, with the QSO restoring its old name, and first with its Chief Conductor Johannes Fritzsch, and now with Music Director Alondra de la Parra, the orchestra is scaling new artistic heights. But the great QSO traditions continue – the northern tour, the brilliant guest artists, and perhaps loveliest of all, we sometimes still play from George Sampson’s original orchestral parts. While currently searching for a Chief Conductor QSO concerts continue to be broadcast routinely by the ABC, its recordings on ABC Classics have been highly regarded in the international press, and the purposebuilt rehearsal studio within the ABC building allows for broadcasting, concert and recording possibilities that are the envy of similar orchestras elsewhere. *Edited and with images provided from http://ourstory.qso.com.au/ and with thanks to Matthew Hodge Director – Sales and Marketing Queensland Symphony Orchestra

Muhai Tang

QSO’s new home in Southbank




regular performances in His Majesty’s Theatre conducted by George Reid.

The West Australian Symphony Orchestra began its life under the name Perth Symphony Orchestra on 16th September 1928 with Perth’s first performance of Dvořák’s Symphony No.9 in the Queens Hall of the Regent Theatre in a concert conducted by Harold Newton. Following this first performance by the thirty-two member orchestra, PSO concert seasons were offered in 1929 and 1930 in the Queens Hall and the Perth Town Hall. Missing instrumental parts were often substituted on the Wurlitzer organ or piano with many concerts broadcast over the radio station 6WF.

In 1936 the ABC introduced the Celebrity Subscription Concerts, augmenting the Western Studio Orchestra using PSO players and calling itself the ABC (Perth) Symphony Orchestra. Concerts were initially performed in His Majesty’s Theatre and then the Capitol Theatre and Winthrop Hall at the University of Western Australia.

In 1932 the Australian Broadcasting Commission was formed, with a charter to establish broadcast orchestras in each state. In Western Australia, it formed the Western Studio Orchestra of fifteen players, conducted by Nelson Burton. Concurrently, the PSO continued giving 12

By 1937, the letters “ABC” had been dropped from the title and the Perth Symphony Orchestra members were for the first time paid a wage not contingent on concert takings. The same year, PSO shifted rehearsal venues from 6WF to the new ABC Broadcast House, complete with trolley-steering tea lady and open fires for winter warmth. Male PSO members were required to wear a suit and tie to rehearsals. Smoking was permitted during rehearsals, causing the occasional incineration of players’ music when smoking butts were placed on their music stand. BACK TO CONTENTS

Proms with David Measham

By 1947 the orchestra, conducted by Henri Krips, had increased from seventeen to twenty-five permanent members and Youth Concerts introduced. In 1950, additional state government funds increased the permanent player strength from twenty-five to forty. The newly named West Australian Symphony Orchestra made its debut conducted by Rudolf Pekarek on 6th January 1951 in the UWA Somerville Auditorium. Under the new conditions, rank and file players were paid twelve pounds, five shillings (equivalent to $535 in 2019) per twenty-one hour working week (paid in cash in small, brown envelopes), plus holiday pay and six days annual sick leave. With financial support from state and local government, WASO extensively toured WA, some tours lasting ten days, transported thousands of kilometres by bus or private train. The unwise dress code insisting on white tuxedos whilst touring the Kimberley resulted in this attire returning pindan red. 13

By 1953, WASO performed approximately forty public annual concerts in metropolitan and country areas, the repertoire largely classical and romantic governed by the orchestra’s size. The remaining employment involved ABC recordings and broadcasts, the working day 10am until 5pm. John Farnsworth Hall was appointed resident conductor in 1954 continuing until 1965 when Thomas Mayer took over the baton. A purpose built ABC building was opened in 1960 and the orchestra was housed in the state-of-the-art Basil Kirke Studio, modelled on London’s Abbey Road studio. The building was air conditioned (which meant tuning could be at a consistent 440), had a canteen, Credit Union and radio and TV broadcasting facilities. By 1967 the orchestra boasted fifty permanent positions, but audience numbers declined after the Capitol Theatre was demolished and concerts were shifted to Winthrop Hall at the University of WA. BACK TO CONTENTS

WASO performed at Winthrop Hall until the Perth Concert Hall was opened on 27th January 1973. The South Australian Symphony Orchestra joined WASO for the opening concert conducted by Chief Conductor Tibor Paul. After the move to the Perth Concert Hall, WASO began attracting capacity audiences. Tibor Paul’s untimely death later that year saw the appointment of David Measham as Chief Conductor. During his years at the helm of WASO (1974-1981), Measham introduced popular style classics, instigated the hugely popular Prom Concerts at the Entertainment Centre (19,000 patrons over three nights in 1980), presented Youth Concerts with unflattering, coloured skivvies differentiating the instrument sections and released the chart topping albums Orchestra of the West. 1932 Rules of the Perth Professional Symphony Orchestra

Train dining room, 1950’s WASO tour



WASO in ABC Basil Kirke studio, 1963

WASO 1951 pay envelope

Measham also held the title of Principal Guest Conductor from 1981 to 1986, taking the now sixty-five member orchestra to Singapore on its first overseas tour in 1983 and also to the Sydney Festival. WASO also enjoyed several years with conductor Albert Rosen as Chief Conductor (1982-85). In 1989, the WA State Government disbanded the WA Arts Orchestra, which provided orchestral services to the WA Opera and WA Ballet companies, transferring its funding and sixteen weeks of pit commitments to the WASO. The promise of a 104 member “super orchestra” to undertake main stage concerts concurrently with pit services never eventuated, resulting in financial strain as sixteen potentially revenue earning weeks were committed in the pit. Full orchestra touring became too expensive, inspiring the creation in 1995 of a fifteen piece Education Chamber Orchestra (EChO) enabling the orchestra to take classical music to remote areas of the state, to service the community in smaller venues and to develop a highly successful community engagement and education program. Jorge Mester (1990-93) and Vernon (Tod) Handley (1995-98) were chief conductors during this period and Vladimir Verbitsky held the title of Principal Guest Conductor, and later Conductor Laureate. 15

WASO toured to Sydney and Melbourne in 1997, the same year the ABC began the divestment of all orchestras from their Concerts Department into separate subsidiary companies, with Symphony Australia the central base. WASO corporatised in 1998 and the orchestra diversified its performances, expanding on its summer outdoor season and taking music to many parts of the community whilst retaining its creative partnership with the WA Opera and the WA Ballet. Relocation, increased managerial roles and the legalities of new agreements caused financial strain and increased reliance on corporate sponsorship and philanthropy. WASO farewelled the old millennium with an internationally broadcast sunset concert on Cottesloe Beach. For a period WASO enjoyed quadruple woodwinds and a permanent strength of eighty-nine permanent players but financial difficulties saw the orchestral numbers pared back to eighty-three by the early 2000s. Matthias Bamert was appointed Chief Conductor in 2003 and his tenure concluded after the orchestra’s tour to China in 2006. BACK TO CONTENTS

Opening of the Perth Concert Hall 1973 WASO and ASO

With the ABC’s relocation to new premises in East Perth in 2005, WASO became homeless, losing the use of the Basil Kirke Studio, administration offices and facilities. The majority of rehearsals have since been held at the Perth Concert Hall with management and instrument storage inconveniently housed at various locations around Perth. WASO is still hopeful the development of the Perth Concert Hall will enable it to become the orchestra’s permanent home. Paul Daniel held the position of Principal Conductor from 2009 until 2013. In 2014, current Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor, Asher Fisch, began his relationship with WASO that continues to be extremely successful, with a tour to China in 2016 and cycles of the symphonies of Beethoven and Brahms. Fisch is contracted until the end of 2023. WASO’s current diverse and modern orchestral programming approach continues to broaden audiences and attract philanthropy. *Jody Harrison and her family have had a long history with WASO. Her father Jack Harrison was a member of the 16

Viennese concert 1992

clarinet section for forty-two years and her brother Jay in the oboes for more than thirty. Jody has also worked in the management department of the orchestra. Invaluable to writing this brief history was her mother Marcia Harrison’s book West Australian Symphony Orchestra: Celebrating 75 Years (2003). BACK TO CONTENTS



First official photograph Wellington Town Hall, 1947

Lyndsay Mountfort 1945 The end of WW2 in the Pacific. The Director of the National Broadcasting Service, Professor James Shelley, revives pre-war plans for a full-time national orchestra. 1946 English conductor, composer and pianist Anderson Tyrer is appointed as conductor. Auditions for musicians commence in February, and are held throughout New Zealand. The orchestra’s formation is formally announced by Labour Prime Minister, Peter Fraser, on June 25. On October 24, the National Symphony Orchestra of New Zealand of sixty-five musicians is launched by the NZ Broadcasting Service (NZBS), a government department. The leader is Vincent Aspey and principals were from the NBS String Orchestra and the Royal New Zealand Airforce Central Band. The first rehearsal takes place in the NZBS studios, in the presence of the Governor General, Sir Bernard Freyberg vc, and the Deputy Prime Minister, Walter Nash. The orchestra rehearses until November, when the players divide into four groups to work with NBS Studio Orchestras in the four major cities for three months of each year. 1947 The first concert takes place on March 6 in the Wellington Town Hall. It is attended by the Prime Minister, members of the Cabinet, and the diplomatic corps. The first schools concerts were held in Wellington on March 14 and 21. Symphony and schools concerts commence in Christchurch, Auckland and Dunedin from April. The orchestra gives its first performance of a work by a New Zealand composer: Douglas Lilburn’s Song of the Antipodes.



Royal Concert Dunedin January 1954

Igor Stravinsky – standing ovation, Wellington Town Hall 1961

1948 The orchestra accompanies the NZBS production of Bizet’s Carmen, for thirty-three performances over four months, in Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland. First visits to Invercargill and Whanganui. 1949 First major provincial tour, to ten North Island and eight South Island centres. Anderson Tyrer leaves his post and returns to England. 1950 Irish conductor Michael Bowles becomes Resident Conductor. First trans-Tasman conductor exchange: Sir Bernard Heinz (ABC) and Michael Bowles (NZBS). 1951 The orchestra becomes fulltime and Wellington-based. First outdoor concerts, held in Auckland for the city’s 111th Birthday Carnival and Epsom Showgrounds. First subscription series concerts, promoted in Wellington. 1952 First Proms-style concert (five) given in Wellington. This new annual project extended to Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin in 1953. 1953 Michael Bowles leaves his post and New Zealander Warwick Braithwaite is appointed Principal Conductor. 1954 First Royal Concert for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in January, in the Dunedin Town Hall. Conducted by Warwick Braithwaite, with soloist NZ pianist Richard Farrell. English conductor James Robertson is appointed Resident Conductor. He re-auditions the orchestra, resulting in some seating and personnel changes. Former Principal Cellist Claude Tanner takes a complaint to Parliament. 1958 English conductor John Hopkins is appointed Resident Conductor. 1959 First commercial recording Festive Overtures conducted by John Hopkins and released by EMI. National Youth Orchestra launched by John Hopkins, with two performances. Led by Vincent Apsey Jnr. The Czech Philharmonic tours NZ. This is the first professional symphony orchestra heard live by many players, including leader Vincent Aspey. 1961 Igor Stravinsky (aged 79) conducts performances of two of his own works, with his assistant, Robert Craft completing the programme. The National Orchestra training scheme is formed by John Hopkins.



