As is the case with most arts companies, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra is keen to attract new audiences and make sure young people catch the music bug nice and early. So to help with that mission, it's just announced that the SSO is continuing its family concerts and slashing the ticket prices to $25 a pop.
Okay, these concerts are designed specifically for children aged over five – and that's who they're perfect for – but if you don't mind sitting in a crowd of kids who mightn't be quite as quiet as you'd expect at other classical concerts, you'll be hearing one of the world's best orchestras and saving some serious coin.
The first concert is of Modest Mussorgsky's 'Pictures at an Exhibition' (Mar 17), the second is Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons' (Oct 13), and the series wraps up with 'The Composer is Dead' (Nov 10). You can buy tickets to all three as a package now, but individual tickets are on sale from December 3.
The new family concert ticket price was announced as part of the orchestra's 2019 season. It marks David Robertson's final season as chief conductor and artistic director, but classical music fans shouldn't necessarily expect the orchestra to announce his replacement any time soon.
Chief executive Emma Dunch has said it can take a while to find the perfect fit and the orchestra has a plan to oversee this period of transition: they've got four star conductors to commit to several concerts over the next four years. They are Robertson himself, Australian ex-pat Simone Young, the orchestra's former chief conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy (who's been given the swanky title 'conductor laureate'), and Scottish conductor Donald Runnicles.
Highlights for the season include a performance of Bartók's concerto for orchestra (conducted by Robertson), Beethoven's fifth symphony (the one that's been turned into a disco hit), a collaboration with the Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra, a night of Schubert and Liszt (conducted by Young), Saint-Saëns' organ symphony (using the Sydney Opera House's grand concert hall organ), a gala performance by piano superstar Lang Lang, and a concert version of Britten's Peter Grimes starring the world's best Peter Grimes, tenor Stuart Skelton.
The orchestra is also launching its own piano festival called Keys to the City, led by pianist Kirill Gerstein, and will be continuing its series of Harry Potter concerts with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and its Star Wars series with Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.
See the Sydney Symphony Orchestra's full 2019 season at www.sydneysymphony.com.