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Our Story

With a reputation for vitality and versatility, the much loved Adelaide Symphony Orchestra is South Australia’s largest performing arts organisation, established in 1936.

For 85 years, the ASO has been there to corroborate life and contribute to South Australia’s identity. Today the ASO plays a major role in Adelaide’s cultural and economic vibrancy, and enriches the community through a diverse program of world-class performances to more than 100,000 concertgoers each season.

Each year it extends its audience beyond the concert halls through its community concerts and regional activity together with regular broadcasts on ABC Classics. Additionally the ASO’s comprehensive Learning Series for schools and families directly touches the lives of more than 16,000 children, thereby forging a special connection to music from a young age. In 1998 and 2004 the ASO came to the attention of the international community with its exemplary playing of Wagner’s Ring Cycle.

Delivering diverse and colourful programming with leading international and Australian musicians, it has also enjoyed hugely successful performances with artists such as Ben Folds, Tim Minchin and The Hilltop Hoods.

In 2015, the ASO and The Hilltop Hoods reprised their collaboration to record Drinking From The SunWalking Under Stars Restrung. In the spirit of innovation, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra frequently showcases new music and Australian premieres. The ASO has embarked on numerous international tours, including China, Korea, Singapore and Carnegie Hall in New York, and plays a vital role in the Adelaide Festival of Arts, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, OzAsia Festival, WOMADelaide, State Opera of South Australia and The Australian Ballet.

“Lucky Adelaide! A city the size of Adelaide is so lucky to have an orchestra such as the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. They are world class. Their repertoire is so varied, appeal to a wide audience and attract some wonderful guests from around the world. Their concerts are always such an enjoyable experience.”

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Our Heritage

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 The Australian Ballet and, and is a 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 Mahler Symphony Cycle (2006 – 2013) under Maestro Volmer was 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.

To find out more about our heritage, visit the ASO Heritage website.

Music not of this world, but of somewhere above…

DIAGHILEV

More events to be announced

Special Event

Jayson Gillham in Recital

Elder Hall

Mon 30 May 2022

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Jayson Gillham in Recital

In this compelling solo recital, multi-award-winning Australian piano virtuoso Jayson Gillham plays Bach works ranging in scale from the intimate to the epic, culminating in the mighty, uplifting Chaconne.

Session Mon 30 May 2022, 7:30pm

Family

Finders Keepers

Adelaide Town Hall

Fri 10 Jun 2022

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Finders Keepers

The much-loved children’s book The Lost Thing comes to life in this magical concert experience.

Session Fri 10 Jun 2022, 6:00pm

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Festival of Learning

Finders Keepers

Adelaide Town Hall

Wed 8 Jun 2022

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Finders Keepers

Join internationally acclaimed educator Paul Rissmann and the ASO as they guide your students through this magical concert in which they’ll find hidden orchestral gems.

Session

Festival of Learning

Stan and Mabel and the Race for Space

Adelaide Town Hall

Thu 9 Jun 2022

View event

Stan and Mabel and the Race for Space

Join us for an exciting musical adventure featuring Jason Chapman’s much-loved dog and cat duo, Stan and Mabel.

Session

See Learning Program

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    • Adelaide Entertainment Centre: Floor Sections, Front of Tiered Arena Seating Sections 5-9.
    • Adelaide Town Hall: Dress Circle
    • Festival Theatre: Stalls and Dress Circle
    • Elder Hall: Stalls and Gallery

    *Please note some Elder Hall and Grainger Studio events are single reserve only.

    • Adelaide Entertainment Centre: Rear of Floor Sections, Tiered Arena Seating
    • Adelaide Town Hall: Stalls and Central Unrestricted View Gallery
    • Festival Theatre: Stalls, Dress Circle and Grand Circle
    • Elder Hall: Stalls and Gallery

    *Please note some Elder Hall and Grainger Studio events are single reserve only.

    • Adelaide Entertainment Centre: Side View Floor Sections, Tiered Arena Seating
    • Adelaide Town Hall: Stalls, Alcoves and Gallery (some Gallery seats partially restricted view)
    • Festival Theatre: Rear Stalls, Dress Circle and Grand Circle

    *Please note some Elder Hall and Grainger Studio events are single reserve only.

    • Adelaide Entertainment Centre: Tiered Arena Seating
    • Adelaide Town Hall: Stalls, Alcoves and Gallery (most C Reserve seats are partially or fully restricted view)
    • Festival Theatre: Dress Circle and Grand Circle

    *Please note some Elder Hall and Grainger Studio events are single reserve only.

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