Conductor John Hopkins &

Kiri Te Kanawa and the NZSO, Sydney Opera House 1974

Claudio Arrau 1962

1962 NZ Broadcasting Corporation replaces the NZBS, and becomes the new managing organisation of the orchestra. 1964 The orchestra’s name is changed to the NZBC Symphony Orchestra. Sir William Walton conducts seven performances of his works. Juan Matteucci appointed Resident Conductor in July. Hungarian conductor Laszlo Heltay appointed the first Associate Conductor. The Auckland-based NZBC Concert Orchestra, of twenty-five players and formed in 1962 to accompany opera and ballet and to perform in smaller centres, is disbanded, with most players absorbed into the Symphony Orchestra. 1967 Vincent Aspey retires as leader and moves back into the section. This is the first time he has played in an orchestra other than as leader. Alex Lindsay is appointed leader, and then Concertmaster. Juan Matteucci’s term as Resident Conductor ends, and the orchestra moves to using guest conductors. 1973 English conductor Brian Priestman is appointed as Chief Conductor. Vincent Aspey retires. 1974 First tour outside NZ, to give concerts in Sydney (seven), Canberra (one), Adelaide (one). Conducted by Brian Priestman, with soloists Michael Houston and Kiri Te Kanawa. Concertmaster Alex Lindsay dies suddenly, aged 55. John Chisholm becomes Acting Concertmaster. 1975 The orchestra’s name is changed again, to New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO). Radio New Zealand, a division of the NZBC, assumes management. 1976 American Peter Schaffer is appointed Concertmaster. 1977 Japanese conductor Michiyoshi Inoue is appointed Principal Guest Conductor for three years. The NZBC is restructured to the BCNZ. NZSO becomes a separate entity under the BCNZ. 1978 The first of many annual Summer Pops tours takes place, comprising eighteen concerts with British conductor/composer Ron Goodwin. 1979 The first concert on a marae (Māori meeting grounds) is given at Turangawawae, in the presence of Dame Te Arikinui Atairangikaahu, the Māori Queen. John Georgiadis conducts A Night in Vienna.



NZSO in 1963 conducted by Alceo Galliera

NZBC Symphony Orchestra

1980 Second overseas tour takes place, as Featured Guest Orchestra at the Hong Kong Arts Festival. Conductors are Mishiyoshi Inoue and Owain Arwel Hughes. Ten concerts of nine programmes in Hong Kong and the New Territories. 1983 First concerts in Wellington’s new auditorium, the Michael Fowler Centre. 1984 German conductor Franz-Paul Decker appointed Principal Guest Conductor. Later extended to 1989, and then as Chief Conductor 1990-1994. Designated Conductor Laureate until his death in 2014. First concert cancellations in thrity-eight years of touring, due to the closure of Wellington Airport by bad weather and airline industrial action. Concertmaster Peter Schaffer, his wife Zoe (a horn player) and Principal Horn David Cripps all resign over artistic differences. John Chisholm, Assistant Concertmaster, dies aged thirty-seven after a prolonged illness. 1986 American violinist Isidor Saslav is appointed as the orchestra’s fourth Concertmaster. New Zealander Donald Armstrong is appointed the orchestra’s first Associate Concertmaster, returning to the NZSO in January 1987. 1988 Hungarian conductor Gyorgy Lehel is appointed Chief Conductor. First job-share in the orchestra: cellists (and spouses) John and Judy Hyatt, for the following five years. 1 December: The BCNZ is dissolved, and the NZSO becomes a Crown-Owned Entity and a Limited Liability Company, with its own Board of Directors and losing access to administrative services and direct links to the radio and television companies. 1989 Chief Conductor Gyorgy Lehel dies six weeks after completing his last tour with the orchestra. Orchestral Training Scheme dis-established in its twenty-ninth year. 1990 First concerts in the new Aotea Centre in Auckland. 1991 Broadcasting Licence Fee is discontinued as funding source for the NZSO, replaced by direct government funding. Funding is cut by $1.14M (15.3%), resulting in concert cancellations. 1992 Third overseas tour takes place in June to Seville, Spain, with the support from NZ Lotteries Commission and the NZ Mission at the World Expo. Concert at Teatro de la Maestranza, conductor Franz Paul Decker, soloist Kiri Te Kanawa. Also an outdoor concert in Plaza de San Francisco. Concertmaster Isidor Saslav leaves the orchestra and returns to the United States. 1993 Wilma Smith is appointed NZSO’s fifth Concertmaster. Kenneth Young, NZSO’s Principal Tuba, is appointed Conductor-in-residence.



NZSO play Mahler 8th conducted by Juan Matteucci

NZSO, n.d.

Christchurch Town Hall 1973

1994 In September, NZSO becomes the first orchestra in the world to have its own website. Authored by Principal Double Bass, Dale Gold. 1995 Eduardo Mata appointed Principal Conductor from January 1, but dies in a light plane crash four days later. Franz Paul Decker appointed Conductor Laureate. NZSO Foundation established. 1996 ENZSO concerts in Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland, with former Split Enz members, other leading NZ popular artists and the National Youth Choir. NZSO celebrates the 50th anniversary of its establishment. 1998 Fourth overseas tour, to the Brisbane Festival. Conductor Gunther Schuller, soloist Piers Lane. 1999 British conductor James Judd becomes NZSO’s first Music Director (1999-2007) 2000 Fifth overseas tour, to the Olympic Arts Festival in Sydney, Australia. Two performances in the Opera House Concert Hall, conducted by James Judd, guest artists Evelyn Glennie, Sir Edmund Hillary and the NZ Youth Choir. 2003 Vesa-Matti Leppanen appointed Concertmaster, following Wilma Smith’s departure to the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Sixth overseas tour, to Festival of International Orchestras in Osaka, Japan. 2004 New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Act 2004, re-establishes the NZSO as an Autonomous Crown Entity, and sets out the orchestra’s principal objectives and functions. 2005 Seventh international tour, performing at the BBC Proms, Aldeburgh Festival, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and at the World Expo in Aichi, Japan. 2008 Finnish conductor Pietari Inkinen becomes NZSO’s second Music Director (2008-2015). James Judd is named Music Director Emeritus. Eighth international tour, for two concerts at the Olympic Cultural Festival in Beijing. 2010 Ninth international tour, a three week tour of Europe following an appearance at the World Expo in Shanghai. Conducted by Pietari Inkinen, with soloist Hilary Hahn. 2016 Edo de Waart becomes NZSO’s third Music Director Pietari Inknien is named Honorary Conductor.




OPERA AUSTRALIA ORCHESTRA – A BRIEF HISTORY Mark Bruwel, Rachel Westwood, Pete Jenkin and Rachel Easton

Broadcasting Commission orchestras, or an ad-hoc ensemble. Increased difficulties in scheduling, costs, and artistic consistency meant that this could not continue.

PRE-HISTORY 1954 Queen Elizabeth II toured Australia for the first time. The Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust was duly formed to commemorate that royal visit. Today’s companies Opera Australia and The Australian Ballet both have significant roots developed within and alongside the AETT.

1967 The Orchestra is formed.

1955 NSW Premier John Joseph Cahill announced an international design competition for an opera house to be built at Bennelong Point.

May 11 marked the first rehearsal (possibly of Adriana Lecouvrer in Mac. Hall) of the newly formed permanent full-time professional orchestra named The Elizabethan Trust Orchestra – forty-six musicians under Concertmaster Maurice Stead. The first performance was in the Canberra Theatre on May 30: Don Pasquale. Tosca, The Flying Dutchman, Don Giovanni, Rigoletto, Turandot and Il Trovatore were also in that year’s season.

1956 July 21: The Elizabethan Trust Opera Company premiered The Marriage of Figaro at The Theatre Royal, Adelaide, with conductor Eric Clapham, and the then South Australian Symphony Orchestra. This was the first opera performed under the auspices of the AETT. For the next twelve years, every performance of opera or ballet organised by the AETT used one of the existing Australian

News from NSW Parliament that the big hall in the fast-completing Sydney Opera House would not be given to the Opera but to the ABC Symphony orchestra galvanised the Elizabethan Trust Opera Company into a definitive course of action, touring aggressively. A NSW government subsidy was forthcoming annually for the first time, to form the nucleus of a permanent opera company. Most significantly, the company would tour with its




for the first time the thrill of regularly going to Grand Opera. You w see, hear and experience the breathtaking sound and spectacle of the worl and Australia's greatest singing stars, in all the splendour of magnifice costumes, breathtaking sets, symphonic orchestral accompaniment and supe chorus. This forthcoming season will be a "breath of La Scala" itself.

1967...THE YEAR OF 0



>ecial ribers "first

noon >pen­ er of


June Bronhill, Lauris Elms Marcella Reale, Morag Beaton, Rosemary Gordon, Maureen Howard, Elizabeth Allen, Jean Valerio.

your own permanent seat, and the right to HAVEretain this seat for as many yea as you desire. Subscribers are given first priority for the best seats in t theatre. Remaining seats will be available to SAVEthe public ONLY after subscripti needs have been fulfilled. Subscription entitles and guarantees you your choi of opera seats for as many years as you wish. Neil Warren Smith, Raymond Myers, Ronald Maconaghie, Robert Gard, Alexander Major, Donald Shanks, Norman Yemm, John Germain, Reginald Byers, Gino Zancanaro, Kevin Mills, Robin Gordon, John Heffernan, John Durham, Malcolm Donnelly, Leonard Lee, Paul Rutenis.

your own permanent seat, and the right to retain this seat for as many years as you desire. Subscribers are given first priority for the best seats in the theatre. Remaining seats will be available to the public ONLY after subscription needs have been fulfilled. Subscription entitles and guarantees you your choice of opera seats for as many years as you wish.

with the

up to $6.00 per person in this first year of Opera Subscription. ' In addition to first choice of seats you will see a complete series of three different operas for as little as $4.50 and no more than $9.00. This is a saving to subscribers of 40% on regular prices.



for the first time the thrill of regularly going to Grand Opera. You will see, hear and experience the breathtaking sound and spectacle of the world's and Australia's greatest singing stars, in all the splendour of magnificent costumes, breathtaking sets, symphonic orchestral accompaniment and superb chorus. This forthcoming season will be a "breath of La Scala" itself.

and the


Thomas Mayer, Robert Feist, Gerald Krug

(Resident Conductor)


"DON PASQUALE" marks famous Australian singer June Bronhill's Grand Opera debut in Adelaioe. She is already adored by legions of Australian theatregoers for her appearance in "The Merry Widow," "The Sound of Music," "Orpheus in the Under­ world" and "Robert and Elizabeth." Recently she made a triumphant re­ ' turn in "Don Pasquale" to Broken Hill, the city that launched her career with $3,000 raised to send her overseas to study. While overseas she made guest appear­ ances at Covent Garden and spent several years at Sadler's Wells.

