Canberra Symphony Orchestra 2020: new works and a farewell

Her Canberra: 1 August 2019

The Canberra Symphony Orchestra‘s (CSO) 2020 Season Launch was held at the National Museum of Australia earlier this week, revealing its 2020 program, ‘New Spaces’.

Marking the 70th anniversary of the CSO, New Spaces will see “new works and emerging composers” take centre stage with an exciting line-up of “symphonic masterworks” and fresh soloists.

However, the season will have a bittersweet flavour, as it will serve as a farewell for long-time Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, Dr Nicholas Milton AM.

“I feel deeply honoured to have been part of the rich and vibrant history of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra,” says Dr Milton, reflecting on his 14-year tenure. “We have shared extraordinary moments on stage, and I am proud of all that we have together accomplished.”

Fittingly, Dr Milton’s final season with the CSO will be a cracker, with New Spaces representing both the bold scope of the orchestra and the impending changes to its leadership.

“New Spaces celebrates our unique orchestral landscape,” says Dr Milton. “It expresses the passion, virtuosity and daring of our orchestra.”

So what can patrons expect? Firstly, CSO’s Artist in Focus, Umberto Clerici, principal cellist for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, will appear as a soloist, conductor and mentor to the CSO’s incoming Kingsland Resident Artists. Other soloists include violinist Natalie Chee, clarinettist Alan Vivian and pianist Konstantin Shamray.

New Spaces will also feature a ‘Best of British’ tribute at the last night of The Proms, where Canberra-born soprano Lorina Gore, together with a massed choir, will perform well-known hits like Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March, Dambusters, Jerusalem and Rule Brittania.

For those who appreciate works from closer afield, the CSO’s signature Australian Series will feature numerous commissioned works and world premieres, curated by Professor Matthew Hindson AM. A collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery and presented by Singapore Airlines, the series includes compositions by established and emerging composers including Stuart Greenbaum, Cyrus Meurant, Ellen Macens, Harry Straulig and Anne Boyd AM.

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