For more than six decades the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra has been at the forefront of concert life in Tasmania.
Established in 1948 and declared a Tasmanian Icon in 1998, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra has been at the forefront of concert life in Tasmania for nearly seven decades. The TSO gives more than 80 concerts annually including seasons in Hobart and Launceston, and appearances in Tasmanian regional centres. Mini TSO, a scaled-down version of the full orchestra, travels throughout the state performing for schoolchildren. A chamber-sized orchestra has performed at the Ron Barwick Minimum Security Prison at Risdon Vale, and ensembles drawn from the orchestra give concerts in hospitals, community centres and aged care facilities. The TSO is a much loved cultural institution and “a source of pride” to more than 90% of Tasmanians, according to a recent survey.
In December 2016-January 2017 the TSO gave a highly successful tour of China, performing nine concerts in seven cities, including Shanghai and Nanjing. Interstate touring over the past ten years has taken the orchestra to City Recital Hall Angel Place in Sydney, Melbourne Recital Centre and the Adelaide Festival. Going further back and further afield, the orchestra has toured North and South America, Greece, Israel, South Korea, China, Indonesia and Japan.
In addition to its core activity of giving subscription concerts, the TSO endeavours to broaden its imprint by forging links with other arts organisations. Recent partnerships have included collaborations with the Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) – including concerts in Mofo and Dark Mofo – the Australian Ballet, the Australian National Academy of Music and Festival of Voices.
With approximately 80 CDs in its catalogue, including 21 titles in the Australian Composer Series on ABC Classics and 15 in the Romantic Piano Concerto Series on the British label Hyperion, the TSO is known and heard nationally and internationally. Recent acclaimed recordings include Emma Matthews Mozart Arias, conducted by Marko Letonja, and a double CD of the complete Giselle. TSO concerts are recorded by ABC Classic FM and broadcast and streamed throughout the world.
Resident in Hobart’s purpose-built Federation Concert Hall, the TSO has a full complement of 47 musicians. Marko Letonja is the orchestra’s Chief Conductor and Artistic Director. For works that require choral forces, the TSO is joined by the TSO Chorus, an auditioned group of approximately 80 voices.