IL TROVATORE (Giuseppe Verdi) Producer: Stephan Beinl. Designer: Raymond Boyce



�lia pas­ I by mer ired ears tate

DON PASQUALE (Gaetano Donizetti) Producer: Stefan Haag. Designer: George Molnar



'Don Pasquale" will also introduce to Adelaide operagoers a new facet of the work of artisf extraordinary George Molnar. For those who have ever glanced through the Sydney Morning Herald, George Molnar's superbly pungent car­ toons have always given a chuckle-and some­ times, too, a serious and provoking thought. His stage designs for "Don Pasquale" are satire at its most delicious and Molnar at his lightest and best. 1

up to $6.00 per person in this first year of Opera Subscription. ' In additi 1>-fk to first choice of seats you will see a complete series of three different oper for as little as $4.50 and no more than $9.00. This is a saving to subscribe of 40% on regular prices. THE FLYING DUTCHMAN (Richard Wagner) Producer: Kurt Hommel. Designer: Wendy Dickson

Rising young Australian conductor Gerald Krug went on a shopping spree earlier this year . . . for a full size orchestra. His shopping spree, in all States, Was the culmination of a Trust decision to invest $300,000 in establishing its own permanent ORCHESTRA. This has been dor:ie to give opera greater freedom of movement within Australia and to enable longer rehearsal periods, and consequently finer and richer performances. We look forward to a long and happy association with the new orchestra aimed at bringing you Grand Opera of international calibre. Gerald Krug will be one of three conductors for the Adelaide season. The others will be American guest conductor Robert Feist and Thomas Mayer.

The beginnings of the Elizabethan Trust Orchestra (Sydney) –

Elizabethan Trust Opera Company subscription programme, 1967 ETSO player list 1970

permanent orchestra – the Elizabethan Trust Orchestra – which meant that touring could be streamlined with larger repertoire possible on a single rehearsal period. In its first year, "DON PASQUALE" the Elizabethan Trust Orchestramarks visitedfamous all but Australian singer June Bronhill's two states of the Commonwealth, rehearsing Grand Opera and performing seven operas, six ballets, and debut in Adelaioe. She is already several concerts. adored by legions of Australian theatregoers for her appearance in John Cargher wrote: ‘… the orchestra from Widow," "The Merry "The Sound the first year was to work in much closer of Music," "Orpheus in the Under­ harmony with the company than the full world" and "Robert and Elizabeth." Recently she symphony orchestras … there was a degree made a triumphant re­ of competition between stage and pit which Pasquale" ' turn in "Don to Broken disappeared as soon as the first Trust Hill, the city that launched her career with $3,000 raised to send her Orchestra formed.’ overseas to study.was While overseas she made guest appear­ ances at Covent Garden and spent several years at Sadler's Wells.



'Don Pasquale" will also introduce to Adelaide operagoers a new facet of the work of artisf extraordinary George Molnar. For those who have ever glanced through the Sydney Morning Herald, George Molnar's superbly pungent car­ toons have always given a chuckle-and some­ times, too, a serious and provoking thought. His stage designs for "Don Pasquale" are satire at its most delicious and Molnar at his lightest and best. 1

Rising young Australian conductor Gerald Krug went on a shopping spree earlier this year . . . for a full size orchestra. His shopping spree, in all States, Was the culmination of a Trust decision to invest $300,000 in establishing its own permanent ORCHESTRA. This has been dor:ie to give opera greater freedom of movement within Australia and to enable longer rehearsal periods, and consequently finer and richer performances. We look forward to a long and happy association with the new orchestra aimed at bringing you Grand Opera of international calibre. Gerald Krug will be one of three conductors for the Adelaide season. The others will be American guest conductor Robert Feist and Thomas Mayer.



The Elizabethan Philharmonic Orchestra at their 20th Anniversary concert, organised by Warwick Ross and held in the Willoughby Town Hall, 1987

1969 The expanding seasons of the two national Opera and Ballet companies needed more than could be met by a single orchestra. The Elizabethan Trust Orchestra became two – the original one becoming the Elizabethan Trust Sydney Orchestra and its smaller (thirty-two-piece) sibling, the Elizabethan Trust Melbourne Orchestra – now Orchestra Victoria. In the same year The Elizabethan Opera changed its name to The Australian Opera. 1970 July 31: Her Majesty’s Theatre in Quay Street, Haymarket burned down, with just one week left of an eight week season which included Otello, The Rake’s Progress and La Forza del Destino. September 28: The Australian Opera is incorporated as a public company.

1970 – 1980 The Elizabethan Trust Orchestra Chamber Group performed often at Chalwin Castle in Cremorne, being the personal residence of entrepreneur Vivian Chalwin, a strong supporter of many arts organisations. Mark Elder conducted the musicians in Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale and Walton/ Sitwell’s Façade. Chalwin died in 1980 and the castle, which had hosted many notable performances in collaboration with the AETT, 24

Musica Viva, and countless other groups, ceased to be used. It was demolished in 1993.

1972 The sum of $100,000 was spent on the production of Der Rosenkavalier making its Australian premiere. Edward Downes conducted a specially enlarged Trust Orchestra in each state. 1973 Edward Downes conducted the premiere of War and Peace on September 28, the inaugural performance in the Opera Theatre of the Sydney Opera House. At that time The Australian Opera consisted of fifty principal singers, fifty choristers, twenty-nine administrative staff, twenty-five production staff, three executive staff and twenty-two on the board of directors. In the Elizabethan Trust Sydney Orchestra there were a healthy seventy, including Henry Urbanavicius and Marilyn Wilson. 1974 Joan Sutherland had her first performance in the Opera Theatre in The Tales of Hoffmann. 1976 Richard Bonynge became Music Director for the next decade.


Verdi Requiem; AOBO and Carlo Rizzi (OA Publicity)

1980 Stuart Challender conducts his first performance for The Australian Opera, the beginning of a long association and many performances with the Orchestra until his untimely death in 1991. 1985 The Australian Opera moved to premises at 480 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills, with space for administrative offices, workshop and wardrobe spaces, and rehearsal studios. Noel Smith becomes Music Director of The Australian Ballet, a position he holds until 1997. 1987 The Elizabethan Trust Sydney Orchestra changed its name to the Elizabethan Philharmonic Orchestra. 1989 The Elizabethan Philharmonic Orchestra changed its name to the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra (AOBO) and separated from the AETT, becoming independently managed. 1991 The AOBO became a subsidiary of The Australian Opera 1992 First pit renovation – after an industrial campaign led by Will Farmer and Carla 25

AOBO Brass Quintet (OA Publicity)

Thackrah, the first extensions were made to the Sydney Opera House pit.

1993 The Parking Dispute: After industrial action and a hearing in the Industrial Relations Commission in front of Deputy Commissioner Polites, the AOBO and the SSO win a Special Disability Allowance of $18 per week – the first of its kind for any industry in Australia. 1996 The Orchestra’s first Enterprise Agreement is passed by its members. The Australian Opera and Victorian State Opera are amalgamated into Opera Australia.

1997 Charles Barker becomes Music Director for The Australian Ballet, a position he holds until 2001. 1999 The AOBO votes to leave the Musicians’ Union of Australia and join SOMA/MEAA. Simone Young begins her tenure as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of Opera Australia and brings in a new level of guest conductors and standards for the Orchestra.


A CD in the making – Nicole Car, Andrea Molino

OAO and Angela Gheorghiu, Sydney Opera House 2015

and OAO recording in the Eugene Goossens Hall at the ABC, 2017

The AOBO defends itself against public attacks on its artistic abilities by Opera Director Elijah Moshinsky. Conductor Richard Bonynge writes to the Sydney Morning Herald on 10/8/99, saying “I deplore this attack on a splendid orchestra by a non-musician”.

2002 Opera Australia announces it will not renew Simone Young’s contract beyond 2003. 2003 Nicolette Fraillon becomes Music Director and Chief Conductor of The Australian Ballet. 2005 Richard Hickox starts as Music Director of OA, contracted until 2012. 2008 In November, sadly, Richard passes away. During his time with OA he conducted, amongst many other productions, the Australian premieres of The Love for Three Oranges, Rusalka and Arabella with CD recordings of Oranges and Rusalka being released by Chandos to critical acclaim.

Second pit renovation – after a seven month closure, the pit received another makeover including removing nearly a metre along the front of the stage to allow more sound to project, changing floor heights, adding timber acoustic panelling, and a new sound enhancement system.

CONCERTMASTERS 1967 Maurice Stead 1986 George Ermolenko 1991 Emil Kiss-Lazar 1991-1992 Harry Curby, Bob Ingram, Laszlo Kiss 1992 Pan Yin Lin (In-Rin Pan) 1994-1996 Semyon Kobets 1999 Anton Kholodenko 2001 Aubrey Murphy 2013-2014 Laura Hamilton 2015 Jun Yi Ma ARTISTIC DIRECTORS / CHIEF CONDUCTORS William Reid, Edward Downes, Richard Bonynge, Carlo-Felice Cillario, Gyorgy Fischer, Simone Young, Richard Hickox.

2017 On January 1, the AOBO changes its name to the Opera Australia Orchestra and becomes fully integrated into Opera Australia. 26





Tania Hardy Smith

Orchestra Victoria began in a Chinese Methodist Church Hall in Darlinghurst, Sydney. In order to deal with the increased performance and touring demands of the Elizabethan Trust Opera Company (now Opera Australia) and The Australian Ballet, the Elizabethan Trust Orchestras were set up by the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust firstly in Sydney (1967) then in Melbourne (1969). In the Trust’s words, “.. the heavy touring commitments during this period made it difficult for the Trust to attract the first quality musicians needed to provide the best possible performance standards.” 27

With just thirty-two players, the role of the Elizabethan Melbourne Orchestra initially was to support the opera and ballet companies in their Melbourne-based performances, but eventually their role was broadened to support the companies on their national tours. By the following January 1970 the orchestra was based in Melbourne with leader Anthony Conolan. The Orchestra’s first engagement was a national tour of Gilbert and Sullivan operas, including Iolanthe, Yeoman of the Guard, HMS Pinafore and Pirates of Penzance, with performances in most capital cities. This was followed by an extensive regional tour of Victoria. In the following years, the Orchestra grew in size and reputation for specializing in opera and ballet repertoire. BACK TO CONTENTS

ETMO player list 1971

As so much of the work of the orchestras involved accompanying performances of opera and ballet under the musical direction of the conductors engaged by The Australian Opera and The Australian Ballet, the Trust’s aim was to keep the orchestras in the best of musical health, developing policies that were in the best interests of the continued musical wellbeing of each musician in each orchestra. With regard to developing standards and morale, a series of concerts was organised to provide opportunities for the orchestras to appear on the concert platform. These orchestral concerts were first presented in Sydney and Melbourne in 1971. At this stage, Georg Tintner, as Conductor and Artistic Director of the EMO, wanted to ensure the orchestra maintained its artistic viability and development, as well as performing with the major companies. He was instrumental in instigating a series of cutting edge concerts at the recently built Robert Blackwood Hall at Monash University.


