Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Adelaide Symphony Orchestra Announces July-December 2021 Season

The Orchestra has announced its new initiative, Festival of Orchestra (FOFO), as the centrepiece for the season.

Adelaide Symphony Orchestra Announces July-December 2021 Season

Adelaide Symphony Orchestra has announced its new initiative - Festival of Orchestra (FOFO) - as the centrepiece of its July-December Season 2021.

Running from 26 November to 4 December at the Adelaide Showground, the Festival of Orchestra is an Australian first, and features six concerts celebrating the world's greatest orchestral music from the concert hall, Broadway, dance club, rock arena and the silver screen.

Adelaide Showground will become the hub for the Festival's sunset concerts. The central arena will feature the orchestra live on stage, with a capacity for 5,000 patrons each night. Adult tickets start from $49 and children from $19, with family and VIP packages and a variety of seating options available, including picnic tables in the garden; so start planning the perfect night out with friends. A selection of food trucks and bespoke bars will complete the festival atmosphere to ensure you can make it an enjoyable evening. Don't miss 6 incredible outdoor concerts over 10 nights under the stars. Ancillary events, including pre-concert entertainment, free community events and masterclass opportunities, will be announced in the coming weeks.

ASO Managing Director Vincent Ciccarello said this new and unique event in SA's festival calendar presents the ASO in a new light.

"Festival of Orchestra, or FOFO, takes the ASO out of the concert hall and onto the Main Arena of one of the State's best-loved venues," Mr Ciccarello said.

"We're bringing back Symphony under the Stars, in the form of our opening night Classical Spectacular, complete with cannons and fireworks," he said. "We have the Ministry of Sound orchestrated, the epic Carmina burana with massed choirs, a special night of highlights from Broadway musicals. And we'll be joining forces again with SA's own The Angels, before the Festival culminates in the BBC's extraordinary Blue Planet II with a score by Hans Zimmer and special guest narrator."

Mr Ciccarello said FOFO will have a carnival atmosphere by day, with lots of fun, family activities, demonstrations, games and displays.

The Festival has been made possible thanks to a $700,000 grant secured during 2020 through the Federal Government's Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) fund.

Season 2021: Part 2

In addition to Festival of Orchestra, the ASO continues its 2021 season with more unmissable masterpieces, as well as continuing its celebration of both old and new works on a grand scale. We continue our journey and commitment to representation of female composers past and present, along with unique collaborations: Adelaide Symphony Orchestra's 2021 Season July-December invites you to reconnect and come together to create a space for music. The program is a rich and varied finish to the year that presents inspirational artists and conductors from Australia and abroad.

Celebrating excellence and innovation, the second half of the season spans genres that deliver something of appeal to everyone, for all ages and across all musical styles from classics in the Symphony Series or an introduction to classical through Classics Unwrapped; or choose the Meditation Series if you need a pick-me-up to nourish your mind, body and soul; or be transported to a galaxy far, far away in a cinematic John Williams spectacular - Star Wars: Return of the Jedi in Concert.

We are thrilled to have Principal Guest Conductor Mark Wigglesworth back in Adelaide to conduct the orchestra for Symphony Series 5 Dreams and Passions including Konstantin Shamray in Rachmaninov's Third Piano Concerto, as well as Classical Spectacular and Carmina burana in FOFO.

ASO Associate Concertmaster Cameron Hill can't wait to welcome the Principal Guest Conductor back to the podium. He says,"When the ASO is fortunate enough to work with Mark, it always ends up being a moving, memorable experience. He can draw the orchestra in with the smallest of gestures, and has the ability to build and shape the music beautifully. There is a real freshness about his interpretations!

"Due to the pandemic, we've missed him greatly. He truly is in the top tier of conductors.

Ravel's Bolero, which features in Classical Spectacular, is one of my absolute favourite pieces to play, even though the violins sit out for much of it! Ravel uses a single Spanish-inspired theme with no development, and experiments with a 15-minute slow-building orchestral crescendo. It's impossible not to get swept up in the craziness of it all. It's bonkers."

ASO is passionate about our purpose to bring music to all South Australians, for connection and wellbeing, for learning and to shine a light on new and diverse voices.

ASO July-December Season 2021 includes 48 concerts and features 22 special guest artists and 11 conductors throughout the second half of the season.

FOFO: Festival of Orchestra

Festival of Orchestra kicks off in spectacular style with a Classical Spectacular. This thrilling opening concert conducted by Mark Wigglesworth will be a night to remember! Featuring some of the greatest orchestral music ever created, this is music of passion and spectacle: the Jets and the Sharks facing off to the pulsating music from Bernstein's West Side Story, the soaring emotion of the adagio from Khachaturian's ballet Spartacus, the scintillating big city sounds of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and Ravel's powerfully hypnotising Boléro. As if that weren't enough, the cannons will thunder and the fireworks will dazzle, to the sounds of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. Wednesday 24 November, Adelaide Showground.

