From Rach to Bacharach: the ASO unveils its 2024 season

The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s 2024 season offers a diverse range of performances, including tributes to film composer Hans Zimmer and songwriter Burt Bacharach, a further celebration of Rachmaninov, a concert featuring Electric Fields, and a street-art-inspired event in Port Adelaide.

Oct 17, 2023, updated Oct 17, 2023
Members of the ASO in Port Adelaide – the Wonderwalls street-art festival at the Port has inspired new event 'ASO at Hart's Mill'. Photo: Matt Turner / supplied

Members of the ASO in Port Adelaide – the Wonderwalls street-art festival at the Port has inspired new event 'ASO at Hart's Mill'. Photo: Matt Turner / supplied

The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra will perform more than 119 concerts over 47 programs in its 2024 season, which sees the return of classical favourites as well as introducing bold new works aimed at attracting fresh audiences to the genre.

One of the most influential film composers of all time, Hans Zimmer, will be celebrated in a new show which will be conducted by Nicholas Buc and take audiences on a journey through classic film scores including GladiatorThe Lion King and Pirates of the Caribbean.

The Music of Hans Zimmer will take place at the Festival Theatre on two nights in July and be hosted by Andrew Pogson and Dan Golding, from the popular podcast series Art of the Score. The ASO says that in between pieces, audience members will hear interesting snippets about the music of the multiple Oscar and Grammy-winning composer, who is also being celebrated in an unrelated concert at Her Majesty’s Theatre next month.

Harry Potter fans will have the chance to experience the sixth instalment of the Harry Potter in Concert series when the orchestra performs Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince in Concert at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre in August.

The Harry Potter in Concert series will return in 2024.

ASO at Hart’s Mill is an exciting new initiative where music and art will collide in a performance inspired by the street art of the Wonderwalls festival in Port Adelaide. It all takes place at the Flour Shed at Hart’s Mill, which will be filled with the sounds of jazz-trumpeter Lazaro Numa, talented saxophonist Adam Page and recorder virtuoso Genevieve Lacey, all led by conductor Ben Northey.

Wonderwalls in Port Adelaide has inspired new event ASO at Hart’s Mill.

Floods of Fire is a new three-part program which has been created in response to climate change and will be presented during the final two days of the Adelaide Festival. It involves collaborations with more than 100 local organisations including a mass Citizen’s Orchestra, making the event the largest of its kind in the state’s history. The epic performances will take place over a weekend of music, dance, theatre and workshops, and culminate at the Festival Theatre for a finale concert featuring electronic music duo Electric Fields and the ASO.

In February, the eight-concert Symphony Series kicks off with Majesty, a performance featuring works by Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn, as well as the Australian premiere of composer Thea Musgrave’s Rainbow. 

The much-loved signature series, which runs throughout the year, will also see performances of Mahler’s First Symphony Titan, Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks, plus the world premiere of a commissioned work from distinguished Adelaide composer Graeme Koehne, and new work from ASO’s emerging composer-in-association Jakub Jankowski. The series will be guided by respected conductors including Douglas Boyd, Shi-Yeon Sung and Andrew Litton.

The ASO’s 2024 season promises a range of music experiences. Photo: Claudio Raschella

In November, legendary songwriter and composer Burt Bacharach will be celebrated in a new creation, What the Word Needs Now: A Tribute to Burt Bacharach. The show will star singers Caroline O’Connor and David Campbell, and feature all Bacharach’s big hits, including “Walk on By”, “I Say a Little Prayer” and “Close to You”.

2024 marks the first ASO season under the leadership of Colin Cornish, who was appointed as chief executive officer in October last year, taking over from long-time CEO Vincent Ciccarello.

Cornish says he is excited at the range and diversity of performances on offer in the coming year.

“Our 2024 season showcases epic collaborations such as the Rachmaninov Symphonies project and Floods of Fire, great musical works in the Symphony Series, and spectacular events including Harry Potter in Concert,” he says.

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“ASO is known for its performing brilliance and diversity of engagement with South Australians, and 2024 promises to be a season in which we reach even more members of our community.”

ASO members David Sharp, Sami Butler, Amanda Tillett, Kate Suthers, Dean Newcomb, Emma Gregan, Lisa Gill, Julia Brittain, Jacky Chang and David Khafagi. Photo: Josh Geelan

After the sell-out success of Rachmaninov: The Piano Concertos this year, conductor Andrew Litton returns for Rachmaninov: The Symphonies in June, providing a rare opportunity to hear all three of Rachmaninov’s symphonies performed over one week in a concert series at the Adelaide Town Hall.

Litton says he is thrilled to be returning to the ASO to conduct these popular symphonies. “After last year’s sold-out series of the piano concerti, it is the perfect way to round out our celebration of Rachmaninov’s genius,” he says.

Women composers take centre-stage in May with the return of She Speaks, a four-part series co-curated by composers Anne Cawrse and Belinda Gehlert that will celebrate the enormous contribution of female composers and feature a diverse range of musical voices.

She Speaks will make a return in 2024.

Concertmaster Kate Suthers says the ASO’s 2024 season has been curated to attract a broad audience of both seasoned orchestra aficionados and first-time concert-goers.

“In 2024 there are so many ways to see your ASO,” Suthers says. “The orchestra will perform more than 119 concerts over 47 programs in venues all around Adelaide and South Australia. We believe music is for everyone, and next year we look forward to welcoming new and familiar faces along the way.”

The full 2024 season is on the ASO website

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