Over the next decade, the EMO expanded both its numbers and repertoire as it accompanied some of the world’s leading performers, including Rudolf Nureyev and Dame Joan Sutherland, and worked with renowned conductors such as Richard Bonynge, Stuart Challender, Carlo Felice Cillario, and John Lanchbery. In 1973, the Orchestra played for the ballet Don Quixote, which was filmed in three of the old hangars at Essendon Airport in Melbourne. Starring Rudolf Nureyev, Robert Helpmann and Lucette Aldous, and dancers of The Australian Ballet, The Elizabethan Trust Melbourne Orchestra helped create history, as the ballet was the first to be produced with full film technique, rather than as a theatre performance. Screening internationally, it was extremely well received. From the Elizabethan Trust News of September 1974, it was noted that the two Elizabethan Trust Orchestras – Sydney and Melbourne – cost the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust in excess of $1,250,000 to maintain. Both orchestras are described as full-time and professional so it is evident there was a great desire to support and enable the BACK TO CONTENTS

Elizabethan Brass Ensemble 1977

orchestras to exist as strong performance partners in their own right. Throughout its history, the Orchestra has been synonymous with some of Victoria’s most significant cultural events. In 1984, the Orchestra performed The Sleeping Beauty with The Australian Ballet for the opening of Melbourne’s State Theatre at the Victorian Arts Centre. The Orchestra also performed with The Victoria State Opera and The Australian Opera in their respective premiere seasons in the State Theatre in 1984 and 1985. Once the State Theatre opened, the VSO presented four to five operas a year in two seasons, providing extra opera performances for the EMO over and above the usual Australian Opera seasons in Melbourne. In 1986, the Festival of Three Worlds arrived in Melbourne from Spoleto and Charleston, directed by Gian Carlo Menotti. EMO performed with VSO in a production of Madama Butterfly directed by Ken Russell and set in a Nagasaki brothel complete with thinly veiled sex scenes as part of the backdrop – a highlight for the orchestra and the audience! During this period, the EMO still maintained quite a significant national touring commitment for both the Australian Opera and The Australian Ballet, including spending a couple of months in Sydney at the end of each year. 29

STATE ORCHESTRA OF VICTORIA In 1987, ownership of the Orchestra was transferred to the Victorian Arts Centre, changing its name to the State Orchestra of Victoria. The orchestra still maintained its rehearsal space at St. Peter’s Hall in East Melbourne, despite the hall being unsuited to the demands of orchestral rehearsal and activity. It was a relief when in 2001 we moved to the army barracks in Albert Park. Peter Narroway had variously held the reins of Orchestra Manager and Administrator of Orchestra from 1981 until 1993, when Pamela Foulkes took over following Peter’s resignation. When Pamela moved on in 1997, the role of Orchestra Administrator was taken over by Peter Garnick, with Luke Shaw as Orchestra Manager. Peter was to take the orchestra through a period of great change and development as orchestras began to struggle financially and come to the attention of the government funding bodies. The cycle of reviews began with the 1999 Major Performing Arts Enquiry, conducted by Helen Nugent. According to the government, costs in the arts sector were spiralling while revenue was declining. Recommendations were geared towards increasing the accountability of arts companies and making them work more effectively, both in economic and social terms. Included was an expectation of increased collaboration between arts companies and the strengthening of philanthropic support. It was evident that we could no longer just play for the opera and ballet but needed to work much harder for our audiences and the public money. The exploration of “a community of musicians” involving the merger of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and SOV was one suggestion, but unsurprisingly there was a lot of push back from the orchestras who knew clearly that this proposal would BACK TO CONTENTS

not produce a satisfactory outcome for either the orchestras, the partner companies or their audiences. And the reduction of employment for orchestral musicians could never be supported. The SOV’s strength in accompaniment of opera and ballet was acknowledged when the Federal Government rejected the proposal to merge in early 2000. Although the orchestra spent two thirds of the year accompanying performances by Opera Australia and The Australian Ballet, there was a recognition that the orchestra needed to do more to develop artistic standards and profile. In addition to opera and ballet, SOV accompanied a wide range of national and international artists. In their role as performance partners, the strength of the orchestra lay in the ability to accompany an enormous number of musical styles with very little rehearsal. These included opera with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Andrea Bocelli, cabaret with Eartha Kitt and comedy with The Scared Weird Little Guys. In the world of musical theatre SOV performed in productions of Guys and Dolls, Call Me Madam and The Gilbert & Sullivan Show with Jeannie Pratt’s The Production Company. SOV performed regularly with The Melbourne Chorale, and each year presented a number of its own concerts of opera, ballet, and symphonic repertoire. In February 2000 the Orchestra was honoured with a Green Room Award for Contribution to the Artistic Life of Melbourne. In performing music outside of the Melbourne Concert Hall and State Theatre, the orchestra’s philosophy was reminiscent of one of the original tenets of the Elizabethan Theatre Trust in their establishment of the EMO. Being out of the pit was of great benefit to the musical development of each orchestral player. 30

The annual ESSO concert in the Sidney Myer Music Bowl became one of Melbourne’s summer highlights. Audiences of up to 25,000 would picnic on the lawn while being entertained by the Orchestra and guest artists from Opera Australia and The Australian Ballet. The SOV also performed at the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival and in the Melbourne International Festival of the Arts and could be found in many unusual venues such as the banks of the Murray River for the Cobram Peaches and Cream Festival, at the Queen Victoria Market for the annual Opera in the Market concert, at wineries, in art galleries, and even on a barge on the Yarra River.

ORCHESTRA VICTORIA In July 2001, the Orchestra left the Victorian Arts Centre, to become an independent, self-governing organisation in order to secure its ongoing and expanding role as one of Victoria’s key arts contributors. At this time the Orchestra moved to its next home, the former Army Band Barracks in Albert Park. In December 2001, the Orchestra’s name changed to Orchestra Victoria. The Orchestra Victoria Community Program was launched in 2002, which focused on working with communities and artists to deliver free orchestral concerts, chamber concerts and education workshops across Victoria, and presented with the support of the community through private donations, sponsors, trusts and foundations and government grants. The very successful mOVe! education program was established, with players visiting up to six regional centres a year to hold orchestral workshops, rehearsals and performances for students who would normally not have access to professional instrumental tutorship. BACK TO CONTENTS

Li-Wei Qin in red t-shirt supporting OV strike action in the National Gallery of Victoria.

During this time, the Orchestra was spending around half of each year performing in metropolitan Melbourne and the regional centres of Bendigo, Shepparton, the Latrobe Valley, Mildura, Horsham, Hamilton and Warrnambool. In 2008 Orchestra Victoria extended its reach to the ‘satellite’ communities of Elmore and Tatura and in 2009 performed in Ouyen for the first time in honour of the town’s centenary year. The Community Program won industry awards from Equity Trustees, from the Australia Business Arts Foundation and became a case study at RMIT Business School. In the Commonwealth Inquiry in to Australia’s Orchestras in 2004, Chair James Strong commended the Orchestra for “… responding creatively and effectively to a demand for orchestral music from Victorian regional communities...” From 2004 until 2013, Orchestra Victoria – as with all our orchestras – had to endure several government reviews as their financial position became untenable. In 2009 Orchestra Victoria celebrated its 40th anniversary, and Elizabeth Tupper was instated as Managing Director following the resignation of Peter Garnick. These were turbulent years – by 2010 once again we were facing a very difficult situation and in 2011 were moving towards receivership. The Funding Model Review of that year saw OV under threat of downsizing 31

due to no new funding being provided. But again the orchestra rallied with the help of many incredible people, SOMA and the indefatigable Howard Manley, significant industrial sacrifices and strike action (following ASO’s example) in the form of red t-shirts carrying our national slogan GREAT CITIES HAVE GREAT ORCHESTRAS. We even managed to inveigle the wonderful cellist, Li-Wei Qin, into wearing one at a National Gallery concert rehearsal! A new management team was set up in 2012 as after six years, Mary Delahunty stepped down from the Chair of the Board position. Then in 2013, the Pit Services Review was initiated to look into the long term sustainability of Orchestra Victoria and the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra. In the meantime, Orchestra Victoria was preparing to perform The Ring Cycle which Opera Australia had scheduled for 2013 and 2016. It was an exceptional highlight for the orchestra, and very timely as morale was boosted by great performances and reviews. Following the Review, the Australia Council announced that they had discussed the options delivered by the review panel for the sustainable future of OV. They stated they wanted to ensure the provision of high quality orchestral services to the opera and ballet in Victoria. They decided to pursue new ownership for OV, to be achieved in 2014. On 1 July 2014, Orchestra Victoria became a wholly owned subsidiary of The Australian Ballet. In 2019 the orchestra will celebrate its 50th birthday – a significant achievement for all of us! BACK TO CONTENTS




Emily Long

THE HISTORY BEGINS A permanent symphony orchestra is a sign of a city’s musical maturity, and Sydney moved closer to achieving this when the Australian Broadcasting Commission was established. That was in 1932, the opening year of another symbol: the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Sydney Symphony Orchestra had a promising predecessor. From 1919 to 1921 the orchestra of the New South Wales Conservatorium, conducted by the Belgian Henri Verbrugghen, gave regular professional symphonic concerts in Sydney, as well as touring Australia and New Zealand.


1932 THE FIRST ABC SYDNEY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA The new Commission enlarged the studio orchestra it had inherited from the Australian Broadcasting Company to twenty-four permanent players, and this group sometimes performed as the ABC Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Some of the players who had joined before 1932, such as flautist Neville Amadio and timpanist Alard Maling, remained leading members of the orchestra for decades. ABC broadcasts from the studio stimulated public demand for orchestral concerts, but at first public concerts, for which the orchestra was augmented, were special events. These included the Brahms and Wagner Festival in 1933 under Australian conductor Bernard Heinze, and concerts in 1934 under Sir Hamilton Harty, the first overseas conductor brought to Australia by the ABC. BACK TO CONTENTS

Stravinsky backstage at a Sydney Symphony Orchestra concert (Courtesy of The Sydney Symphony Orchestra)

1936 SUBSCRIPTION CONCERTS BEGIN In 1935 the ABC – led by its Chairman William James Cleary, General Manager Charles Moses and Music Advisor Bernard Heinze – increased the Sydney orchestra to forty-five players, augmented to seventy for public concerts. The result was a permanent orchestra suitable for concerts as well as broadcasts.

great music – many Australian service men and women had their first experience of orchestral music in special concerts. As musicians enlisted, more women joined the ranks of the orchestra, and resident soloists and conductors filled the gap left by international visitors. Bernard Heinze continued audience development in school, children’s and youth concerts.

