London Symphony Orchestra Australian Tour 2023
The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) will make a triumphant return to Australia in April-May 2023 with internationally acclaimed conductor Sir Simon Rattle leading his final season as LSO Music Director.
Among the best orchestras in the world, the LSO will give two concerts in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, with a third exclusive program at the Sydney Opera House to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
This will be the LSO’s first Australian tour since 2014 and only the fourth trip Down Under in its 120 year history. The LSO made their Australian debut in 1966 and also toured in 1983. This is Sir Simon Rattle’s third visit to Australia.
LSO Music Director Sir Simon Rattle:
It’s always wonderful to be in Australia, and even more so after the last few years – the feeling of sharing and experiencing live music together is something really special. The program we have chosen to bring to Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne includes some of my personal favorites and showcases the great variety, skill and musicality of this world-class orchestra at its best.
LSO Chief Executive, Kathryn McDowell:
It’s amazing to be able to bring 114 musicians including two Australians – Naoko Keatley (violin) and Belinda McFarlane (violin) – to explore and share our music with Australian audiences. It’s the biggest orchestra we’ve ever brought to Australia and Sir Simon Rattle has put together an amazing program for the tour. Every visit to Australia has been a momentous occasion, just as this 2023 tour promises to be.
The first program includes Harmonielehre by John Adams, La Mer by Claude Debussy and Daphnis and Chloé Suite n°2 by Maurice Ravel.
La Mer by Debussy and Daphnis and Chloé by Ravel are a delicious nod to the orchestra’s particular sense of color and its ability to play so softly and delicately. This gives something very special to these works.
Harmonielehre by John Adams – a piece by a very dear friend of mine, whom I have loved all my musical life, has become a hallmark of the LSO.
The second program includes a unique work – Gustav Mahler’s epic Symphony No. 7, which Rattle describes as “one of Mahler’s most astonishing and surprising symphonies and certainly his most forward-looking. Adding that it’s “exactly the kind of piece that will show the LSO in all its glory.
A supplementary program at the Sydney Opera House will feature Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7 performed in the Benjamin-Gunnar Cohrs edition.
Benjamin is a great Bruckner specialist. Conducting the premiere of his edition of the Seventh Symphony was a real privilege, because every time I return to conduct his Bruckner arrangements – it’s always like hearing Bruckner’s music again.
The third concert will also feature a new work Sun Poem by brilliant young British composer Daniel Kidane. The LSO has been a pioneer in championing young composers, and we are delighted to bring this thoroughly fascinating and profoundly beautiful commissioned piece to the iconic Sydney Opera House.
Founded in 1904, the LSO is Resident Orchestra at the Barbican in the City of London and recognized as one of the finest orchestras in the world. The Orchestra has recorded some of the most memorable soundtracks in film music, including Star Wars, Indiana Jones and The Shape of Water. In addition to a successful record label, learning and community program, and streaming service, the LSO reaches around the world to share extraordinary music with as many people as possible.
The tour marks the end of Sir Simon Rattle’s term as Music Director of the LSO. Newly appointed conductor Sir Antonio Pappano will take over at the end of the 2023-24 season, while Sir Simon will become the LSO’s conductor emeritus and take up the post of principal conductor of the Symphonieor Chester of the Bayerischen Rundfunks in Munich.
QPAC Managing Director, Mr. John Kotzas:
It would be wonderful to welcome back one of the world’s most acclaimed orchestras for their first Australian season in almost ten years. Touring an orchestra of this size and scope internationally is no small feat and this Australian season, which opens at QPAC in Brisbane, is therefore a rare opportunity for local audiences.
With the famous Sir Simon Rattle conducting the Orchestra in his final season with LSO and his first QPAC appearance, this is certainly the classical music event of the year and not to be missed. The last time the LSO played QPAC, their gig sold out in less than 48 hours, and we expect to see the same demand for this comeback season.
Queensland Minister for Communities and Housing, Minister for the Digital Economy and Minister for the Arts, Leeanne Enoch, MP:
It’s incredibly exciting to welcome one of the world’s greatest orchestras back to Queensland. The London Symphony Orchestra was the official ceremonial orchestra for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, so there is a fitting connection for Queensland as we prepare for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, when our arts and our culture will be showcased on a global stage. .
Louise Herron AM, CEO of the Sydney Opera House:
What a joyous time it will be to see and hear one of the greatest orchestras in the world explore the acoustic potential of our newly transformed concert hall. The London Symphony Orchestra has a long history with the Opera House, having first performed here when the building was still under construction in 1966. We are therefore honored to welcome them back for this prestigious series of concerts as part of our 50th anniversary programme, conducted by the great Sir Simon Rattle on his final Australian appearance with the orchestra.
NSW Arts Minister Ben Franklin MLC:
I am delighted that the NSW Government is able to support three spectacular nights of the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Simon Rattle in the renewed concert hall through its Blockbusters funding initiative. This once-in-a-lifetime event will be one of the centerpieces of the Opera’s program of events and experiences to celebrate its 50th anniversary, providing an unprecedented opportunity for NSW and Australian audiences to experience a world-renowned orchestra led by one of the great names in classical orchestral conducting.
Managing Director of SSM, Sophie Galaise:
The LSO and the MSO are kindred spirits, established a few years apart at the turn of the last century. We share many values and passions as well as the titles of London’s and Australia’s oldest symphony orchestra respectively. We are delighted to present the Victorian National Tour Concerts.
It is a fantastic opportunity for Victorian audiences to revel in the majesty of one of the finest orchestras in the world under the direction of an exemplary conductor such as Maestro Rattle. We are extremely grateful to the Gandel Foundation, whose generous seed funding from the MSO Forever Future Fund made this visit possible. The OSM and our artistic family welcome Sir Simon Rattle and the extraordinary players of the OSL.
VIC Minister of Creative Industries, Tourism, Sports and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos:
Victorian-era music lovers will rejoice at being able to discover one of the greatest orchestras in the world under the direction of a one-of-a-kind conductor. Victoria is home to another of the greatest orchestras in the world: the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. They are to be applauded for their leading role in delivering this tour to Victorian audiences. This rare national tour brings another rich cultural experience to Melbourne, giving Victorians even more reason to rekindle their love affair with Australia’s cultural capital.
Name: Queensland Performing Arts Center | BRISBANE
Date: 28 -29 April 2023
Name: Sydney Opera House | SYDNEY
Date: May 1-3, 2022
Name: Hamer Hall, Arts Center | MELBOURNE
Date: May 5-6, 2023
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