UK-based Wigglesworth is the ASO’s former principal guest conductor and most recently led the orchestra in one of its flagship Symphony Series concerts at the Adelaide Town Hall last September.

He has extensive experience working with prestigious international orchestras including the London Symphony, the Berlin and New York Philharmonics, and the Amsterdam-based Royal Concertgebouw, and was also recently appointed chief conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in England.

While Wigglesworth will remain based in the UK after officially taking up his new role with the ASO in January 2025, he will visit Adelaide for three periods across the year.

“I have been working with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra for the last 10 years and every performance we have given together has been a truly memorable experience for me,” Wigglesworth said in a statement. “The musicians are exceptional, as individuals and as a group, and I feel there is no limit to what we can achieve together.

“It is going to be a privilege to work in Adelaide on a regular basis and to have the opportunity to engage in the South Australian community in a more profound way.

“Live music brings people together at a time when we need these connections more than ever. Sharing with others the emotions that music stirs within us creates bonds of true and lasting value. To play my part in that in South Australia is something I am looking forward to enormously.”

Mark Wigglesworth conducting the ASO. Photo: Shane Reid

The ASO’s last principal conductor was Nicholas Carter, who was also the youngest person to hold such a role at any orchestra in Australia when he was appointed at just 29 in 2016. His tenure ended in July 2019. Before Carter’s appointment, Arvo Volmer held the role of chief conductor from 2004 until 2013.

The orchestra says Wigglesworth’s appointment, for an initial three-year term, heralds a new chapter for the organisation.

“With the appointment of Mark, we have the commitment of not only one of the world’s leading conductors, but also a genuine and passionate musician, to lead the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra to new levels of artistry and connection with our community,” said CEO Colin Cornish.

Wigglesworth’s first performance as chief conductor will be in May 2025. However, he will take to the stage at the Adelaide Town Hall in September this year to conduct the ASO’s Symphony Series concert Reflection, featuring Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto (with soloist Dean Newcomb) and Elgar’s Second Symphony.

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