ASO announces Festival of Orchestra

Adelaide Symphony Orchestra is thrilled to announce an exciting new initiative – Festival of Orchestra (FOFO) – as the centerpiece 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 6incredible 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.

Session Details

Venue: Adelaide Showground, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra
Date: July To December Session
To access a copy of the 2021 Season, visit

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