Our Story

The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra was founded as a 15 player radio ensemble and performed its first series of public concerts in 1936. Mr William Cade, an Adelaide born musician who had worked in London with Sir Thomas Beecham, was the orchestra's first conductor.

The orchestra reformed in 1949 as the 55 member South Australian Symphony Orchestra with the legendary Professor Henry Krips as resident conductor. The orchestra reverted to its original and present title, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in 1975.

It is the largest performing arts organisation in South Australia and each year, performs over 100 concerts across a diverse musical spectrum. The ASO also provides the orchestral support for the State Opera of South Australia and performances by The Australian Ballet and Opera Australia, and is the most prolific contributor to the Adelaide Festival.

Following its groundbreaking 1996 tour to China, the ASO won world acclaim in 1998 with the State Opera of South Australia’s production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle. This monumental project was repeated in 2004 with the first all-Australian production. In 2009, the ASO performed at Carnegie Hall, New York as part of the annual G’Day USA celebrations.

The Orchestra is acknowledged and critically acclaimed for its recordings and its ongoing commitment to Australian composers and has released recordings on ABC Classics, Melba and Opus Arte.

The ASO made history as the first Australian orchestra to record and release the entire Sibelius Symphony Cycle. The Orchestra’s current Mahler Symphony Cycle (2006 – 2013) under Maestro Volmer is the first of its kind for South Australia and resulted in a record breaking performance of Mahler’s symphony No 8, as part of the 2010 Adelaide Festival.

ASO Heritage

ASO Heritage is dedicated to the history of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra

click here to visit ASO Heritage