Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

When a group of musicians assembled for the opening of Australia's Centennial International Exhibition in Melbourne in 1888, they began a long tradition of fine orchestral performances in this city and formed the nucleus of the orchestra we know today.

However it was not until 1934 that the Australian Broadcasting Corporation first presented a series of concerts with some 70 musicians under the name of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

With a reputation for excellence, versatility and innovation, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is renowned for its performances of the great symphonic masterworks with leading international soloists and conductors including Igor Stravinsky, Mariss Jansons, Yehudi Menuhin, Jessye Norman, Jennifer Larmore, Bryn Terfel, Maxim Vengerov, John Williams, Artur Rubenstein, Osmo Vanska, Paavo Jarvi, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Donald Runnicles, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Barbara Bonney, Simone Young, Markus Stenz and Marcello Viotti. The Orchestra is also known for its appearances with The Three Tenors, Frank Sinatra, Kiri Te Kanawa, Elton John, John Farnham, Dionne Warwick, tenor Andrea Bocelli, Harry Connick, Jr., k.d. lang, and rock bands KISS and Meat Loaf.

In 2005, Oleg Caetani took up the baton as the MSO's Chief Conductor and Artistic Director for a four-year appointment. In September 2006 he also takes up the position of Music Director at London's English National Opera.

During the seven-year tenure of Markus Stenz as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director (1998-2004) the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra took an even more prominent position on the world stage. The Orchestra has received international recognition in overseas tours to the United States of America, Canada, Japan, Korea, Europe, China and St Petersburg, Russia.

Each year the Orchestra performs to more than 250,000 people in Melbourne and regional Victoria, at events ranging from the annual series of Sidney Myer Free Concerts in the Sidney Myer Music Bowl to the series of Classic Kids concerts for young children. The MSO reaches an even larger audience across Australia through its regular concert broadcasts on ABC Classic FM. Some performances are presented on ABC TV and the documentary To Russia with Love, about the Orchestra's recent St. Petersburg tour, was one of the flagship programs in ABC TV's new Sunday Afternoon series in 2005.

Recent recordings include major CD releases on the ABC Classics label. In addition, members of the Orchestra have featured on numerous film soundtracks including those for such major motion pictures as Babe, IQ, Hotel Sorrento, Six Degrees of Separation, Babe II Pig in the City and The Dish. The MSO has also recorded music for a number of computer and console-based games.

Artist's website:

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is featured on the following titles

The Glass Soldier

Music from the play The Glass Soldier. Based on a true story, Hannie Rayson's The Glass Soldier is a deep, sincere tribute to two generations of Australians who fought in the Great War, that had little, but gave everything.

Performer: Orchestra

David Joseph Selected Works, Volume 2

The second volume in this series features performances from the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, The Academy of Melbourne, and pianist, Michael Kieran Harvey


Melbourne Symphony Orchestra also appears on

The Film Music of George Dreyfus, Volume 1

Fourteen of George Dreyfus' best-loved film themes. Melbourne and Queensland Symphony Orchestras conducted by the composer.

Performer: Orchestra

George Dreyfus: Chamber and Orchestral Music

The Adelaide Quintet and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra present the "serious" side of George Dreyfus - the Didjeridu Sextet and the two symphonies. Complete your Dreyfus collection with this fascinating disc!

Performer: Orchestra