Ministry of Sound this year celebrates its 30th anniversary as London's first superclub. The nightclub was a trailblazer for London's club scene dedicated to house music.For electronic music enthusiasts, Ministry of Sound: Classical is a celebration of the most beloved dance floor moments of the last 25 years - rearranged, remixed and reimagined with the ASO. Featuring Adelaide's own DJ Groove Terminator, aka Simon Lewicki, this event is supported with a warm-up set from DJ John Course, setting the mood for an epic evening of entertainment. Friday 26 November, Adelaide Showground.

GT, as he is widely known, is excited that finally this symphonic dance music experience is coming to Adelaide. He says, "Book the babysitter, wear your best dancing shoes and expect to be on your feet dancing from the first song until the final encore! It's one of the most exhilarating shows I've been involved in, I come off stage with the biggest grin and the biggest endorphin rush every night we perform.

This new set is sounding pretty epic. My fav tune to do live? It used to be Two Months Off by Underworld but I think that has been eclipsed by Where's Your Head At by Basement Jaxx - to have such a raucous song like this with an orchestra really is something else, let me tell you!"

Whether you've been thrilled by it on a movie soundtrack, or whether its power and energy have persuaded you to buy everything from coffee to beer (remember the Carlton Draught advertisement?), a complete performance of Carmina burana is always an epic concert event.

Bawdy, irreverent, exciting and offering an unparalleled sense of musical spectacle, Carl Orff's Carmina Burana is a big, bold celebration of life, love, and the pleasures of the flesh and the grape. It's also one of the most popular works ever created for choir and orchestra. From the mighty opening chorus - O Fortuna - this is an unforgettable musical experience. With more than 200 performers on stage, this sensational concert the ASO is joined by Young Adelaide Voices, the Elder Conservatorium Chorale, Graduate Singers and an outstanding cast of vocal soloists, under the direction of the Orchestra's Principal Guest Conductor, Mark Wigglesworth. Saturday 27 November, Adelaide Showground.

ASO Associate Principal Second Violin Lachlan Bramble says, "Carmina Burana is so much more than the iconic opening bars. It is an unforgettable hour of joy, beauty and medieval debauchery that simply has to be experienced live."

Get ready for A Night on Broadway. They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway, and the lights will shine just as brightly on the ASO in this dazzling musical theatre showcase. A show-stopping line-up of Australia's finest musical theatre stars including Amy Lepahmer, will perform your favourite numbers from the great musicals - including 'Music of the Night' from Phantom of the Opera, 'Bring Him Home' from Les Misérables, 'Defying Gravity' from Wicked, 'Back to Before'from Ragtime, 'If I Loved You' from Carousel and 'Let It Go' from Frozen. In gleaming orchestral style the ASO will bring you some of the most exciting music ever written for the Great White Way, under the sparkling direction of Guy Noble. Wednesday 1 December, Adelaide Showground.

Guy is looking forward to conducting A Night on Broadway, "Broadway music just wears its heart on its sleeve. It's like taking a ride on Aladdin's magic carpet through a world of high emotion. Most shows have very small orchestras made up of keyboards, but to hear the big songs with the full power of the Adelaide Symphony - that's a whole new world," Guy said.

Classic rock enthusiasts won't be disappointed in a rock orchestral makeover. The Angels and ASO are set to rock the Royal Adelaide Showground with symphonic spectacular Symphony of Angels. Conducted by Rob John, ASO will be joined on stage by Brewster brothers John and Rick, Nick Norton and Sam Brewster, and the incomparable and charismatic lead man Dave Gleeson.

Featuring 75 ASO musicians on stage, and a choir, this 20-song extravaganza will take you through The Angels' greatest works: Take A Long Line, Marseilles, After the Rain, Be with You and Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again, to name a few. Don't miss this unique rock-meets-symphony spectacle with the world-class Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Aussie rock legends The Angels. Friday 3 December, Adelaide Showground.

John and Rick Brewster have a long and rich history with the orchestra - their grandfather was one of the founders of Adelaide's first symphony orchestra, and a player with the ASO when it was formed in 1936. John says, "The last time we played with the orchestra it was one of the absolute highlights of my musical career and life itself. Adelaide will always be a special place for us as the birthplace for the band, and we can't wait to again play with one of the best orchestras in the country, the ASO."

"The ASO knows no bounds these days and in Symphony of Angels they joined with one of Adelaide's greatest popular music creations in a supercharged super-fun night of classic rock. The Angels had the full house shouting and screaming within seconds, and sure enough they pumped out a veritable roll-call of hits." The Advertiser, 2018.

A fantastical journey from icy polar seas to pulsating coral reefs, from the luminous deep sea to enormous kelp forests: immerse yourself with Blue Planet II - Live in Concert, a simply awe-inspiring and epic experience that you will never forget.

Following the incredible success of the BAFTA award-winning BBC One television series Blue Planet II, presented by Sir David Attenborough, BBC Studios are proud to present Blue Planet II Live in Concert, bringing the wonders and mysteries of the planet's oceans and wildlife to the stage. Featuring film sequences projected on a state-of-the-art HD LED screen, this will be an unforgettable evening under the stars as the ASO performs the music of Hans Zimmer on the final evening of the Festival of Orchestra, with maestro Vanessa Scammell conducting. Saturday 4 December, Adelaide Showground.

Learn more at

Related Articles View More Australia - Adelaide Stories

More Hot Stories For You