Adelaide Symphony Orchestra Season 2021 –
create a space for music
Breathtaking masterpieces, a unique celebration of home-grown Australian talent, a commitment to representation of female composers past and present, along with unique collaborations: Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s 2021 Season February-July invites you to reconnect and come together to create a space for music. The program is an incredibly rich and varied start to the year that presents inspirational artists and conductors with a distinctly Australian flavour. Celebrating excellence and innovation in glorious classical concerts, this season spans genres that deliver something of appeal to everyone.
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 Managing Director Vincent Ciccarello says, “Whether you are re-connecting or taking the first step on your ASO journey, you have so much to look forward to in 2021 – and you’ll notice some innovations too. What will never change is our commitment to sharing the universal message of music’s power, beauty and relevance, in inspiring performances.”
ASO Season 2021 includes 30 concerts and features 40 artists and conductors throughout the first half of the season.
_____________ a space for MUSIC
The first half of our 2021 Season will feature performances by outstanding Australian guest soloists, including soprano Siobhan Stagg, pianist Jayson Gillham, violinist Grace Clifford and many more – a showcase of inspiring home-grown talent.
The inimitable maestro Guy Noble returns for Classics Unwrapped, the playful series that explores the world of your favourite classics.
_____________ a space for CONNECTION
A new Chamber Music Series lets you hear ASO musicians up close with performances in beautiful Elder Hall. The series is curated by Associate Principal Second Violin Lachlan Bramble, who says, “ASO’s chamber concerts have a range of instruments and colours that you won’t hear anywhere else. Phantasy is a lush and gorgeous imagining with music by Ravel, Strauss and Britten contrasted with the perky Octet by Stravinsky. Giocoso is a concert of riotous fun – an unlikely but wonderful collision of bold romanticism and jazz decorated with wisps of French Impressionism. This is a special chance to see your ASO musical family make music together in the most intimate and personal way”.
_____________ a space for INCLUSION
Music by women composers will feature in every Symphony Series concert; you can also join us in celebrating the work of female composers past and present in She Speaks, a special event that explores the diversity of female compositional voices from Australia and abroad.
The Miriam Hyde Circle is an exciting new ASO initiative, committed to greater representation of female composers – past, present and future – on the stage. The ASO recognises the importance of female composers. The Circle is part of the ASO’s inclusive cultural agenda and will celebrate the significant contributions made by women in music while supporting the future of Australian and international female composers.
ASO Managing Director Vincent Ciccarello says, “With all too rare exceptions, accomplished musical women have been overlooked for centuries, missing out on the opportunities and recognition they deserved. The Miriam Hyde Circle aims to change that by celebrating women composers of the past, present and future. The ASO is thrilled to be able to play a small part in this revolution.”
_____________ a space for WELLBEING
In a new Meditation Series of concerts, music of deep emotional resonance will take you on a powerful inner journey.
_____________ a space for LEARNING
Whether you are a student or a teacher, a toddler or a retiree, in pre-school or a postgraduate we will continue to present performances and workshops across South Australia.
_____________ a space for COMMUNITY
Our free community centre concerts allow us to bring music to a broad range of audiences across metropolitan Adelaide.
_____________ a space for MORE
We can’t wait to share more programming announcements with you, including a selection of family performances throughout 2021. The ASO is also developing a series of relaxed concerts for people with a range of additional needs and disabilities. To keep up to date with future announcements, sign up to our eNewsletter, eNotes, at aso.com.au/enotes.
2020 will be predominantly remembered by the feelings experienced during the coronavirus pandemic of isolation, loneliness and disconnect from community. Whilst the orchestra established a connection through their virtual concert series, it couldn’t take away patrons’ desire for a return to the stage. ASO Managing Director Vincent Ciccarello says, “The virtual experience cannot replicate the alchemy of the live connection between musicians and audiences, of that sense of community that comes from a shared love of music.”
