Willoughby Symphony Orchestra Announces 2024 Season

The season will open with a gala concert entitled An Evening with James Bond.

By: Jul. 30, 2023
Willoughby Symphony Orchestra Announces 2024 Season
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Bringing art and culture to the heart of the North Shore, united in a shared vision of music and community Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra, Dr. Nicholas Milton AM and Willoughby Mayor, Tanya Taylor have announced the 2024 Willoughby Symphony Orchestra season.
Dr Milton said “I am delighted to present the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra's 2024 season, a line-up of extraordinary musical performances. Our 2024 season-opening Gala concert An Evening with James Bond sets the tone for an exuberant and thrilling year. A massive orchestra brings the most beloved title songs to vivid life, including “Goldfinger," "Nobody Does it Better," “Skyfall," "No Time to Die" and "Diamonds are Forever.” 
I will also conduct two “Fifth” symphonies in 2024: Beethoven's Fifth contains surely the most famous symphonic statement of the entire repertoire, but our audiences will equally be astounded by the raw emotional impact of Shostakovich's earth-shattering Firth Symphony. As always, the Willoughby Symphony welcomes prodigious Australian soloists, including the remarkable Konstantin Shamray, winner of the First Prize at the Sydney International Piano Competition. Dazzling instrumentalists Winnie Suand Edward Walton represent the next generation of Australian musical stars.
The powerful Willoughby Symphony Choir, under the direction of one of Australia's leading Choir Masters, Peter Ellis, will feature in an irrepressible Christmas concert and, with our brilliant Associate Conductor Dr Sarah Penicka-Smith, the choir will mount what will surely be a spectacular rendition of Dvořák's soulful Stabat Mater. 
Our eternally popular Last Night of the Proms promises colossal spectacle and jubilation in a special edition concert featuring music from the coronation of King Charles III and a host of special guest artists. 
The orchestra also presents a wide range of educational and concert programs for young people and families. Disney's classic 1989 animation, The Little Mermaid will be projected on the big screen at The Concourse Concert Hall with the complete score being performed live by the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra conducted by the brilliant Vanessa Scammell.
It continues to be an honour for me to make music with the wonderful musicians of our orchestra, who perform with such electrifying commitment and enthusiasm and who share such an inspiring vision for our community.”
When announcing the 2024 season alongside Dr Nicholas Milton, Willoughby Mayor, Tanya Taylor said “The Willoughby Symphony has been hailed as one of Australia's most extraordinary orchestras, presenting captivating community events that deliver unbridled joy to the community that Willoughby City Council serves with great pride. 
Nicholas Milton's legendary tenure as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Willoughby Symphony has truly transformed it into a remarkable organisation. The Council recognises Nick's loyalty and passion for the orchestra and we note that his association as a conductor of this outstanding ensemble is approaching 40 years of service. 
“The ensemble's outstanding musicians have embraced his vision of how an orchestra can open hearts and enrich lives, and the Council is justifiably proud of not only the thrilling musical performances the orchestra presents, but also the extraordinarily popular programs for young people, emerging artists and the next generation of Australian composers and instrumentalists that are fostered and embraced by the orchestra's initiatives.” 
Performances by the WSO include;


Artistic Director and Chief Conductor, Dr Nicholas Milton AM
Saturday 3 February, 7pm & Sunday 4 February, 2pm
Nobody does it better than the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra as they launch their 2024 season with a thrilling night of spycraft and suspense. Join Chief Conductor and Artistic Director Dr Nicholas Milton AM and the WSO in a celebration of themes from the iconic James Bond films from the 1960s to the 21st century. Relive the adventures of the world's greatest spy in this electrifying musical experience featuring classics like Goldfinger, Diamonds are Forever and Moonraker through to modern masterpieces like Adele's Skyfall and Billie Eilish's No Time to Die.


Conductor, Vanessa Scammell
Saturday 9 March, 7pm & Sunday 10 March, 2pm

Join Ariel and friends for an adventure “Under the Sea” as Disney's classic 1989 animation, The Little Mermaidprojects on the big screen at The Concourse Concert Hall with the complete score performed live by the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra conducted by Vanessa Scammell
Enjoy all the beloved songs from the iconic film including Under the Sea, Part of Your World and Kiss the Girlas you re-live this classic tale of Ariel and her magical world under the sea.
Presentation licensed by Disney Concerts. © All rights reserved.

