The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) will make a triumphant return to Australia in April-May 2023 with internationally revered conductor, Sir Simon Rattle leading his final season as LSO Music Director.
Among the world’s finest orchestras, the LSO will perform two concerts in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, with a third program exclusive to the Sydney Opera House in celebration of its 50th anniversary year.
This will be the first Australian tour by the LSO since 2014 and only the fourth trip Down Under in its 120-year history. The LSO made its Australian debut in 1966 and also toured in 1983. It is Sir Simon Rattle’s third visit to Australia.
LSO Music Director Sir Simon Rattle:
It is always wonderful to be in Australia, and even more so after recent years – the feeling of sharing and experiencing live music together is something truly special. The program we’ve chosen to bring to Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne includes some of my personal favourites, and shows the great range, skill and musicianship of this world-class Orchestra at its best.
LSO Managing Director, Kathryn McDowell:
It’s incredible 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. This is the largest orchestra we’ve ever brought to Australia and Sir Simon Rattle has prepared an extraordinary program for the tour. Each visit to Australia has been a momentous occasion, just as this 2023 tour promises to be.
The first program features John Adams’ Harmonielehre, Claude Debussy’s La Mer and Maurice Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloé Suite No.2.
Debussy’s La Mer and Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe are a delightful nod to the orchestra’s special sense of colour and ability to play so quietly and delicately. It gives something very special to these works.
John Adams’ Harmonielehre- a piece by a very dear friend of mine, which I’ve loved all my musical life, has become a signature piece for the LSO.
The second program features a single work – Gustav Mahler’s epic Symphony No.7, which Rattle describes as “one of Mahler’s most astonishing and surprising and certainly his most forward-looking symphonies. Adding that it is “exactly the kind of piece that will show the LSO in all its glory.
An additional program at Sydney Opera House will feature Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No.7 performed in the edition by Benjamin-Gunnar Cohrs.
Benjamin is a leading specialist on Bruckner, Conducting the premiere of his edition of the Seventh Symphony was a real privilege, as it is each time that I return to conducting his arrangements of Bruckner- it is always like hearing Bruckner’s music afresh.
The third concert will also showcase 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 completely fascinating and deeply beautiful, commissioned piece to the iconic Sydney Opera House.
Established in 1904, the LSO is Resident Orchestra at the Barbican in the City of London and recognised among the world’s top orchestras. The Orchestra has recorded some of film music’s most memorable soundtracks including Star Wars, Indiana Jones and The Shape of Water. Along with a successful recording label, learning and community program, and streaming service, the LSO reaches around the globe to share extraordinary music with as many people as possible.
The tour marks the end of Sir Simon Rattle’s tenure as Music Director for the LSO. Newly appointed Chief Conductor Sir Antonio Pappano will take the baton at the end of the 2023-24 season, while Sir Simon will become the LSO’s Conductor Emeritus and take up the position of Chief Conductor with the Symphonieor chester des Bayerischen Rundfunks in Munich.
QPAC Chief Executive Mr John Kotzas:
It would be wonderful to again host one of the world’s most acclaimed orchestras for its first Australian season in almost ten years. Touring an orchestra of this size and scale internationally is no mean feat and so this Australian season, opening at QPAC in Brisbane, is a rare opportunity for local audiences.
With the lauded Sir Simon Rattle conducting the Orchestra in his last season with LSO, and his first appearance at QPAC, this is certainly the classical music event of the year and one not to be missed. The last time the LSO played at QPAC, their concert sold out in under 48 hours, and we expect to see the same demand for this return season.
Queensland Minister for Communities and Housing, Minister for Digital Economy and Minister for the Arts, Leeanne Enoch, MP:
It is incredibly exciting to once again welcome one of the world’s leading orchestras to Queensland. The London Symphony Orchestra was the official orchestra of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Ceremonies, so there is a fitting connection for Queensland as we prepare for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, when our arts and culture will be showcased on a global stage.
Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron AM:
What a joyous moment it will be to see and hear one of the world’s greatest orchestras explore the acoustic potential of our newly transformed Concert Hall. The London Symphony Orchestra has a long history with the Opera House, having first played here when the building was still under construction in 1966. So we are honoured to welcome them back for this prestigious concert series as part of our 50th anniversary program, led by the great Sir Simon Rattle in his final Australian appearance with the orchestra.
NSW Minister for the Arts Ben Franklin MLC:
I’m delighted the NSW Government is able to support three spectacular nights of the London Symphony Orchestra directed 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 centre pieces in the Opera House’s program of events and experiences to celebrate its 50th anniversary, providing an unparalleled opportunity for NSW and Australian audiences to experience a world-leading orchestra led by one of the living greats in classical conducting.
MSO Managing Director, Sophie Galaise:
The LSO and the MSO are kindred spirits, established within a few years of each other at the turn of last century. We share many values and passions as well as the titles of the oldest symphony orchestra in London and Australia, respectively. We are thrilled to present the Victorian concerts of the national tour.
This is a fantastic opportunity for Victorian audiences to revel in the majesty of one of the world’s finest orchestras under the baton of an exemplary conductor such as Maestro Rattle. We are extremely grateful to the Gandel Foundation, whose generous seed funding towards the MSO Forever Future Fund has made this visit possible. The MSO and our artistic family extend a heartfelt welcome to Sir Simon Rattle and the extraordinary players of the LSO.
VIC Minister for Creative Industries, Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos:
Victorian music lovers will rejoice at the opportunity to experience one of the world’s great orchestras under the baton of a once-in-a-generation conductor. Victoria is home to another of the world’s great orchestras: 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, offering Victorians even more reasons to rekindle their love affair with Australia’s cultural capital.
Name: Queensland Performing Arts Centre| BRISBANE
Date: 28 -29 Apr 2023
Name: Sydney Opera House| SYDNEY
Date: 1-3 May 2022
Name: Hamer Hall, Arts Centre | MELBOURNE
Date: 5-6 May 2023
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