“Music is unique in its ability to convey thoughts, ideas and feelings that can’t necessarily be expressed in words. When so much of our lives is mediated in front of screens, there is nothing like being in the hall to hear and feel the sheer thrill of the ASO in full flight.”
2021 Season Highlights
- 3 Symphony Series programs in the Festival Theatre:
Joyous Reminiscence, February 12 & 13, features an exuberant orchestral showpiece by Australian pianist and composer Elena Kats-Chernin. She says “My mother used to play Liszt’s Second Hungarian Rhapsody when we lived in Russia. Big Rhap transfers…my earliest memories of the spectacle (and) merriment…of what I saw and heard in my living room”.
Brilliance and Tenderness, 9 & 10 April, features the music of French composer Lili Boulanger, whose death at 24 robbed the world of a beautiful spirit; her picture of a spring morning gives you a glimpse into her radiant musical imagination.
Longing for Home, 2 & 3 July, sees a return of ASO Emerging Artist in Association, violinist Grace Clifford, performing one of the world’s favourite violin concertos – Bruch’s Violin Concerto no 1. Australian pianist, composer and teacher Miriam Hyde’s Adelaide Overture will take centre stage; Miriam was in her early 20s and not long back from her studies in London when, in 1936, she created this spirited overture to honour the centenary of the founding of Adelaide – a heart-warming musical celebration of home.
- 2 Meditation Series programs in Grainger Studio:
ASO’s General Manager, People, Culture and Operations Shivani Marx says, “Allow the power of music to refresh your human spirit. The global upheavals of 2020 have had a profound effect on us all and on how we search for our own sense of peace and connection. In these one-hour events, presented without interval, you’re invited to a listening experience in which music from centuries past, and from our own time and place, will become the gateway to a powerful inward journey. You can sit, recline or lie down on a mat, the performance space will be in darkness and there will be silence in between each piece of music. The Meditation Series will leave you refreshed in mind, body and spirit.”
- She Speaks
A mini festival will be dedicated exclusively to the music of women composers, including the World Premiere of a suite from Innocence by Adelaide composer Anne Cawrse. Celebrate a tiny slice of the diverse music created thus far, and look forward towards the important music yet to be heard. The series includes:
Lunchtime Chamber Concert – Domestic Voices 19 June, Elder Hall
Evening Orchestral Concert – She Speaks 19 June, Elder Hall
Symposium – Silent Women, 19 June, Madley Studio, University of Adelaide
Late Evening New Music – When We Speak, 19 June, Elder Hall
- 2 Chamber Series concerts in Elder Hall
Phantasy, 9 June – This spellbinding program opens a door into many musical worlds, from the cool, pastoral quartet by the 19-year-old Benjamin Britten to the sheer gorgeousness of the sextet by the 78-year-old Richard Strauss. Ravel’s shimmering Introduction and Allegro is that rare thing, a chamber music masterwork featuring harp, and the octet shows Stravinsky at his jauntiest.
Giocoso, 12 June – Pianist, conductor, teacher and composer Ernst von Dohnányi was a giant in the world of Hungarian music, and his sextet is a sublime example of his cosmopolitan musical style; sensuous, sophisticated and brimming with ideas. Germaine Tailleferre, the only female member of the influential band of composers known as Les Six, composed her delicate, impressionistic quartet just one year after Stravinsky created his concert drama The Soldier’s Tale. The suite Stravinsky drew from this modern version of the Faust story is one of his most compelling chamber works.
- 2 Classics Unwrapped, 24 March & 19 May, Festival Theatre
Charismatic maestro Guy Noble returns to unwrap the best bite-sized pieces of classical music. Of the program Guy says, “I am so looking forward to returning to perform with the Adelaide Symphony in Classics Unwrapped, after we were so rudely interrupted by the virus. I think I am suffering withdrawal symptoms from both the orchestra and the audience. 2021 will see us take our programs out of the deep freeze and put them back on the stage where they belong. The Royalty themed concert has a wealth of music to choose from, including audience favourites like Walton’s Crown Imperial and Strauss’s Emperor Waltzes, and the Animal concert has music with as wide a range as the Theme from Jaws all the way to the finale of Sibelius’s Symphony no 5 – inspired by swans. These concerts are always full of great playing and fun, a perfect 75 minutes straight through and finishing in time for a drink and dinner. I can’t wait to get back.”
