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Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra


When a group of musicians assembled for the opening of Australia’s Centennial International Exhibition in Melbourne in 1888, they began a long tradition of fine orchestral performances in this city and formed the nucleus of the orchestra we know today. However it was not until 1934 that the Australian Broadcasting Corporation first presented a series of concerts with some 70 musicians under the name of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

The Melbourne Symphony’s reputation for excellence, versatility and innovation, developed over more than six decades, has been enhanced through performances with artists such as Igor Stravinsky, Mariss Jansons, Isaac Stern, Yehudi Menuhin, Jessye Norman, Artur Rubenstein, Mstislav Rostropovich, Hakan Hagegard, Emanuel Ax, and Sumi Jo. It has also been acclaimed for performances in a more popular vein with The Three Tenors, Elton John, John Farnham, Frank Sinatra, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Barbara Cook, Ray Charles and Bryn Terfel. Each year, in excess of 200,000 people attend more than 130 performances by the Orchestra. The Melbourne Symphony’s annual subscription figures for 1997 exceeded 18,000—the largest number of subscribers in the history of the Orchestra. This figure represents over 110,000 individual tickets with approximately 2,000 people attending Melbourne Symphony performances each week.

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