2023: a first-class year for Australian symphonic orchestras

An emphasis on sustainable music making, Australian composition, the showcasing of female conductors and composers, plus the voices of First Nations musicians, distinguish many 2023 repertoire choices.

2023 is looking to be one of our strongest on record for orchestral symphonic music across Australia. Alongside the six major orchestras, with full program activities in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Hobart, several other orchestras and chamber groups are offering well-considered, beautifully-crafted and interesting programs.

COVID-19 seems also to have helped the classical music industry be more rigorous and even more ambitious in its programming. Intra and interstate touring is back on the agenda, alongside some welcome international tours that are already well-subscribed. Musically, Australia is certainly bouncing back from lockdowns and even making up for lost time with new strategic appointments. There is a sense of orchestral optimism in the air on many fronts.    

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Suzannah Conway is ArtsHub's Brisbane-based Arts Feature Writer. Suzannah is an experienced arts administrator, having been CEO of Opera Queensland, the Brisbane Riverfestival and the Centenary of Federation celebrations for Queensland. She has been writing reviews and music articles for over 15 years and regularly reviews classical music, opera and musical theatre in particular for The Australian and Limelight magazine as well as other journals.