- 2 Matinee Series programs, 14 April & 2 June, Elder Hall
ASO’s Director of Artistic Planning Simon Lord says, “ASO’s Matinee Series is accessible for all – a pair of one-hour concerts, no interval, featuring the finest orchestral music in the intimate and outstanding acoustic of the Elder Hall. In Miraculous Mozart, Luke Dollman conducts Mozart’s sunny Symphony no 29 and South Australian soprano Jessica Dean performs Haydn’s dramatic Scena di Berenice. Winter into Spring, conducted by Nathan Aspinall, features ASO Principal Cellist Simon Cobcroft, who will perform one of the most loved classical concertos in the repertoire, Haydn’s Cello Concerto no 2.”
The ASO is recognised as a cultural leader and collaborator that increasingly pushes the boundaries of innovation, adventure and excellence. 2021 collaborations include Adelaide Festival, Womadelaide, Adelaide Guitar Festival, State Opera of SA, and the Australian Ballet in the second half of the year.
The ASO will be involved in two outstanding collaborations with Adelaide Festival.
The Australian premiere, exclusive to Adelaide, of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (26 February-3 March, Festival Theatre) is a co-production of Houston Grand Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera and Canadian Opera Company, presented by Adelaide Festival in association with Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Benjamin Britten’s musical transformation of Shakespeare’s most loved comedy is something of a miracle: apart from a single short sentence, every word is that of England’s finest poet. His opera is a modern masterpiece all of his own, with graceful haunting melodies, iridescent orchestration, headily perfumed harmony, and filigree-like vocal textures.
Neil Armfield’s production bears all the hallmarks of his exceptional craft: drawing subtle and truthful comedic performances, letting his fairies rip as real kids and, in the finale, delivering a belly laugh-inducing riot.
There will be an Australian exclusive performance of A Child of Our Time (14 March, Festival Theatre). Written in response to the Nazis’ infamousKristallnacht of 1938, Tippett’s work, with its inspired use of Afro-American spirituals (Steal Away, Nobody Knows the Trouble, Go Down Moses, Deep River, By and By), has endured as a universal statement about horrific conflict and ways of healing.
In music that is both of, and ahead of, its time, Brett Weymark conducts the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, four top soloists and a massive choir drawn from all walks of life across the city for this unique event.
This performance of A Child of Our Time by Michael Tippett is given by permission of Hal Leonard Australia Pty Ltd, exclusive agent for Schott Music Ltd of Mainz.
Nigel Westlake and Grigoryan Brothers in Concert, 24 April, Festival Theatre, will be a world premiere special event by Nigel Westlake. You’ve heard his music on film (Babe, Miss Potter, Paper Planes), in concert (including his collaboration with Lior, Compassion) and on radio (thanks to which his Penguin Ballethas become one of the great Australian ear-worms).
In collaboration with the Adelaide Festival Centre’s 2021 Adelaide Guitar Festival, the ASO is thrilled to present the first performance of Nigel Westlake’s Concerto for Two Guitars, Toward Takayna, written for Australia’s iconic guitar duo, Slava and Leonard Grigoryan.
This unmissable concert, presented on Anzac Day eve, also includes the orchestral suite Westlake created from his music for Hannie Rayson’s play The Glass Soldier. Westlake tells the incredible story of Nelson Ferguson, blinded on the killing fields of World War I, and the wonder, love and resolution of his life. This is a haunting work by one of Australia’s most gifted and admired composers.
ASO will perform a concert version of the classic Carousel, the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, with State Opera, starring Ben Mingay as troubled carnival worker Billy Bigelow and Adelaide soprano Desiree Frahn as Billy’s romantic interest, millworker Julie Jordan. 26 March, Festival Theatre.
