Artistic Director’s Message



It has been almost thirty years since I conducted the magnificent Willoughby Symphony for the first time as a guest conductor, and the extraordinary voyage we have together undertaken has been epic and wonderful. As Chief Conductor and Artistic Director since the beginning of the century, it continues to be a profound honour for me to make music with these thrilling instrumentalists who perform with such galvanizing engagement and dynamism and who fire our artistic imaginations with such an inspiring vision for our community.

The Willoughby Symphony Orchestra has established itself as one of Australia’s most breathtaking orchestral jewels. Indeed, concerts with the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra and Choir are much more than performances… they are singular and distinctive community events that change lives and, breathing hope and joy through the wonder of music, encourage our spirits to soar.  

Our 2018 Season, Soaring Spirit, launches you into an electrifying symphonic orbit. Together we’ll survey the drama and romance of Verdi and Berlioz, the soulful tragedy of Barber and Tchaikovsky, the passion and poetry of Rachmaninov and Mendelssohn, the nobility and perfection of Schumann and Brahms, and the incomparable transcendence of Beethoven. Our line up of guest conductors and soloists comprises the most exciting and thrilling Australian musical talents working today and you’ll be elated and enraptured by their accomplished eloquence.

One of Australia’s great composers, Nigel Westlake, is our 2018 Composer-in-Residence. In addition to hearing several of his most intoxicating scores, a unique treat for families and children of all ages will be a special movie presentation of the iconic Australian film, Babe, with music performed live by the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra under Nigel Westlake’s direction. This concert for the whole family is sure to sell out very quickly, so secure your seats while you still can for what will be one of the hottest tickets on the Sydney musical calendar.

I am thrilled at the unqualified success of our ever-expanding program for younger audiences and families. For our special one-hour symphonic concert, Scotland the Brave – specially moderated for audiences aged between six and one hundred and six – you will be accompanied on an unforgettable musical adventure through Mendelssohn’s beloved Scotland. And for even younger audiences, our Mini Maestros programs in the school holidays are a perfect introduction to orchestral music … invariably received with squealing delight and enthusiasm.

Our eternally popular and always completely sold-out Last Night of the Proms promises even more colossal spectacle and unbridled delight, as well as some astonishing surprises in 2018. And our Magic of Christmas concert will usher you into the festive season with radiant joy and gladness.

My dear friends, we look forward to having you join our Willoughby Symphony family as we in 2018 empower our spirits to soar together through the ethereal magic of music.

Dr Miller- signature

Dr Nicholas Milton AM
Chief Conductor and Artistic Director