The following year the ABC launched its first Sydney series of subscription concerts. Sir Malcolm Sargent was the featured overseas conductor, followed by Georg Schneevoigt, George Szell and others. Soloists included the pianists Arthur Rubinstein and Artur Schnabel, and returning Australians such as cellist Lauri Kennedy.

GOOSSENS AND THE MODERN SSO Following the recommendations of visiting conductor Eugene Ormandy, the ABC built the Sydney Symphony Orchestra to full symphonic strength, collaborating with the state and municipal governments. An eighty-two player orchestra gave its first concert in January 1946, and Eugene Goossens was persuaded to become the orchestra’s first Chief Conductor (and Director of the Conservatorium), beginning in 1947.

During World War II, concerts such as the Beethoven festivals fed a public hunger for 33


Sir Charles Mackerras with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at Sydney Opera House opening concert 1973 (Courtesy of The Sydney Symphony Orchestra)

Goossens said he wanted to make Sydney’s orchestra ‘among the six best in the world’. He also said Sydney must have an opera house, and chose the Bennelong Point site. Eugene Goossens pioneered open-air concerts, taking advantage of Sydney’s climate and physical beauty. He introduced Sydney audiences to orchestral works old and new, and many were Australian premieres, including Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and Australian John Antill’s Corroboree. His 1953 EMI recordings were the orchestra’s first international releases. Notable guest conductors during the Goossens years included Otto Klemperer, Rafael Kubelik, and Sir John Barbirolli. Goossens appointed players who were to shape the orchestra’s sound for years, notably Ernest Llewellyn as concertmaster. Llewellyn’s predecessors included Lionel Lawson, his successors Donald Hazelwood (another long-serving concertmaster), John Harding, Michael Dauth and Dene Olding, and Andrew Haveron. Goossens was succeeded as chief conductor by Russian Nicolai Malko (who died in Sydney), American Dean Dixon, and Israeli Moshe Atzmon. In the 1960s, ABC Director of Music and conductor John Hopkins 34

initiated and conducted the Town Hall Proms concerts, still fondly remembered today. In 1965 the orchestra made its first international tour, including an appearance in the Edinburgh Festival. Noted composers who have conducted the orchestra include Igor Stravinsky, Aaron Copland and Witold Lutoslawski, and more recently John Adams and Thomas Adès.

STABILITY UNDER OTTERLOO The orchestra’s next long-lasting relationship was with Dutchman Willem van Otterloo. Notable milestones of his term were a 1974 tour to Europe, following the orchestra’s first concerts in the Sydney Opera House, which had opened in 1973. One of the conductors in that opening season was Australian Charles Mackerras, a former oboist in the orchestra. In 1982 he became the orchestra’s first Australian Chief Conductor, succeeding Frenchman Louis Frémaux. Mackerras conducted Wagner in concert in collaboration with the Australian Opera, and the Australian premiere of Berlioz’s Trojans. When Mackerras fell ill in 1985, the young Australian conductor Stuart Challender stepped in. Following the brief tenure of BACK TO CONTENTS

Command performance, Sydney Opera House 1973

SSO recreating history twenty-three years between takes

(Courtesy of The Sydney Symphony Orchestra)

– cellist Fenella Gill and violist Sandro Costantino in Berlin, having fun recreating a photo from the 1995 Europe tour.

Czech Zdenĕk Mácal, Challender was appointed Chief Conductor in 1987.

PROMISE UNDER CHALLENDER Changes in the ABC’s management of music and concerts had given the orchestra, in 1985, its first general manager, Mary Vallentine, and under Stuart Challender the orchestra’s international reputation and commitment to Australian music increased. Music by Peter Sculthorpe and Carl Vine featured on the 1988 tour of the USA, and their works along with those of Ross Edwards were issued on ABC Classics CDs, conducted by Challender. Among the performance highlights were Mahler symphonies and Wagner, including staged productions of Tristan and Isolde in Sydney and the Adelaide Festival.

GROWTH AND CHANGE UNDER DE WAART After Stuart Challender’s early death the orchestra forged a relationship with noted Dutch conductor Edo de Waart. As Chief Conductor he guided the orchestra on tours of Europe and Japan and Taiwan, and made many recordings with the orchestra for ABC Classics. The orchestra played a major role in 35

the 2000 Sydney Olympics and the Olympic Arts Festival, including a performance of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony and the culmination of a concert Ring Cycle. New players were appointed, recruited from Australia and overseas, including returning Australians. The Sydney Opera House Concert Hall, already its main venue for performances, became the orchestra’s home for rehearsals. In 1994 the Sydney Symphony Orchestra was identified as Australia’s flagship orchestra in Prime Minister Keating’s Creative Nation policy. Funding for increased player numbers, recording and touring accompanied steps towards eventual divestment of the orchestra from the ABC. The relationship with the ABC continues through broadcasts of most of the orchestra’s concerts, some of which are also streamed online.

INTERNATIONAL IMPACT: GELMETTI AND ASHKENAZY In 2004 Gianluigi Gelmetti, a regular guest since 1993, became Chief Conductor. Gelmetti conducted all the Beethoven symphonies BACK TO CONTENTS

in 2007, and a concert presentation of Puccini’s opera La Rondine complemented earlier Wagner ventures. Gelmetti will also be remembered for idiomatic Debussy and Ravel, and for his Shock of the New concerts.

In 2019 the orchestra appointed its first ever Principal Guest Conductor, Donald Runnicles, as well as launching multi-year artistic projects with Simone Young and Vladimir Ashkenazy.

In 2004 Vladimir Ashkenazy, returning as a conductor, renewed his relationship with the orchestra, which had begun in the 1960s with the first of his appearances as a pianist. Two weeks of Sibelius programming proved an artistic highlight and set the template for annual composer festivals: Elgar, Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev.

EDUCATING AUDIENCES AND MUSICIANS The SSO’s Learning and Engagement Program helps ensure the orchestra’s future audiences and players. Its antecedents are in the Youth Concerts (begun in 1947) and the ABC’s training orchestras. The Youth Concerts have since become Meet the Music, with programs mixing standard, new and Australian music. Family Concerts provide opportunities for parents to introduce children to concert-going in a lively and engaging atmosphere.

In 2009 Ashkenazy became the orchestra’s Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor. He has taken the orchestra on tours to Europe and Asia, and conducted a Mahler symphony cycle in 2010–2011, one of several projects linked with recordings on the Sydney Symphony Live label (established in 2006) and Japan’s Exton/Triton label.

CURRENT LEADERSHIP: DAVID ROBERTSON In 2014, American conductor David Robertson, a frequent guest conductor since 2003, took up the post of Chief Conductor and Artistic Director. He has brought to the orchestra an extensive experience both in Europe and the United States, and a gift for persuasive programming and talking about music. His projects include annual Opera in the Concert Hall productions, collaborative programs involving film, dance and other art forms, and the creation in 2016 of the Carriageworks series, featuring music of our time in a fresh, contemporary space. The orchestra has embarked on a number of tours under David Robertson’s leadership, including to China and a major concert tour of Europe in 2018. 36

Richard Gill pioneered the Sinfonia program, which was highly regarded as a model for orchestras worldwide, and in 2001 established the Fellowship program which provides a key stepping stone to the profession for emerging young orchestral players. Under the artistic direction of Principal Viola Roger Benedict, the Fellowship has grown to thirteen Fellows in 2019, and many past Fellows now hold permanent positions in the SSO and other orchestras around the world.

PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE 2020 will mark a new chapter in the SSO’s development, as the orchestra vacates the Sydney Opera House for two years while the SOH undergoes major acoustic and accessibility renovations. In 2022 the orchestra will once again be resident at the Sydney Opera House, where it performs around 150 concerts a year to a combined annual audience of more than 350,000. With thanks to the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. BACK TO CONTENTS

SOMA INDUSTRIAL REPORT Paul Davies Director, Musicians Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance

A newly elected coalition government and the results of the 2018 review of Major Performing Arts Funding suggest that one of our main objectives in 2019 will be to make the case for improved funding, security and support for the Orchestras. While we continue to achieve sustainable and fair outcomes through enterprise bargaining, these processes also highlight fundamental weaknesses and threats to musicians. Establishment strength, engagement of contractors, the use of fixed term employment in some cases and modest base pay increases are forcing a renewed effort and emphasis on improved base funding. Two serious threats with the mooted MPA reform are the limited duration of funding contracts and the ability of governments to withdraw funding unilaterally and at any time. Of course equity between Orchestras


is another very significant issue which cannot be dealt with through bargaining alone or through any foreseeable improvement to the commercial operations of orchestras. The SOMA conference (August 11 and 12) is directed to the topic of improving our advocacy with our special guest Bruce Ridge, the former chair of the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM), providing insights and advice. We will also hear from Lissa Twomey from the Australia Council and Emma Dunch, CEO of the SSO. The conference will also consider implications and options arising from public polling and research on community knowledge, understanding, participation and attitudes towards Orchestras. In 2019, bargaining is scheduled for MSO, QSO, the OAO and ASO. Agreements for SSO, WASO and ASO have recently been approved by the Fair Work Commission.




Orchestra leader Lionel Hickey conducts TSO in the late 40s/50s.

