Growing capacity with disco

Classical meets disco in the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s newly launched 2018 season.
Growing capacity with disco

Image: Mark Wigglesworth will join ASO as Principal Guest Conductor in 2018. Photo by Sim Canetty-Clarke

The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (ASO) has launched an impressive 2018 season which stays true to their core activity, but also builds capacity for new audiences. Led by returning Principal Conductor Nicholas Carter, it’s a diverse program where classical orchestral music sits alongside exciting new commissions. It even includes a little disco for those who like to dance.


‘We presented an ASO Disco Concert about three years ago and it was an enormous success, but we realised that the music is so infectious that people were desperate to get up and dance. We’ve made that allowance for 2018 with The Studio: 54 Reasons to Party,’ said ASO Managing Director Vincent Ciccarello.

‘We are going to remove some of the seats from the front of the theatre and transform the pit into a pseudo night club.’

The 2018 season features 51 concerts and 15 international conductors, balancing opportunities to present the orchestra in a different light while remaining true to the ASO’s core activity – presenting fine orchestral music. Old favourites, like the flagship Master Series, Classics Unwrapped, Gigs at Grainger and Mozart at Elder, will return.

View program here

But what excites Ciccarello the most is the amount of new music that features in the season, particularly the new commissions, including a concerto for the Australian saxophonist Amy Dickinson by the renowned Scottish composer James Macmillan. ‘That promises to be something very special,’ said Ciccarello. 

‘We also have a commission we’ve been working on for many years with the Master of the Queen’s Music, Judith Weir, for our principle oboist Celia Craig. Not to mention of course Cathy Milliken, who we have announced as our inaugural Composer in Association, and who will deliver the first of her three major commissions with the ASO for the Adelaide International Guitar Festival.’

New Leadership Team 

Milliken is one of three new appointments to the ASO Leadership Team. Another is the internationally renowned and Olivier Award-winning conductor Mark Wigglesworth, who joins the ASO as Principal Guest Conductor. He will conduct three master series programs in 2018. 

‘It will be exciting and interesting to see how Nicholas and Mark’s different skill sets and their different approaches to music play out over the next year or so. That should excite our audiences as well as all of us here at the ASO,’ said Ciccarello. 

‘We also welcome the extraordinary young Australian violinist Grace Clifford, who first performed with the ASO in 2014 when she gave an unforgettable performance of Beethoven’s violin concerto to win the ABC Symphony Australia’s Young Performer of the Year award.’

To find out more about the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s 2018 Season, visit

Brooke Boland

Thursday 31 August, 2017

About the author

Brooke Boland is a freelance writer based on the South Coast of NSW. She has a PhD in literature from the University of NSW. You can find her on Instagram @southcoastwriter.