The Sydney Symphony Orchestra Launches Its 2020 Season And Returns To Historical Sydney Town Hall

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra Launches Its 2020 Season And Returns To Historical Sydney Town HallSydney Symphony Orchestra's Chief Executive Officer, Emma Dunch is delighted to announce another innovative program and lead Australia's premier orchestra in a historically-defining chapter of the Orchestra's journey.

"It is my absolute pleasure to announce the Sydney Symphony Orchestra's 2020 Season," says Dunch.

"In 2020, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra will be returning to the place we called home from 1932 to 1973. We are excited to name the Sydney Town Hall as our main performance venue over the next two years, before returning to continue our residency at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall at the start of 2022.

"This is a truly exciting time for the us - we will be embarking on the most significant period of transformations in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra's history. We cannot wait to share the program with our audiences as we continue

on this musical journey - there will be major works, audience favourites, and even more ways to experience music with Australia's premier orchestra!"

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra has named the Sydney Town Hall as its main performance venue in 2020 and 2021, while the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall undergoes its largest-ever refurbishment. Funded by the NSW

Government, this major upgrade will improve acoustics, stage and backstage areas, theatre systems and accessibility in the iconic venue that the Orchestra calls home.

Ahead of its return to the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall in 2022, the Orchestra's mainstage concerts will take place in the Centennial Hall at the Sydney Town Hall. Serving as its home from 1932 until the Orchestra took up permanent residency in the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall in 1973, the Sydney Town Hall holds historical

significance for the Sydney Symphony. The Orchestra's time at the central CBD venue featured some of the greatest names in musical history, including pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy who performed there in the early years of his career. In acknowledgement of his long-standing relationship with the Orchestra as a pianist and now conductor, Ashkenazy has been named the first-ever Conductor Laureate of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

The landmark building's Centennial Hall will allow audiences to experience symphonic music with the Orchestra in a venue highly celebrated for its acoustic richness.

In addition to the Sydney Town Hall, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra will continue to perform and share music in venues throughout the state, including the City Recital Hall. Together with the Sydney Coliseum Theatre West HQ, the Orchestra announced its anchor partnership with the venue earlier in the year, establishing a performing presence at the newly built venue to share musical experiences with the Rooty Hill community and the Greater Western Sydney region. The Orchestra will also continue to share musical experiences beyond the Sydney area through its annual Regional Tour, and outreach programs.

Over nine special events, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra will feature large-scale works and multi-disciplinary collaborations with leading international conductors.

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra features among international orchestras in global project led by conductor Marin Alsop, celebrating the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth

In celebration of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth Marin Alsop, American conductor and former student of the celebrated conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein, will lead a year-long celebratory global project.

The reimagining of his Ninth Symphony as part of the "A Global Ode to Joy" project will include Australia's premier orchestra and orchestras across five continents including in São Paulo, Brazil; London, England; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; major centres in New Zealand; Vienna, Austria; Durban and Johannesburg, South Africa; and New York, USA.

Often hailed as one of Beethoven's greatest works, Alsop will conduct the Ninth Symphony in different cities throughout the world and reimagine the piece for each community. Alongside the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Alsop will perform Symphony No.9, working closely with Indigenous representatives to incorporate traditional music as part of the performance (7-9 August).

The worldwide series of concerts highlights the brotherhood of man and seeks to bring diverse communities together

- themes that underpin Beethoven's choral work.

Celebrated globally as one of the world's leading conductors, Alsop has worked extensively with the world's major orchestras. In 2013, she became the first female conductor of the BBC's Last Night of the Proms concert as part of the annual classical music BBC Proms festival held at the Royal Albert Hall in London. In 1989, she was the first woman to receive the Koussevitzky Conducting Prize from Boston's prestigious Tanglewood Music Centre.

Principal Guest Conductor Donald Runnicles returns to lead Beethoven's monumental

Missa Solemnis, an Italian Opera Gala and is joined by in-demand violinist Christian Tetzlaff

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra's first-ever Principal Guest Conductor Donald Runnicles will return to lead what is often regarded as one the greatest works in the classical canon, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis (18-21 March). With the participation of the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Runnicles and the Orchestra will capture the deep spiritual

significance that the work held for the composer and reflect the inscription that he wrote on the original manuscript - "From the heart - may it return to the heart."

Renowned for his interpretations of opera repertoire, Runnicles and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra will perform

an Italian Opera Gala (25-28 March) featuring works by opera composers Giuseppe Verdi, Gioachino Rossini, Giacomo Puccini and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, among others. Both performances will see the Orchestra and Runnicles joined by young Australian singers Siobhan Stagg (soprano) and Derek Welton (bass), Samuel Sakker (tenor),

and Russian Vasilisa Berzhanskaya (mezzo-soprano).

