For seven decades the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra has been at the forefront of concert life in Tasmania.
The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2018. From the fledgling orchestra that gave its first concert in May 1948 to the award-winning, 47-piece ensemble of today, the TSO has become a much loved cultural institution and ‘a source of pride’ to 87% of Tasmanians, according to a recent survey. Recent national honours include ‘Best Symphony Orchestra Concert’ at the 2017 Helpmann Awards for the TSO’s concert version of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde.
In addition to annual concert seasons in Hobart and Launceston, and appearances in Tasmanian regional centres, the TSO performs nationally and internationally, including a highly successful tour of China in December 2016-January 2017, in which the orchestra gave nine concerts in seven cities, including Shanghai and Nanjing. 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 collaborates with a wide variety of organisations, such as the Museum of Old and New Art – including concerts in Mofo and Dark Mofo – Victorian Opera, and the Australian National Academy of Music.
With approximately 80 CDs in its catalogue, including 21 titles in the Australian Composer Series on ABC Classics and 16 in the Romantic Piano Concerto Series on the British label Hyperion, the TSO is known and heard nationally and internationally. TSO concerts are recorded by ABC Classic FM and are broadcast and streamed throughout the world.
The TSO is resident in Hobart’s purpose-built Federation Concert Hall. Marko Letonja is the orchestra’s Chief Conductor and Artistic Director. Johannes Fritzsch has recently been appointed Principal Guest Conductor. For works that require choral forces, the TSO is joined by the TSO Chorus, an auditioned group of approximately 80 voices.