Media Releases

27 August 2019

Willoughby Symphony’s 2020 Season an exhilarating inspiration

A celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, an outstanding emerging composer, a superstar clarinettist and partnership with Lior are just a few of the highlights of Willoughby Symphony’s 2020 season.

Formally announced on August 25 at Willoughby Symphony’s home at The Concourse, Chatswood, artistic director and conductor Dr Nicholas Milton AM said the 2020 season is titled ‘Exhilarating Inspiration’.

“In Beethoven’s 250th year, The Concourse stage will explode with the energy of his immortal Fifth Symphony and you’ll be amazed by the intricate interplay of solo instruments in the master’s unique Triple Concerto,” Dr Milton said.

He said Tchaikovsky’s powerful Fifth Symphony will transfix audiences with its incredible personal message of redemption. Dr Milton said the symphony will also delve into the genius of Brahms, Debussy, Dvořák, Mendelssohn and Sibelius.

One of Australia’s most compelling emerging composers, Alice Chance, will be the 2020 composer-in-residence.

“Alice writes music of spectacular originality, portraying a myriad of colours and textures. Her ravishing choral music features alongside Arvo Pärt’s inspiring Te Deum in a performance in which our extraordinary Willoughby Symphony Choir will shine,” Dr Milton said.

A brilliant collection of instrumentalists join the line up, including featured artist for 2020, superstar clarinettist Oliver Shermacher.

“I first met Oliver when I conducted his unforgettable concerto performance at the Sydney Opera House as part of the Young Performers Awards. And I’m so pleased he’s agreed to join us, ” Dr Milton said.

Oliver will perform the world premiere of Alice’s new concerto, written especially for him.

There will be two children’s concerts in January and July – the latter with a birthday theme to celebrate Beethoven. 

Lior’s May concert will see him perform with existing and new arrangements, conducted by Nigel Westlake.

The Willoughby Symphony has been led since 2001 by internationally celebrated orchestral icon and local legend, Dr Nicholas Milton AM. Renowned for his charismatic stage presence, powerful interpretations and compelling musical integrity, Dr Milton continues to attract international attention as one of the most outstanding Australian conductors working today.

Proudly managed and funded by Willoughby City Council.

Purchase 4-11 concerts by filling in the hard copy form in the program before November 1, 2019. Or purchase online from November 1. 



Nathan Henshaw (tenor saxophone) and Andrew Smith (alto saxophone), both from Nexas Saxophone Quartet, will play in September 2020 with the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra. They celebrated yesterday with 2020 composer-in-residence Alice Chance and conductor/artistic director Dr Nicholas Milton AM at the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra's 2020 season launch.


Willoughby Symphony Orchestra’s conductor and artistic director Dr Nicholas Milton AM plays with Pacific Opera’s mezzo soprano Stella Hannock at the 2020 season launch.

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