Sydney Symphony Orchestra opens voting for People’s Choice concert

Opera music

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra today announced the six categories for its upcoming People’s Choice concert in November. Voting is now open, with music lovers choosing from a hand-picked selection of composers and music by conductor Simone Young.

Conductor Simone Young of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Photo © Sandra Steh

Talk to limelight about the selections she made, Young emphasizes the festive nature of the concerts.

“We have come out of two years of concert scarcity and we wanted to thank our audience for their loyalty. Everyone in the orchestra and in the organization is aware of the number of people who come to us and say, “I would like you to do this” and “I would like you to play that”. And so, it’s a chance for us to tap into that vein of what audiences want to hear from us.

This unique project essentially hands over the responsibility of concert programming to the public, with Young as musical guide and mentor. It is an experience that she first tried in Germany with excellent results.

“When I did it in Hamburg, it was a huge success. People were very interested in the lists of proposals we made, and then my hope came true.

Young crosses his fingers that the audience at the Sydney Symphony Orchestra responds in the same way: “I hope people won’t settle for the best-known hits; that they are curious about some of the lesser known and contemporary works.

Adding to the excitement, the results won’t be revealed until the SSO musicians take to the stage at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall, with Young guiding them and the audience through the winning selection.

“The program remains secret until the first concert. So the first audience gets the added thrill of not really knowing what they’re going to hear that night,” says Young, excited at the prospect.

“It’s a fairly new concept, as most of the concerts are marketed on their programs. But this one is marketed on the fact that we at the Sydney Symphony Orchestra love our audiences, and we know the audiences love us. It’s a chance for real communication at this direct level.

Young has not only selected music from the greatest local and international composers, from the world of film and opera, but has also included a considerable number of undiscovered gems for those feeling a little more adventurous. They are divided into six categories: Excerpt from the ABC’s Classic 100, The great composers, Opera Music, Music by Australian composers, Musical discoveries and Music by English composers. The nominees are listed below, along with open voting until November 11.

Excerpt from the ABC’s Classic 100 includes popular works voted on by listeners as part of the national broadcaster’s annual countdown.

Beethoven Symphony No. 5: I. Allegro brilliantly
Elgar Pump and Circumstance March #1
Elena Kats Chernin Wild Swans: Eliza Aria
Enrico Morricone The mission: Gabriel’s oboe
mozart Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
pachelbel cannon
Rossini Guillaume Tell: Opening
J. Strauss II Emperor’s Waltz
Tchaikovsky Nutcracker: Waltz of Flowers
Vaughan Williams The rising lark

Peggy Glanville Hicks

Peggy Glanville-Hicks is one of the Australian composers who can be voted for inclusion in the SSO’s People’s Choice concert.

The great composers are so prolific that it can be difficult to choose a favorite work of theirs. Young makes it easy, by allowing music lovers to simply vote for their favorite composer, and she’ll choose the track.

J.S. Bach
Beethoven
Brahms
Debussy
Dvorak
Handel
Mahler
mozart
Fraying
Tchaikovsky

opera music contains overtures, interludes and iconic moments from the opera scene, many of which have become staples of popular culture. Johann Strauss II provided the score to the 1950s Tom and Jerry in the Hollywood Bowl; Rossini’s characteristics in A clockwork orange; and the Wagner can be found in all of looney tunes at The Blues Brothers.

Glück Orpheus and Eurydice: Dance of the Blessed Spirits
Mascagni Cavalleria rusticana: Intermezzo
mozart Figaro’s wedding: Opening
Puccini Manon Lescaut: Intermezzo of act III
Rossini The thieving magpie: Opening
J. Strauss II Die Fledermaus: Opening
R.Strauss Capriccio: Music in the Moonlight
R.Strauss Salome: Dance of the Seven Veils
Verdi The Forza of Destiny: Prelude
wagner Die Walküre: Ride of the Valkyries

Music by Australian composers was chosen by Young from some of our top local talent. They include works by female composers written over nearly 70 years, from a 1953 piece by Peggy Glanville-Hicks to a recently premiered composition by Holly Harrison.

Brett Dean Amphitheater
Peggy Glanville Hicks Three Gymnopédies
Holly Harrison High visibility
Matthew Hindson LiteSpeed
Elena Kats Chernin Dance of the Paper Umbrellas
Stuart Greenbaum 90 minutes around the Earth
Graeme Koehne elevator music
Ella Macens The space between the stars
Pierre Sculthorpe Sun Music II
Carl Vine Microsymphony

Ella Macens

Ella Macens is one of the Australian composers who can be voted for inclusion in the SSO’s People’s Choice concert.

In Musical discoveries, Young appeals to a more adventurous spirit, with lesser-known works that are sure to captivate. They include Amy Beach’s Gaelic Symphony the first American composer to write music for a large orchestra.

John Adams The president dances
Amy Beach Gaelic Symphony: II. Alla siciliana – allegro vivace
Beethoven Cavatina excerpt from String Quartet No. 13
Haydn Symphony No. 88: II. Largo
Hans Werner Henze The Upupa: Die blaue Stunde (twilight time)
Korngold Straussian
Einojuhani Rautavaara Lintukoto (Island of Felicity)
Wolfgang Schmidt our Lady: Intermezzo
Ethel Smith The Wreckers: Prelude to Act II (On the Cornish cliffs)
Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 1, winter daydreams: III. Scherzo

Music by English composers spans some 300 years, from Jeremiah Clarke’s baroque march in honor of Queen Anne’s husband, the Prince of Denmark, to Anna Meredith’s more recent brass band, which has already made its way into a Prada commercial and a Netflix documentary about Lady Gaga.

Thomas Has Three-room suite from Powder her face: Opening
Twig Machaut in my own way
Britton Four Sea-Interludes of Pierre Grimes: Moonlight and storm
Delius A Romeo and Juliet village: The walk in the paradise garden
Elgar Variations of puzzles: Nimrod
Anna Meredith Nautilus
clark Trumpet volunteer
Tippet Concerto for double string orchestra: II. Adagio cantabile
Vaughan Williams Five variations on Dives and Lazarus
walton Henry V: Opening and Touch her soft lips and go

Voters can choose from as many categories as they want and nominate additional works that are important to them but not included above. As a bonus, all those who participate and who are not already limelight subscriber, will receive a free three-month digital issue limelight subscription. The concert is presented in partnership with Credit Suisse, ABC Classic and Limelights.


Vote for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra People’s Choice Concert is now open until November 11, with concerts taking place November 17-19 at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall.

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