In revealing the line-up today, outgoing managing director Vincent Ciccarello said he was proud of the 2023 season, “as it represents the steady but deliberate progress the ASO has made over the past nine years to better reflect our society and the community we serve, while remaining true to our musical past”.

“I leave the ASO with many fond memories, proud to have had the privilege of leading this important cultural institution and with it sounding as glorious as ever,” added Ciccarello, who will finish up with the orchestra at the end of September.

The season will open in February with Orchestra Unwrapped: The magic of the orchestra – including music such as “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”, and excerpts from John Williams’ Harry Potter score and Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker – and close in December 2023 with Christmas Unwrapped: The magic of Christmas, featuring soprano Desiree Frahn. Both will be conducted by popular host Guy Noble in the Festival Theatre.

Two screen-themed concerts are highlights of the popular Showcase Series, which seeks to introduce new audiences to the orchestra. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix TM in Concert will see the musicians perform composer Nicholas Hooper’s score from the fifth film in the Potter franchise as the movie plays behind them on a giant screen at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, while family show Lights! Camera! Symphony! will include music from films such as Star Wars and The Avengers.

“This concert is a love letter to the world of film music – it demonstrates how the language of music written for film enhances the drama,” conductor Nicholas Buc says of Lights! Camera! Symphony!

“It’s the perfect introduction for families as it opens up the world of orchestration, melody and harmony and shows how all these wonderful ideas that have been used by symphonic composers centuries old are now used by master film composers to come together to create a film score.”

Claire Edwardes will perform a new Marimba Concerto by Anne Cawrse at the Symphony Series concert Embrace in July.

Eight programs of “big, bold, electrifying music” are promised for the 2023 Symphony Series, and while the She Speaks mini-festival won’t be presented next year, the season will feature the world or Australian premieres of several new works by women composers. These include a new major violin concerto by Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin, to be played by Emily Sun at Symphony Series 2: Wild, while Adelaide’s Anne Cawrse has been commissioned to compose a Marimba Concerto that will be performed by classical percussionist Claire Edwardes at the fourth Symphony Series concert, Embrace.

Rachmaninov’s complete cycle of works for piano and orchestra will be presented across four concerts at the Town Hall in May and June ­– with pianist Stephen Hough and conductor Andrew Litton – marking the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

Violinist Emily Sun has been appointed ASO artist in association and will perform a special recital with pianist Andrea Lam in September 2023.

Another special event in 2023 will be Creation: A Spiritual Sound Picture of Bundjalung History, a new work by Adelaide-based Indigenous artist Grayson Rotumah reflecting Bundjalung history and culture that will be presented at the ASO’s Grainger Studio in July. The performance will be sung and narrated in the Yugambeh language, melding dance, song and “atmospheric orchestral interludes”, with Robert Taylor on yidaki and Marlon Motlop and Rulla Mansell (who perform together as Marlon x Rulla) on vocals.

Returning to the Grainger Studio will be the Sanctuary Series – with two hour-long concerts performed in near-darkness – while new series Sacred & Profane will comprise a pair of concerts at St Peter’s Cathedral.

Also announced today are two new additions to the ASO’s artistic leadership team, with violinist Emily Sun, as artist in association, and Adelaide-based composer Jakub Jankowski, as inaugural emerging composer in association, joining conductor laureate Nicholas Braithwaite.

Musician Kate Suthers, who has previously held roles with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, has been appointed as the orchestra’s concertmaster for 2023.

Suthers said she was excited to come home to Australia and join the ASO community.

“Live music is unique… it’s just for the people in the room at the one time, and whether you are performing on stage or part of the audience, only those people ever get to experience it and it’s magical. I’m looking forward to my first performance as concertmaster of the ASO in 2023.”

The full 2023 season is on the ASO website.

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