ASO ensures more South Australians have access and engagement with the arts with a dedicated commitment to concerts across South Australia. In addition to free public concerts, the ASO tours regionally and also includes a series of schools performances, allowing regional students and all South Australians the opportunity to be inspired by live orchestral music.
If you’re a full-time student (aged 15+) you can purchase a Live Pass student membership for just $50, giving access to FREE rush tickets* to Symphony Series and Classics Unwrapped concerts along with a host of other benefits. *see aso.com.au/lp for full terms and conditions.
Through music, ASO continues to play a leading role in nurturing the cultural life of our vibrant state, nourishes the souls of South Australians, and leads the charge to make Adelaide UNESCO City of Music a global capital for music.
To access a copy of the 2020 Season, visit www.aso.com.au.
Monday 7 December subscriptions open. Single tickets on sale Monday 21 December.
Visit our subscriber lounge at Grainger Studio, 91 Hindley Street. Drop in and relax over a cup of tea or coffee and receive personalised assistance in creating your unique subscription package tailored to your own specific needs. Lounge is open from Monday 7 December from 10am – 4pm Monday – Friday, and 10am – 1pm Saturday (until 15 January).
Adelaide Festival Chorus | Young Adelaide Voices | Grace Clifford Violin | Simon Cobcroft Cello | Mark Coles Smith | Jessica Dean Soprano | Rachelle Durkin Soprano | Elder Music Lab | Taryn Fiebig Soprano | Desiree Frahn Soprano | Jayson Gillham Piano | Adam Goodburn Tenor | Slava and Leonard Grigoryan Guitar | Hilary Kleinig Cello | Teresa La Rocca Mezzo | Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen Countertenor | Cheryl Pickering Soprano | Joshua Rowe Baritone | Seraphim Trio: Anna Goldsworthy Piano, Helen Ayres Violin , Timothy Nankervis Cello | Siobhan Stagg Soprano | Teddy Tahu Rhodes Baritone |
2021 Conductors, curators and presenters
Neil Armfield Director | Nathan Aspinall | Lachlan Bramble | Rachel Bruerville | Anne Cawrse | Luke Dollman | Anna Goldsworthy | James Judd | Paul Kildea | Hilary Kleinig | Dane Lam | Becky Llewellyn | Guy Noble | Nigel Westlake | Brett Weymark |
Composers, past and present
Luke Altmann World Premiere | CPE Bach | Barber | Lili Boulanger | Anne Boyd | Benjamin Britten | Bruch | Anne Cawrse World Premiere | Lisa Cheney | Ruby Davy | Debussy | Dohnányi | Dvořák | Ross Edwards | Elgar | Peggy Glanville-Hicks | Maria Grenfell | Handel | Haydn | Dulcie Holland | Miram Hyde | Jakub Jankowski World Premiere | Elena Kats-Chernin | Graeme Koehne | Fanny Mendelssohn | Mozart | Mussorgsky | Arvo Pärt | Ravel | Max Richter | Kaija Saariaho | Clara Schumann | Robert Schumann | Schoenberg | Caroline Shaw | Sibelius | Strauss | Stravinsky | Tailleferre | Tavener | Tchaikovsky | Michael Tippett | Helena Tulve | Vaughan Williams | Verdi | Walton | Nigel Westlake |
CREATE A SPACE FOR MUSIC Adelaide Symphony Orchestra is for all South Australians.
ASO believes everyone should have the chance to experience orchestral music. We aim to reach as many people as possible each year through a diverse program across many genres and formats, and perform at venues right across the State and beyond.
Your generous donations directly impact what you see and hear on stage. We invite you to join us as we make music at the highest level.
Annemarie Kohn, Senior Manager, Development on 08 8233 6263 / KohnA@aso.com.au
To ensure patrons’ comfort, enjoyment and wellbeing, ASO performances will be presented in line with COVID-safety protocols; this means that concerts will be slightly shorter, and will be presented without interval. You can find more details about our commitment to a safe concert-going experience via our website aso.com.au.