Tuesday, October 18, 2016 2:15pm
Nothing compares to hearing a symphony orchestra live.
Across its 80 year history, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra has been there to corroborate life and contribute to our identity as a state.
With a reputation for vitality and versatility, the internationally acclaimed Adelaide Symphony Orchestra is South Australia’s largest performing arts organisation, established in 1936.
First formed as 15 player radio ensemble, today the ASO is enriches the community through more than 70 world-class performances to more than 80,000 diverse concertgoers each season. Each year it extends its audience beyond the concert halls through its Out of the CBD series and regular broadcasts on ABC Classic FM. And the ASO’s comprehensive Learning Series for schools and families symphony directly touches the lives of more than 12,000 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.
Between the ASO’s inception in 1936 and the inaugural Festival of Arts in 1960, the Symphony Orchestra played concerts for bushfire relief (1939), the troops (1945) and the Queen Mother (1958) and well as numerous state-wide tours for all South Australians, as well as the Young People’s Concert (1939), Beethoven Festival (1945), Royal Music Festival (1958), Gala Concerto (1951) and Sibelius Festival (2007).
Across our city’s cultural life, the ASO has been there: the Festival Theatre Opening in 1973, Opera in the Outback in 1988, WOMADelaide and the first Adelaide Cabaret Festival in 2001.
The ASO performed Mahler’s Symphony No 8 at the inaugural Adelaide Festival of Arts in 1968. Then, in 2010 the ASO performed alongside the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and over 600 choral singers at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre in the important history-making performance to mark the 100th anniversary of Mahler's premiere performance of this choral symphony in Munich, Germany and the Adelaide Festival’s 50th anniversary – and marked 42 years since it was last performed in Adelaide.
The ASO is famous for its two Ring Cycle performances with Jeffrey Tate and Asher Fisch and also the Parsifal performance in 2001, and received critical acclaim when Principal Conductor, Nicholas Carter conducted an epic program in Carter & Wagner, featuring a much-loved chapter of Wagner’s Ring Cycle – Act 1 of Die Walküre.
The ASO has played with great luminaries of various genres: Sir John Barbirolli, Daniel Barenboim, Otto Klemperer, Lorin Maazel, Mstislav Rostropovich, Isaac Stern, Rita Streich and more recently Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, José Carreras, James Galway, Roberta Flack, Burt Bacharach, Ben Folds, Nigel Kennedy, Human Nature, Tina Arena, the Hilltop Hoods, John Farnham, Ennio Morricone and Danny Elfmann.
The orchestra is acknowledged and critically acclaimed for its recordings on ABC Classics, Melba and Opus Arte – including Elgar’s famous Cello Concerto with Chinese Australian cellist, Li-Wei Qin.
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 Arvo Volmer was the first of its kind for South Australia and culminated in the performance of Mahler’s Symphony No 8 at the 2010 Adelaide Festival of Arts.
In the spirit of innovation, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra frequently showcases new music and has given the Australian premieres of works by Tan Dun, Oswaldo Golijov, James MacMillan, Arvo Part and Brett Dean.
The ASO maintains a strong commitment to new Australian music and has given World Premieres by major Australian composers such as Ross Edwards, Iain Grandage, Natalie Williams, Matthew Shlomowitz and Elena Kats-Chernin.
Delivering diverse and colourful programming with leading international and Australian musicians, it has also enjoyed hugely successful performances with such artists as Ben Folds, Tim Minchin and The Hilltop Hoods. And in 2015, the ASO and The Hilltop Hoods reprised their collaboration to record Drinking From The Sun, Walking 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 Australian Ballet.
All year long, the ASO demonstrates its versatility by performing music from the classical and romantic periods as well as music by living composers from all over the globe.
To mark the ASO’s 80th anniversary, the 2016 Season has seen the Orchestra embark on an exciting new artistic adventure with Nicholas Carter, Principal Conductor, Jeffrey Tate, Principal Guest Conductor and Artistic Adviser and Pinchas Zukerman, Artist in Association – heralding a new era of music making.
One of the greatest conductors in the world, Jeffrey Tate returns to conduct A Hero’s Life at the Festival Theatre in on Saturday evening. And we will be hosting our 80th Birthday Party Dinner Party.
Pinchas Zukerman is musical royalty and in November we welcome him to Adelaide for a mesmerising four-concert-series in the Adelaide Town Hall. In Zukerman in Concert, he shares the stage with our Principal Conductor, Nicholas Carter for this monumental concert event.
The San Francisco Chronicle extolled the virtuoso’s playing, “there’s no denying Zukerman’s legitimate claim as a triple threat. His violin playing is bright and sinuous, his viola playing is rich and soulful, and he conducts with an abundance of spirit.”
“Pinchas Zukerman first made his mark as a child prodigy handpicked and nurtured by violin great Isaac Stern and has continuously developed his artistic vision and his prodigious technique,” ASO Managing Director Vincent Ciccarello adds. “After 40 years, he just gets better and better.”
Recently voted in the top 20 Greatest Recorded Violinists of all time in BBC Music Magazine, we are proud to call internationally acclaimed Pinchas Zukerman our Artist-in-Association. He first reached wide international prominence in the musical circle of friends around Daniel Barenboim and Jacqueline du Pré in the 1960s and ’70s. As a conductor he has followed a parallel career since first taking up the baton with the English Chamber Orchestra in 1970. After drawing the attention of cellist Pablo Casals and Isaac Stern as a violin prodigy in Israel, Zukerman went to New York’s Juilliard School to study with Ivan Galamian.
Elinor Cooper from the BBC wrote about Zukerman last month saying, “He has a personal sound that is easy to spot – intense, passionate and strong-centred – which enhances a wide range of repertoire, perhaps strongest in the heartlands of the great Romantic concertos as well as Beethoven and Mozart.
In an interview for The Strad a few years ago, Zukerman remarked that a personal sound is something that a violinist is born with and that he/she can develop but not essentially change: ‘It’s about DNA’.
Join us as we welcome our esteemed Artistic Leadership team home to Adelaide for these epic and mesmerising concerts to celebrate our 80th Birthday and mark this significant milestone in the history of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra – your orchestra.
This article was written by Michelle Robins, Publications & Communications Coordinator, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.