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The Concourse


Willoughby Symphony 2020 Season Classical Music

Order by phone The Concourse +61 2 8075 8111 or Ticketek 1300 795 012
Order in person at The Concourse Box Office


February - December


Concert Hall


Adult $53
Pensioner $49
Student $23

Group bookings available.

COVID-19 and Willoughby Symphony

The health and safety of our audience members, staff and musicians is top priority.

Following the advice from state and federal governments, Willoughby City Council has made the difficult decision to cancel the following Willoughby Symphony concerts: DREAMSCAPE ON 4 AND 5 April, LIOR IN CONCERT on 22 May, SERENDIPITY on 23 and 24 May, BEETHOVEN’S BIRTHDAY on 11 July and FATE  on 11 and 12 July. Our August LAST NIGHT OF THE PROMS and September’s FIVE CHAPTERS concerts have also been cancelled.  Ticket holders will be contacted.

It is a decision that we have not taken lightly and it is disappointing for us, our musicians and you, our supporters.

Thank you for your continued support during what is an incredibly challenging time for the arts across Australia.

We remain committed to both enriching the life of this city and region through music.

A message from Dr Nicholas Milton AM, Artistic Director and Chief Conductor, Willoughby Symphony

You should know that the musicians and choristers of the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra and I are thinking about you all every day. During these difficult times, I trust you are all well and staying healthy. These are unthinkable times for all of us in the community, and I know all of our hearts go out to the many people in our society and throughout the world who are so much less fortunate and who are enduring unbearable hardships.

This year’s subscription series had started so brilliantly with one of our biggest concerts ever, and the feedback from our Gala opening in February was absolutely overwhelming. It is a major blow to all of us that we cannot deliver for you on months of hard work and anticipation by performing our next concerts. I trust that you have received communication about what to do if you have tickets for the cancelled performances. If not, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Now, more than ever, music can play an important part in our lives. It is our solace, our comfort. It brings us joy and it lifts our spirits. It is our exhilarating inspiration. Music unites us and keeps us connected. And at a certain moment, we will again be together, bringing joy back into lives through the magic of music, and the thought that this will, when it’s finally safe, again come to be is what can help to sustain us all during this period.

These longs days of isolation have allowed me to reflect on the extraordinary experiences of my more than twenty years (!!!) of unforgettable concert experiences with the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra and Choir, and the incredible moments that transported all of us … musicians and audience alike. We have together shared so many wonderful musical experiences, indescribable moments of inspiration and miracle, and I can never thank you enough for your terrific engagement and enthusiasm, your artistry and passion for our shared mission for our community.

Above all, I thank you for your love of music that is transmitted so eloquently and magically during our concerts. I thank our terrific directors and support staff at Council, who remain committed to our shared vision for our happier future and who make our musical mission possible: as always, our very special thanks to the exceptional Melanie Smith and Annette Brown. Thank you all for your patience and understanding. We are an orchestra, a team and indeed a family that always communicates enormous warmth and delight through music, with an honesty and integrity that enriches and enraptures our audiences. I ask you to keep faith that we will soon have the opportunity to again bring joy and happiness to our Willoughby community.

Schubert composed a song, “To Music” (An die Musik) n 1817, with text from a poem by his friend Franz von Schober, which is worthy of reflection at this time:

“To Music”

O blessed art, how often in dark hours,
When the savage ring of life tightens round me,
Have you kindled warm love in my heart,
Have transported me to a better world!
Transported to a better world
Often a sigh has escaped from your harp,
A sweet, sacred harmony of yours
Has opened up the heavens to better times for me,
O blessed art, I thank you for that!
O blessed art, I thank you!

“An die Musik”

Du holde Kunst, in wieviel grauen Stunden,
Wo mich des Lebens wilder Kreis umstrickt,
Hast du mein Herz zu wärmer Lieb ‘entzunden,
Hast ich in einer beßre Welt entrückt,
In einer beßre Welt entrückt!
Oft hat ein Seufzer, dein Harf ‘entfloßen,
Ein süßer, heiliger Akkord von dir,
Den Himmel beßrer Zeiten mir erschloßen,
Du holde Kunst, ich danke dir gehört,
Du holde Kunst, ich danke dir!