William Newbery

I joined the viola section of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra in October 2007, only a few months after I had awoken in Hobart, raised a hand to my tender head and 38

then recalled agreeing to move to Tasmania. I was quick to discover what an excellent decision this had been. The TSO is Australia’s smallest professional symphony orchestra. With a permanent complement of just twenty-six string players and double winds, the orchestra has a different feel to play in BACK TO CONTENTS

when compared with our larger cousins. And also a different core repertoire. Hobart is a beautiful and easy place to live with all of wild Tasmania at your doorstep. We are justifiably proud of our orchestra and enjoy a close relationship with our many supporters in the Tasmanian community. We are the only Symphony Australia orchestra to maintain a subscription series outside of our home city. It is not unusual to meet subscribers away from the concert hall and exchange a cheery greeting. I find it hard to imagine the TSO being any other way than it is, but had the pleasure of discussing some of the TSO’s history with violinist Alison Malcolm. For the TSO, Alison is a living treasure and to this day, a vibrant supporter of the orchestra. The TSO was established in 1948 and featured famed Tasmanian pianist Eileen Joyce in its first performance. Alison joined the ensemble in 1951. It arose from the Hobart Symphony Orchestra which was founded in 1937 with twenty-four players. Working under its inaugural chief conductor, Kenneth Murison Bourn, the TSO little resembled its current incarnation. As a much smaller ensemble, the bulk of the music the TSO played had to be arranged to accommodate a lack of players to cover parts. Alison recalls the first rehearsal venue she worked in was on Collins St in Hobart, above a gymnasium. A nearby tyre service produced fumes that caused the wind players regular discomfort. Not long into Alison’s tenure with the TSO, the ensemble took up residence in a church hall on Brisbane St. The hall had a sloping floor and a high ceiling that sported fluorescent lights. Alison recalls an evening when the players won the admiration of the visiting conductor for calmly continuing the rehearsal after one of the 39

lights fell onto TSO program 1957 them. Rehearsals were conducted in the evenings because augmenting players usually had day jobs. The hall had a stage which was good for table tennis during the rehearsal breaks and a balcony, which wasn’t good for anything at all. A major part of the orchestra’s schedule in the 50s was a regular radio broadcast. The TSO was the first Australian orchestra to have its own radio programme. The programme was called Journey Into Melody. Eric Coates was often featured along with other composers from his genre. The programme was broadcast weekly from 1956 – 1969. The TSO was broadcast live hundreds of times to the Australian population. It also played several concerts a year in Launceston and an annual series of concerts along the north coast. The players travelled by bus and during the north coast tour would stop in several towns to play both a school concert during the day and give an evening performance. In 1957, Alison left her post with the TSO and travelled to London, where she spent three years studying at the Royal Academy. It was BACK TO CONTENTS

Musicians with their dogs! 1961 L-R Alison Malcom (Deputy Leader), David Fox (piano), Alf Hooper (horn), Ian Harris (second oboe)

an exciting time for her. She studied with great players, played with prominent London orchestras of the day and visited festivals in Europe. But Tasmania called her home and she returned in 1960. She reapplied for the TSO and won the deputy leader position (as it was referred to at the time) next to leader Lionel Hickey. In 1962, Thomas (Tommy) Matthews came from the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra to take the position of chief conductor. He wanted every player to play for him individually upon his arrival and the prospect caused no small concern among the musicians. This concern proved to be completely unfounded. Tommy was supportive of all the musicians and constructively helped many to improve their skills. He worked tirelessly to arrange great pieces of music for the TSO’s contemporary instrumentation. He led the TSO through a golden period of great improvement in both technical and artistic standards and was well liked by the orchestra. Sadly, he departed in 1966 for England. The orchestra looked forward to his return but he passed away in his homeland. 40

By the end of the decade the TSO had far outpaced any other Australian orchestra with subscribers per capita. In 1964 Alison had her first child and was no longer able to remain a permanent member of the orchestra. She became a casual player and proceeded to play every evening artistic concert that the orchestra presented. Tommy often called upon her to play Principal Second Violin. In time, she returned again to full time status in the orchestra as a tutti player and, as is still the case in the TSO, rotated between the first and second violin sections. In 1973 the TSO took up residence in the ABC Odeon Theatre until its relocation to the Federation Concert Hall in 1998. Alison retired from the TSO in 1999. Amongst her fond memories of her career with the TSO are working with a particularly short Russian violinist named Gregory Ivanoff. Gregory was a skilled and vivacious player and could stand without appearing much taller than when he sat in his chair. When a conductor came onto the stage in a concert he would sometimes leap to his feet and applaud. This was never a problem as hardly anyone noticed. Another memorable evening for her BACK TO CONTENTS

was a performance of Elgar’s violin concerto with soloist Nigel Kennedy in Launceston. During the performance Nigel broke a string and went backstage to riffle through violin cases until he found a replacement. After the performance, Alison drove him to a local pub where he gave an impromptu jazz jam session with members of the TSO. When I had my cup of tea and chat with Alison in her home, which boasts a splendid view of Mount Wellington, she was playing host to international pianist Howard Shelley. Howard has made a yearly pilgrimage to Hobart for three decades to record concertos and give concerts with the TSO. Each and every year he has stayed as a guest in Alison’s home. This may give the reader a flavour of how the TSO operates. In the decades since its formation, the orchestra has continued to strive to improve its operations, both artistic and professional, but it still maintains an air of that country generosity and friendliness that lives on in the slightly more out of the way parts of Australia. Our rehearsal studio is quick to laugh when a lighter moment presents itself and visiting artists almost always chat easily with the resident musicians and staff. Alison recalls plenty of Howard’s adventures with the TSO – a particular wardrobe malfunction in a hotel that involved the wardrobe on the wrong side of a locked door and a seal blocking the road in the middle of Tasmania. During a tour in which the TSO played Graeme Koehne’s accompaniment to a film of The Sentimental Bloke, a new venue used equipment that no longer required reels to be changed. Howard 41

was not notified TSO orchestra list, 1957 about the change and conducted expecting the normal breaks in the music. In addition, it may be worth mentioning the several awards Howard’s various recordings with the TSO have won over the years. Along with international tours Alison recalls a memorable trip with the TSO strings over to Tasmania’s King Island. The TSO has performed in Israel, Greece, South Korea, Indonesia, Argentina, the USA, Canada, China and Japan. The TSO’s many recordings of Australian orchestral music can be found in fine music stores all over the world, which guest artists are quick to regularly and enthusiastically remind us. The TSO’s recording of Eliza’s Aria from Wild Swans by Elena Kats-Chernin was featured in a television commercial for UK bank Lloyds TSB and as a result, topped the iTunes classical chart. In 1995, when faced with potential downsizing tied to budget cuts, the Friends of the TSO conducted Tasmania’s largest ever petition which secured the orchestra’s position. In 1998, a cookbook named A Taste of the BACK TO CONTENTS

ABC Odeon, Hobart 1986

Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, comprised of recipes provided by TSO and visiting musicians, achieved much higher popularity than initially expected, both in and beyond Tasmania. The TSO is a keen collaborator with both local arts institutions and the internationally renowned MONA (Museum of Old and New Art). Different sections of the orchestra undertake touring throughout

Tasmania to visit those venues that cannot accommodate the full ensemble. TSO musicians are engaged in chamber music performance and teaching throughout the Tasmanian community. From humble beginnings, the TSO has risen to become a flagship of Australian music and music making. Long may it be so.

Alison Malcolm (violin) (foreground), Mary Beers (violin) and Richard Mills (percussion) at dinner during 1979 tour with The Australian Ballet to Israel and Greece.





Melbourne Symphony Orchestra has probably the oldest history of orchestras in Australia. It’s pleasing to see MSO managements mention that history in programs these days. The MSO can trace its beginnings back at least to 1906 when the “Melbourne Symphony Orchestra” was conducted by Alberto Zelman, who incidentally became the first Australian to conduct the London and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras. With all sectors suffering severely from the economic depression, around 1927 Bernard Heinze sought the help of Sidney Myer, and a plan was devised whereby the ailing Melbourne Symphony Orchestra was to be rescued from its debts on the condition that its name be made available to a new orchestra composed of players from both the MSO and the University Symphony Orchestra 43

(see “Melbourne Symphony Orchestra 1987”). In 1934 the MSO became one of the radio orchestras of the Australian Broadcasting Commission. People say a lot of things about Sir Bernard Heinze, but I think he deserves high recognition as a force in those early years for establishing ABC orchestras in each state. It could have so easily been just one ABC orchestra in Sydney, broadcasting to the nation via radio. Malcolm Sargent – according to the biography written by Charles Reid (1973) – was approached in 1932 by the ABC to visit Australia. A key part of the plan was that Sargent should establish one orchestra. Sargent finally arrived in 1936, by which time Heinze had become an influential and passionate campaigner for an orchestra in every state. In his 1967 book Australia’s Music: themes of a new society, Roger Covell observed that in 1922 the NSW government decided BACK TO CONTENTS

Toru Takemitsu, Richard Mills and Hiroyuki Iwaki during rehearsals for the 1987 MSO tour of Japan

it ought to spend less money on subsidizing an orchestra, thus delaying the consummation of the movement towards a permanent symphony orchestra. By way of contrast, the orchestra of Melbourne University, first given lustre by Marshall Hall and later directed with characteristic energy and flair by the young Bernard Heinze, maintained a firmer, more continuous tradition. Moving up to the time that I remember, the Japanese conductor Hiroyuki Iwaki was appointed Chief Conductor MSO in 1974. Japanese colleagues told me that playing under Mr Iwaki in those early days was a bit like watching a volcano erupt. Certainly, he brought an excitement that increased the subscription base. There were two MSO tours to Japan under Mr Iwaki. In the second (1994) the MSO represented Australia and the state of Victoria, taking part in the opening of Kansai International Airport at Osaka. There was also a very successful appearance at Suntory Hall in Tokyo.


Stella Barber’s book Crescendo: Melbourne Symphony Orchestra – Celebrating 100 Years (2007) reported that Premier Jeff Kennett spoke of the need for an orchestra to benchmark itself against other communities, other orchestras, and therefore the concept of travelling was very important. The first Japan tour in 1987 demonstrated amongst other things Mr Iwaki’s shrewd assessment of the way a visiting orchestra could leverage interest. He insisted that as well as representing Australian music, the concerts must include a contribution from a Japanese composer. The visiting orchestra would be remembered in Japan long afterwards for having presented the contemporary work of Toru Takemitsu. In the 60s and 70s the orchestra’s primary rehearsal space was Waverley Studio in East Malvern. It had been a cinema. I guess it was around 1976 rehearsing at Waverley Studio when the Second Flute unexpectedly had a piece off. The air-conditioning had been playing up yet again, and Leon LaGruta asked if I wouldn’t like to write a letter to Talbot BACK TO CONTENTS

Duckmanton who was General Manager of the ABC. I composed a letter setting out the problem and asked if musicians wouldn’t have to take serious action before the problem was addressed. There was a very courteous letter in reply, and my memory is that it said action couldn’t be immediately undertaken because a new system was shortly to be installed. When it came finally, equipment that had been destined for another ABC building had been lying outside in the weather for some time. That too proved less than efficient. At that stage I hadn’t yet served on the Players’ Committee, but it certainly made me more aware of the relevance of such a group. There had been a players’ committee for very many years in the MSO. In 1974 when I joined MSO, the players’ committee it seemed was tolerated, but not really part of the negotiation process. The Musicians’ Union was responsible for representing the musicians under the arbitration system that prevailed at the time. Later the Occupational Health and Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Act 1991 strongly encouraged workplaces to adopt a rational style of negotiation with employers. I think it is fair to observe this worked very much to the benefit of musicians in ABC orchestras.

Orchestras divested from the ABC, Players’ Committees transformed into SOMA branches based in each orchestra, and became officially part of the consultative process which prevails to this day. It is my personal observation that there are pros and cons in conducting industrial negotiations from within the workforce. These activities place great pressure on musician representatives. Of course, pursuing industrial objectives from outside the group runs the risk that the more remote approach may not be as intimately informed as one would like. SOMA in MEAA has benefited very greatly from the dedication of its members, and I think particularly of the efforts of Martin Foster and Simon Collins. Members have been hugely indebted to the very professional approach exemplified by Howard Manley.

John Jones retired from the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra after holding the position of Second Flute from 1974-2006. Prior to that, John held the positon of Associate Principal Flute in the Elizabethan Melbourne Orchestra (now OV).