Subscription series concerts


Conductor, Luke Spicer
Piano, Winnie Su
Willoughby Symphony Choir
Saturday 20 April, 7pm & Sunday 21 April, 2pm
Ludwig van Beethoven wrote his Fifth Piano Concerto, the 'Emperor', at the height of his powers, demonstrating the grandeur and exhilarating musical possibilities of the piano. Hear this iconic work in the hands of rising star Australian pianist Winnie Su, who joins conductor Luke Spicer and the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra for an unmissable night of music. Be there for the unveiling of a brand new work by the winner the of the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra's Young Composer Award for 2024 alongside Gustav Holst's A Somerset Rhapsody and Ralph Vaughan Williams' exquisite Benedicite, sung by the Willoughby Symphony Choir.
HOLST A Somerset Rhapsody Op. 21
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto no. 5 in Eb Major Op. 73


Artistic Director and Chief Conductor, Dr Nicholas Milton AM
Piano, Konstantin Shamray
Saturday 27 July, 7pm & Sunday 28 July, 2pm
Internationally renowned concert pianist Konstantin Shamray joins the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra for a stunning showcase of Russian music. Hear the prize-winning Australian-based, Russian-born pianist perform Sergei Rachmaninov's brilliant Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op.43, a glittering showpiece of astounding virtuosity, under the baton of Chief Conductor and Artistic Director Dr Nicholas Milton AM. Alongside this showstopper, the WSO performs Alexander Borodin's lively Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor and one of the 20th-century's most fascinating works, Dmitri Shostakovich's mighty Fifth Symphony, written amidst the danger and oppression of Stalin's Russia. 
BORODIN Prince Igor – Polovtsian Dances
RACHMANINOV Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini Op. 43
SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony no. 5 in D minor Op. 47


Artistic Director and Chief Conductor, Dr Nicholas Milton AM
Willoughby Symphony Choir
Saturday 10 August, 7pm & Sunday 11 August, 2pm
Mark your calendar for a night of musical revelry as The Last Night of the Proms returns in a special edition concert featuring music from the coronation of King Charles III. Chief Conductor and Artistic Director Dr Nicholas Milton AM is Master of Ceremonies in this wildly popular annual tradition, which will include stirring performances of Edward Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March No.1, Hubert Parry's Jerusalem, Thomas Arne's rousing, Britannia! and Otto Nicolai's Overture to The Merry Wives of Windsor, alongside music by Percy Grainger, Peter Sculthorpe and much more. Enjoy orchestral favourites alongside popular classics in spirited performances by the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra, with plenty of opportunities to sing along and get those flags waving! 


Associate Conductor Dr Sarah Penicka-Smith
Willoughby Symphony Choir
Saturday 12 October, 7pm & Sunday 13 October, 2pm
Experience the sublime beauty of one of the most profoundly moving choral works ever written when Associate Conductor Dr Sarah Penicka-Smith leads the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra and Choir in Antonín Dvořák's Stabat Mater. The Czech master of melody wrote this soul-stirring music in response to devastating personal tragedy, creating a transcendent work of healing that continues to resonate with audiences today. Don't miss this incredible choral masterpiece.
DVOŘÁK Stabat Mater


Artistic Director and Chief Conductor, Dr Nicholas Milton AM
Violin, Edward Walton
Saturday 23 November, 7pm & Sunday 24 November, 2pm
Australian violinist Edward Walton won his first international competition in Italy at the age of 13 and has gone on to win awards around the world. Hear one of classical music's most exciting young stars perform Johannes Brahms' monumental Violin Concerto with Chief Conductor and Artistic Director Dr Nicholas Milton AM and the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra. Then the most famous four notes in music history launch Ludwig van Beethoven's magnificent Fifth Symphony, a beloved cornerstone of the orchestral repertoire. Experience this remarkable symphony in the hands of the WSO in a concert celebrating the wonder and passion of music. 
Special performances by the WSO

The Magic of Christmas

Conductor, Peter Ellis
Willoughby Symphony Orchestra & Willoughby Symphony Choir
Sunday 8 December, 2pm
Celebrate the magic of Christmas at this delightfully jubilant concert performance for the whole family. Sing along to your favourite Christmas classics with the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra and Choir as they perform your favourite carols in this memorable celebration that will fill your heart with the joy of the festive season!

Mini Maestros

Conductor, George Ellis
Willoughby Symphony Orchestra
Saturday 6 July, 11am

Join Maestro George Ellis and Willoughby Symphony Orchestra as they take you on a musical journey through the orchestra with plenty of laughs along the way!


Conductor, Peter Ellis
Willoughby Symphony Choir
Sunday 23 June, 2pm
Location: The Concourse, Concert Hall, 409 Victoria Ave Chatswood

Individual concert prices from $52.50

Subscription packages from Adults from $180; Concession from $165;  Under 35 from $84 


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