Runnicles will also be joined by one of the world's most-sought after violinists, Christian Tetzlaff for special performances from 19-21 November. Known for his captivating lyricism and refined interpretations of compositions, the German violinist will perform Brahms' Violin Concerto in his long-awaited return to the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. On 22 November in a standalone special event, Tetzlaff will also perform a recital of Bach's Sonatas and Partitas.

David Robertson returns as guest conductor to lead multi-collaborative performance of Brahms' greatest choral work

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra will welcome back David Robertson as guest conductor in 2020, following his six-year tenure as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director.

The renowned conductor, who shaped the Orchestra's sound during his time with the Orchestra, will lead Brahms' A German Requiem - a large-scale work for chorus and orchestra. The concert programs will feature Australians Cleo Lee-McGowan (soprano), Michael Honeyman (baritone) and the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs together with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (16-18 July).

A young soprano, Lee-McGowan is gaining recognition as a leading Australian opera singer of her generation. Debuting with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 2019 under Robertson's baton in the operatic work Britten's Peter Grimes in Concert and reputed for his dramatic baritone roles, Honeyman was formerly a banker before pursuing a career as an opera singer.

Showcasing the Sydney Symphony Orchestra's ability to traverse different genres, the 2020 Season will feature Latin-inspired concerts, A Night at the Speakeasy: The 1950s Latin Lounge (5-8 February).

The special program will include Australian soprano Ali McGregor performing hits of Yma Sumac, the Peruvian coloratura soprano credited as the most famous exponent of the Latin music genre in the 1950s. Following her debut with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in the first Night at the Speakeasy concerts in 2018, burlesque artist Imogen Kelly will return to perform in The 1950s Latin Lounge program. Kelly is currently the only Australian to be crowned

a World Queen of Burlesque by The Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas.

Simone Young, one of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra's esteemed guest conductors, returns to lead A Viennese Gala from 5-7 September featuring works by Johann Strauss Jr and Johann Strauss Sr. The program will feature

a night of waltzes, polkas and marches - music typically heard at the annual Wiener Philharmoniker Ball in Austria.

A Viennese Gala is part of Young's multi-year Visions of Vienna series, inspired by the Austrian capital city and known for its significant role in classical music.

The Sydney-born conductor was named a Young Australian of the Year in 1987 for her contribution to the Arts. In 2005, she was the first female conductor of the prestigious Wiener Philharmoniker in its then 156-year history. More recently, Young was the Artistic Director of the Hamburg State Opera and Music Director of the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra. Over the course of her career, she has guest collaborated with leading international orchestras in prestigious venues around the globe.

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra spotlights its musicians performing Bach's complete Brandenburg concertos

Led by Australian conductor and harpsichordist Erin Helyard and featuring Sydney Symphony orchestral soloists, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra will perform Bach's complete Brandenburg concertos (23-24 October).

The first of the six movements in the Brandenburg Concertos was chosen as the first piece of music to be played on the Voyager Golden Records, a set of two phonograph records that was included as part of the Voyager spacecraft launched in 1977. The records contained sounds and images indicative of the diversity of life and culture on Earth, with the music by Bach representing the pinnacle of human achievement.

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra welcomes internationally acclaimed conductors and soloists.

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra features programs curated by its four visionary conductors in continuation of their multi-year artistic projects

Launched in 2019, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra will continue to feature the artistic projects of its four visionary conductors Donald Runnicles, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Simone Young, and David Robertson. The multi-year cycles of each of the international conductors' own curation will run through 2020, 2021, taking audiences on unique musical journeys over multiple performances across several seasons.

Conductor Laureate Vladimir Ashkenazy returns to lead programs inspired by Nordic countries and is joined by debuting violinist Akiko Suwanai

Vladimir Ashkenazy, named Conductor Laureate in 2019 - an honour never-before bestowed on any Sydney Symphony conductor - will return to lead a series of performances titled the Northern Lights Festival, featuring works from Scandinavia and Finland. The first in the program will feature Norwegian composer Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite No.1 and 2, and Finnish composer Sibelius' Symphony No.5 (21-23 May). The second program of the Northern Lights Festival will feature an all-Sibelius program, including the Karelila Suite, Symphony No.1, and the composer's Violin Concerto performed by violinist Akiko Suwanai (27-30 May) in her debut with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

Japanese violinist Suwanai was the youngest ever winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1990,

a major event in the international music community which has launched the careers of some of the biggest names in the classical world over the last 61 years. Her collaborations have seen her perform with orchestras across Europe and Asia, including the Staatskapelle Dresden and the Bamberger Symphoniker in Germany, and the Hong Kong

Philharmonic. She performs on the Stradivarius 'Dolphin' violin from 1714, one of the world's most famous violins and previously owned by violinist Jascha Heifetz, regarded as one of the greatest performing artists in musical history.

Violinist Augustin Hadelich debuts with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra alongside returning guest conductor David Robertson

Conductor David Robertson will be joined by violinist Augustin Hadelich performing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto alongside the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. The program will also feature the Fourth Symphony by the same composer, and Strauss'

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