The creation of SOMA (Symphony Orchestra Musicians’ Association), the training provided to delegates through TUTA (Australian Trade Union Training Authority, set up in 1975) – and here I should acknowledge the efforts of John McAuliffe (MUA) – and finally the move of SOMA to MEAA, all supported a much more effective approach to industrial relations in the workplace. 45



Adelaide Symphony Orchestra Lachlan Bramble, Associate Principal 2nd Violin As I write this report, ASO’s first international tour in a decade hangs in the balance. The orchestra has gigs lined up at important festivals in Shanghai, Beijing and Tongyeong in South Korea with Pinchas Zukerman at the helm. As with any undertaking of this size, we really need some pennies from heaven to come our way to make it possible. All fingers are crossed as we await the outcome of intensive fundraising and behind-thescenes machinations. Hoping to have lots of photos to show off in the next issue of Senza Sord. A focal point of our 2019 season thus far has been performances of the Beethoven Piano Concertos, all five within a two-week period with Jayson Gillam driving the Elder Hall Steinway. ABC Classic had their microphones there and plan to release a cycle of recordings for Beethoven’s 200th next year. It is an exciting project for the orchestra to be involved in. Four years has flown by with 2019 being the final year of Nicholas Carter’s tenure as our Principal Conductor. Nick, now living in Austria is the recently appointed Chief Conductor of



1300 368 117 for a great deal


the Stadttheater Klagenfurt and the Kärntner Sinfonieorchester. Highlights of his time at ASO have been a concert performance of Die Walküre Act I and the notable Australian Premiere of Brett Dean’s Hamlet. The orchestra wishes Nick all the very best for the future and look forward to his next visit. Sabine Daniels (flute/piccolo) has been with us for the last year on exchange from Göteborg Opera Orchestra in Sweden. It has been fantastic having Sabine in the orchestra and I have particularly appreciated the opportunity to pick her brains on industrial matters, as she was Players’ President in her orchestra. It is amazing how similar all orchestras are! The ASO players and the flute section in particular wishes Sabine all the very best for her return home and look forward to welcoming Julia Grenfell back and hearing all her stories from Göteborg. And while we are in an eclipse between periods of enterprise bargaining, the ASO has been undertaking a Workforce planning project. This has taken longer than anyone has anticipated though that is an unavoidable side effect of a thorough and consultative process.

ppca Phonographic Performance Company of Australia

PERFORMERS’ TRUST FOUNDATION Providing grants to promote and encourage music and the performing arts www.ppca.com.au


Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Michael Pisani Principal Cor Anglais One of the highlights of MSO’s busy year so far were the concerts in February with Winton Marsalis and his Jazz at the Lincoln Centre Orchestra – what a truly inspiring man and an incredible assembly of musicians. Along with our annual Sydney Myer Music Bowl concerts, this made for a very positive start to the year. Our subscription concerts are also going well, with audience numbers improving. Recently we have seen retirements from a few longstanding members of the orchestra. Our bass section is losing its section principal and associate principal. Steve Reeves has been Section Principal Bass for over thirty years and Andrew Moon has been Associate for over twenty-six years.


Principal Trombone Brett Kelly is also retiring after thirty-seven years of service. And from our first violin section, Ji Won Kim has resigned, settling in Adelaide with husband Caleb Wright (viola) and their first child. We have numerous trials underway for key positions in the orchestra too – Owen Morris for Principal Trumpet, Nico Fleury for Principal Horn and Chris Lane for Principal Timpani. Later this year, we embark on a tour to the US with Sir Andrew Davis in his last year as our Chief Conductor. Four concerts with varied programs see us visit Chicago, Washington, Worcester and New York. Our search for a new chief conductor is well underway, but an appointment is unlikely until at least 2021.


Opera Australia Orchestra Mark Bruwel Oboe The 2019 HOSH season of West Side Story threatened to become an industrial issue, however commonsense prevailed and, after a series of meetings, a compromise was found. Understandably not everyone was happy but the show did go on to break HOSH box office records.

season of The Happy Prince was postponed due to Graham Murphy’s indisposition, being replaced by Giselle. This coming winter opera season sees four new works for us – Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, Elena Kats-Chernin’s new Whiteley, Rossini’s Il Viaggio a Reims and Aribert Reimann’s 1984 opera Ghost Sonata.

We had a good and very welcome dose of German Opera during the summer season performing runs of both Salome (with Johannes Fritzsch) and Wozzeck (with Andrea Molino). Unfortunately The Australian Ballet’s

Lastly, we are very pleased that both Rixon Thomas (Cor Anglais) and Ida Speyer-Grøn (Associate Principal Viola) both passed their trials with flying colours.



Orchestra Victoria Ben Anderson Principal Bass Tombone Orchestra Victoria is celebrating our 50th Anniversary this year with a very busy year. So far this year we have spanned the gamut from chamber music performances through to musical theatre, with our usual ballet and opera seasons thrown in on top of it. Our year started with a repeat of our very successful children’s concerts of Peter and the Wolf. These have been a wonderful addition to our schedule, and it is brilliant to see how generous the musicians are in introducing their instruments to kids of all ages. We were also grateful to be included in a touching tribute concert for Richard Gill: his involvement with OV over the years has been extensive and his advocacy for the wider community is immeasurable. His legacy is immense, and we will miss him. Then we kicked into gear with the first ballet season of the year with a surprise performance of Cinderella, after an illness in the creative team caused the new production of The Happy Prince to be postponed. After that we went straight into West Side Story with Opera Australia for a month, much to the delight of the viola section. This led straight into an opera season of Rigoletto, Cosi Fan Tutte and the slightly ridiculous and massive Il Viaggio a Reims. We went without break into our second season of Joby Talbot’s Alice in Wonderland, which is a real workout for everyone in the orchestra and as I write this we are about to start a season of Lac (Swan Lake) with the Ballet of Monte Carlo. As I said – a big few months. Alongside all of this we have had several chamber music concerts just to fill the non-existent gaps in this schedule. 49

In the coming months we will be officially celebrating the 50th anniversary with concerts at the National Gallery of Victoria and in Bendigo. As part of the celebrations we have set up an Alumni network, if anyone is interested in finding out more about this please get in touch by email or through our facebook page. We have recently been fortunate to welcome Monica Naselow as Principal 2nd Violin, and Mathew Levy as Principal Percussion, and are delighted that both have passed trials. Sadly though, we have farewelled three longstanding employees: Associate Principal Trombone Tony Gilham, Bass Clarinet Andrew Mitchell, and Violinist Martin Reddington. Between them they have about 100 years of experience that will leave a big hole. In particular we acknowledge the significant committee contributions of both Andrew and Tony. Andrew was on committees for twenty-seven years straight, and Tony was involved as a union representative for many years, then moved to the role of Personnel Manager for the orchestra. We owe them both a huge amount. Martin has also been involved behind the scenes, in particular for his role in organising the 40th Anniversary celebrations, and more recently as forensic historian, finding many details about our past to help celebrate our 50th in style. We wish all three of them the very best in all of their future pursuits. Fortunately for the moment there is no news on an industrial front, though we will be preparing to start negotiating our next EA at the end of this year (it feels like the last only just finished). All the best to everyone for the rest of 2019! BACK TO CONTENTS

Sydney Symphony Orchestra Emily Long Violin A somewhat incongruous start to the year in which we sweltered at Parramatta Park in near forty degree heat whilst reminiscing about our recent European winter adventures. We finished 2018 at close to freezing point in Aalborg, Denmark, hometown of Jørn Utzon, architect of our home, the Sydney Opera House. After a massive tour of twelve concerts around Europe we needed some R&R, and from a touring party of 126 only thirty people flew back to Sydney immediately following the tour, so there were a lot of holiday stories to catch up on!

In industrial news, we recently learned that our new Enterprise Agreement has successfully cleared the hurdles of the Fair Work Commission, after a trepidacious six months of waiting. It was a unique bargaining situation, in which we held final meetings in Paris and voted in Luxembourg (as well as a simultaneous vote in Sydney for those not on tour) to approve the new Agreement. The orchestra will be displaced from the Sydney Opera House during 2020 and 2021 while the Concert Hall is renovated, and our three year Agreement will cover this period. Pay rises have been negotiated of 2.5%, 2% and 2%, and musicians have agreed to many extra flexibilities and changes in working conditions in order to make this relocation successful.

Photo: Rebecca Gill

Back in Sydney and home from the tour, we welcomed two new second violinists – Siri Einen from the Bergen Philharmonic who swapped with Monique Irik, and Riikka Sintonen from Finnish National Opera Orchestra who is currently on exchange with Rebecca Gill. The exchange experience has been an enriching one for all involved, and has got a few more people thinking about how they could organise their own exchange adventure.

Finnish exchange violinist Riika Sintonen backstage

2nd violin exchangees Rebecca Gill and Monique Irik

with Concertmaster Andrew Haveron

catching up in picturesque Bergen, Norway



Photo: Ben Li

Recently we announced a partnership with Sydney’s newest performing arts venue, the Coliseum Theatre. Located in Western Sydney’s Rooty Hill, 35kms from the city centre, we hope to reach a completely new audience with a varied program of regular classics, movies, and collaborations with popular artists like David Campbell.

2nd violinist Ben Li and family enjoying spectacular

2019 is David Robertson’s final year as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, and we opened this year’s season with him conducting Diana Doherty in Westlake’s Oboe Concerto, as well as a fun collaboration with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra. We look forward to some exciting programs with David later this year such as Peter Grimes with Stuart Skelton in the title role.

and to Harry Bennetts who in June began his trial as one of our Associate Concertmasters. This year we celebrated a very special anniversary for Paul Goodchild, who marked forty years with the orchestra by performing the Lovelock Trumpet Concerto. We also celebrated the amazing career of our wonderful colleague Louise Johnson who has left us after thirty-four years as Principal Harp and fifty years of service with the orchestra!

Photo: Christie Brewster

Congratulations go to Alex Morris, who passed his trial for Principal Bass Clarinet,

Northern Lights after the European tour

Associate Principal Trumpet Paul Godchild celebrates 40 years with SSO



Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Matt Goddard Principal Timpani The year started out in the usual way with a performance at MONA FOMA, this time at the other end of the state with Launceston having a turn as the major centre for the annual festival. This year’s Symphony Under the Stars in Hobart was also at a new venue for the first time in living memory. The stunning setting this year was the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. The Masters Series kicked off with Richard Tognetti directing a programme of Mozart, Meale and Beethoven closely followed by a great week with Giordano Bellincampi in a programme of Nielsen and Dvorak with Benjamin Beilman performing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. Other highlights include Simone Lamsma with the Sibelius Violin Concerto, the St John Passion with Stephen Layton, two programmes with conductor Andrew Gourlay which included our Concertmaster Emma McGrath performing the Britten Violin Concerto, a performance of Compassion with Lior and Nigel Westlake, and most recently for the DARK MOFO festival, performances of Riceboy Sleeps, with Jónsi & Alex.