Music is indeed a beacon of comfort and hope during these times. It is nourishment for our souls and our spirits. In the words of Aldous Huxley, “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” For our audiences in the beautiful concert hall at The Concourse, this will be our answer to the Corona Virus: we will make music with more intensity, with more beauty, with more devotion, more hope and more emotion, with more joy, and above all, with more love than ever before, so that we may again open your hearts and enrich your souls with the wonder of music.

My thoughts remain with you all. We miss you, and we all look forward to being together again in music, for what will always be outstanding concert experiences with an orchestra and community so dear to my heart.

Much love,

Dr. Nicholas Milton AM
Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, Willoughby Symphony

Welcome to Willoughby Symphony’s 2020 Season, Exhilarating Inspiration. We’re celebrating the tremendous contribution of Beethoven, with his 250th birthday in 2020. There will be a children’s concert in a birthday theme and the July and November concerts also feature stunning Beethoven pieces. Our conductor and artistic director Dr Nicholas Milton AM has outdone himself with this stellar season. The six concert program, plus three special concerts feature stunning soloists performing both new and well established pieces. One of those new pieces will be by composer-in-residence Alice Chance, with a specially commissioned piece. We have nine concerts plus two children’s concerts:

Children’s concert: Mini Maestros, January

Get to know the instruments  as you hear the greatest hits from The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast and Pocahontas as well as Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music and more.

Gala, February

Music by Bernstein, Gershwin, Sousa and more. Don’t wait for the fourth of July, start the year with a bang with a celebration of music from the USA.

CANCELLED: Dreamscape, April

From the heavenly music of George Dyson’s masterful Hierusalem, to Estonian composer Arvo Pärt’s eye-wateringly beautiful setting of the Latin Te Deum text, this is music that transcends the physical world.

  • George Dyson, Hierusalem
  • Tommy Tycho, Violin Concerto
  • Alice Chance, Holy Dreaming
  • Arvo Pärt, Te Deum

CANCELLED: Lior in Concert, May

Lior is one of Australia’s most treasured singer songwriters renowned for his beautiful voice and songs that radiate truth and sincerity. He teams up with the Willoughby Symphony under conductor Nigel Westlake.

CANCELLED: Serendipity, May

Hear some of the best new talent Australian music has to offer as 2018 ABC Young Performer of the Year finalist, clarinettist Oliver Shermacher joins the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra and conductor Dr Sarah Penicka-Smith for a world premiere.

  • Farrenc, Overture No.2, Op.24
  • Debussy, Première rhapsodie for Clarinet and Orchestra
  • Alice Chance, Clarinet Concerto [World Premiere]
  • Brahms, Serenade No.2 in A major, Op.16

Cancelled Fate, July

  • Mendelssohn, Ruy Blas Overture, Op.95
  • Rachmaninov, Piano Concerto No.2 in C minor, Op.18
  • Beethoven, Symphony No.5 in C minor, Op.67

Cancelled Children’s Concert: Beethoven’s Birthday, July

Happy Birthday to Beethoven! Chief Conductor and Artistic Director Dr Nicholas Milton AM will lead the festivities in this special one-hour concert for children, presented by renowned conductor George Ellis, who has plenty of birthday surprises in store.

Cancelled Last Night of the Proms, August

Featuring Pomp and Circumstance, Jerusalem, Rule Britannia, and other beloved symphonic and choral favourites.

Cancelled Five Chapters, September

  • Mussorgsky, Night on Bald Mountain
  • Kats-Chernin, Five Chapters [Australian Premiere]
  • Tchaikovsky, Symphony No.5 in E minor, Op.64

Patriots, November

Showcasing one of Australia’s most exciting young chamber groups, the Estivo Trio

  • Sibelius, Finlandia
  • Beethoven, Concerto for Violin, Cello and Piano, Op.56, “Triple Concerto”
  • Dvořák, Symphony No.7 in D minor, Op.70

The Magic of Christmas, December

A delightfully jubilant concert  for the whole family. Sing along to your favourite Christmas classics.


Purchase a subscription of 4-11 concerts now: Phone 8075 8188 (9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday) or visit The Concourse Box Office, 409 Victoria Avenue Chatswood. Or purchase single tickets via the links above. 

To receive a hard copy program in the post, please fill in this form with your details.

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The Concourse is an initiative of Willoughby City Council and proudly managed by Century Venues.