In arrivals and departures – Congratulations to Rohana (violin) and Ryan O’Malley on the birth of Jasmine and to Lloyd Hudson (flute/ piccolo) and Erica Bruderlin on the birth of Ivy. We’ll soon be farewelling Chris Waller who is retiring after thirty-five years as Tutti Clarinet. We all wish Chris the very best for the years ahead. Principal Double Bass, Stuart Thomson, travelled to China for two performances of Wolf Totem, Tan Dun’s Concerto for Double Bass, with Tan Dun conducting the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra as part of the Nanshan Pop Music Festival. The sold-out performances were held at the 8000-seater Shenzhen Bay Sports Centre. Finally, on the industrial front we were very happy to receive approval from Fair Work for our Enterprise Agreement with no amendments needed. We’re currently enjoying some downtime before getting started on the next one!

Principal Double Bass, Stuart Thomson, with the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra

Chris Waller

conducted by Tan Dun.



West Australian Symphony Orchestra Melanie Pearn Violin WASO began 2019 with the annual Company Training Day that fortunately proved to be more interesting than in previous years. The day also provided the opportunity to formally welcome our newly appointed CEO Mark Coughlan to the company. During the first months of this year WASO has been involved in a broad range of performances which vastly outnumbered our Masters and Classics Series concerts. They included The Magic Flute with the Berlin Komische Oper, the world premiere of the chamber opera Ned Kelly, Chamber Music Festival, Harry Potter #4, The Little Mermaid, Lucy Durack, and the costume-wearing performances of movie/video-game music in Symphonic Fantasy to name a few. On the concert stage some highlights have been working with Jaime Martin, Mark Wigglesworth, Behzod Abduraimov, and most recently Sergei Dogadin.

We’ve had a few recent alterations to our concert dress code: In March we marked World Down Syndrome Day by wearing colourful socks for our Morning Symphony performance, much to the delight of the audience. In April a string quartet performed in the stunning Kalamina Gorge as part of the Karijini Experience complete with fly nets! Like every arts organisation WASO is feeling the financial pinch and last year we suffered our biggest operating deficit in eighteen years. A review of WASO and WAVE – the operating company of the Perth Concert Hall – has been ongoing and the outcome was a restructure of both companies. Departments across both administrations have seen job descriptions and responsibilities change and unfortunately this restructure included redundancies. The loss of David Cotgreave, Production and Technical Manager for the last ten years, Jenna Costello our Orchestral Operations Manager and

Celebrating World Down Syndrome Day with our colourful socks



Jamie Parkin from Corporate Relations has come as a shock. We would like to thank them for all their hard work over the years and they will be sorely missed.

COMINGS AND GOINGS We recently welcomed John Keene to WASO after he successfully passed his trial as Associate Principal Double Bass. In March we farewelled Louise McKay after seven and a half years as our Associate Principal Cello. We wish Louise and her partner Heiko the very best for their relocation to Leipzig to be closer to family and for all new musical endeavours. Chris ‘Gandalf’ Dragon conducting the Symphonic Fantasy concert

Semra-Lee Smith, Zak Rowntree, Elliot O’Brien and Nick Metcalfe keep the flies at bay at the Karajini Experience


Elliot O’Brien (viola) tied the knot with Tess during the summer break on January 5 at St Columba’s in South Perth. Tom Rogerson (PCH Production Manager) and wife Jess welcomed their second son Lochlan also in January. On February 25 Sarah Blackman (violin) and husband David Sanderco became first-time parents to daughter Phoebe, and our Executive Manager, Orchestral Management Keith McGowan and his wife Tori added to their family with the arrival of baby Maude on June 4. Congratulations to all. BACK TO CONTENTS

New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Lyndsay Mountfort Viola The NZSO is nearing the end of its busiest year in a long time, with well over 100 appearances across the country. The variety of these concerts has meant we are reaching new audiences, regularly showcasing New Zealand composers and soloists alongside our international guests. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, (who is also Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage) expressed delight at being able to play the recording we made with Simon O’Neill of the Brahms Lullaby to her newly born daughter, Neve Te Aroha.

Manuel de Falla’s Three-Cornered Hat sparkled with Spanish fire and Jolivet’s Bassoon Concerto was superbly played by former NYO player Todd Gibson-Cornish, now Principal Bassoonist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Josiah Carr was the NYO composer in residence and his work, a reflection on the trees of Whakarewarewa Forest , was described in the press review as ‘a most compelling piece of sound painting’. Our own Principal Bassoonist, Robert Weeks, was enjoying a well earned break, having the previous week performed Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto all over the North Island with us.

Photo: Latitude Creative

More youthful exuberance was on display the following week with the NZSO National Youth Orchestra. Conductor Jaime Martin was an

inspired choice to lead these young musicians through the challenging programme.

Up close and personal with the NZSO in Shed 6.



Photo: Latitude Creative

Between sets, in Shed 6

Two bassoon concertos in one season! Who’d have thought it? Opportunities to dress up included our Comic-Con tribute and then The Music of Harry Potter while the irrepressible Chris Lam Sam fronted our school concerts sporting suits that were even louder than the orchestra. Kiwi musicianship of a different kind was next. Our collaboration with Wellington band Phoenix Foundation was given rave reviews as it travelled around the country. Phoenix have written some great songs and the four composers who provided the orchestral arrangements added both power and emotional depth to the music. Then it was the Classical Hits tour: eleven concerts where we travelled the length of the country showcasing a new work by Gillian Whitehead alongside great music from previous generations. Entitled Turanga-nui it reflected on the first landing of Captain Cook and was enthusiastically received by our 56

audiences. NZSO Principal Cellist Andrew Joyce then took centre stage for riveting performances of Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococco Theme before joining us to explore the many craft breweries we found on our travels. All of this was happening around our main subscription series where we continued to bring large-scale symphonic works to our New Zealand audiences. Jaime Martin inspired us with his riveting account of Shostakovich Symphony No. 10. Peter Oundjian brought his own selection of Prokofieff’s ballet music to Romeo and Juliet, and paired up with cellist Johannes Moser in Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1, while Lars Vogt was a persuasive advocate for Mozart, both as pianist and director. Highlights from Music Director Edo de Wart included Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 2, Mahler’s Symphony No. 7 and Brahms’ Symphony No. 2, and we are about to end the year with Beethoven’s Symphonies No. 1 and No. 9. Next year is looking equally BACK TO CONTENTS

exciting, varied and busy so the summer break will give us all a chance to recover and relax with friends and family.

On the plus side, we have two appointments to the viola section. Beatrix Francis, who recently joined us from Sydney, has already given birth to a beautiful baby called Bjorn and early next year Wellingtonian Nicholas Hancox, currently Principal Viola of the Lübeck Philharmonic Orchestra, returns from Europe to join the section.

Photo: Latitude Creative

In other news we resigned ourselves to losing the two longest standing members of the horn section, Gregory Hill and Heather Thompson, but made sure we gave them a rousing send-off.

NZSO Associate Concertmaster Donald Armstrong, playing his Gagliano with a dried pacay pod.

SOMA Federal Executive meeting Sydney, April 7–8, 2019 Agenda SOMA Conference: The biennial SOMA conference will be held in Sydney on 11 and 12 August. Theme: What will it take to grow and sustain a healthy music culture? What role will SOMA/Orchestra musicians play in this? How will we improve our advocacy? Guests: Bruce Ridge, former chair of ICSOM (International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians) • SOMA e-newsletter • Honorary memberships • ‘Change the Rules’ Campaign


• Federal politics • Musicians Australia union • Orchestra reports • Performance temperature guides • Staff, EBA coverage • Sharing performance feedback processes • Use of click tracks • Chicago Symphony industrial action If anyone would like any further information on the above, or if you have any questions regarding industrial issues in general (personal or otherwise), please see your SOMA representative.

OTHER INFORMATION If you are a member of SOMA, you should also be receiving fairly regular emails from MEAA specifically related to SOMA issues. If this is not the case, perhaps this is a good time to update your email address with MEAA! Contact MEAA Member Central Phone: 1300 656 513 Email: members@meaa.org And for your information the Pay Roll Deduction payment option for SOMA membership fees has been made available on the ‘Join MEAA’ online application form (meaa.org).


Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance SOMA MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION FORM M E M B E RS H I P A P P L I C AT I O N ( P L E A S E u S E B LO C k L E T T E RS ) THIS AuTHORITY WILL REMAIN IN FORCE uNTIL CANCELLED BY ME IN WRITING Surname . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

First name . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Title (eg Mr / Ms / Mrs) . . . . . . . Gender

Date of birth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I am an Australian citizen/resident

F Yes




Home address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Suburb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Postcode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Email. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mobile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Yes

I was previously a member of MEAA Employment status



Casual / Freelance

Employer/ Orchestra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

What is your role? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Do you work in any other MEAA workplaces?



If yes, where . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PAYMENT METHOD - PLEASE INDICATE EITHER OPTION ONE OR TWO OPTION ONE - PAYROLL DEDuCTION For permanent musicians and also suitable for casual/freelance musicians who wish to have their fees deducted in the weeks that they work for the nominated orchestra where payroll deduction is available. I hereby authorise the pay officer to make deductions from my pay for MEAA membership fees for the weeks that I work and in accordance with the appropriate scale as advised to the pay office by the MEAA each year.

For credit card/debit card deductions


I instruct MEAA to deduct my membership fees (tick one): Credit card









Card number __ __ __ __ / __ __ __ __ / __ __ __ __ / __ __ __ __

Expiry date __ __ / __ __

----- OR ----Direct debit from my bank account Financial institution. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Branch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Name of account . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BSB __ __ __ - __ __ __

Account number . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I hereby apply to join the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance as a new SOMA member and agree to be bound by its rules and constitution as amended from time to time. I request to pay my MEAA fees by payroll deduction / periodic credit card payment / periodic direct debit from my bank account until such time that I cancel my membership in writing. SIGNED. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Date. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

FOR OFFICE uSE ONLY Membership No:



Rec / Chq No:



Obligations of Membership Membership fees are levied annually by Federal Council in consultation with SOMA. All membership fees are tax deductible. Fines and Levies shall be the first charge of all payments by members. If you leave the industry and wish to resign your membership, at least two weeks written notice of resignation must be given to your Regional Director. An unfinancial member, in addition to being liable for all amounts outstanding to the union, shall not be entitled to any of the benefits of membership including voting rights

Web: www.meaa.org | Email: mail@meaa.org | Phone: MEAA Member Central: 1300 656 512 ** MEAA Musicians Multimedia Insurance (inc. Public Liability and Professional Indemnity) - complete declaration form overleaf

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Senza Sord July 2019  

July 2019 edition of Senza Sord, the official publication of the Symphony Orchestra Musician Association.

Senza Sord July 2019  

July 2019 edition of Senza Sord, the official publication of the Symphony Orchestra Musician Association.

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