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Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra
Established 1948
Ensemble Type Symphony orchestra
Chief Conductor Sebastian Lang-Lessing
Concert Master Jun Yi Ma
Location Hobartmarker, Tasmaniamarker, Australia

The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (TSO) is a symphony orchestra based in Hobartmarker, Tasmaniamarker, Australia. It is the smallest of the six orchestras established by the Australian Broadcasting Corporationmarker (ABC).


The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra was established in 1948, and gave its first concert on 25 May in the Hobart Town Hall, under the baton of Joseph Post. The soloist was the Tasmanian-born pianist Eileen Joyce, who performed the Piano Concerto in A minor by Edvard Grieg.

From 1973 to 1998 its home was the ABC Odeon, a renovated former cinema built in 1916 as a replica of New Yorkmarker's Strand Theater. It has now moved to the Federation Concert Hall. In 1998, a 50th anniversary concert was held in the original venue, the Town Hall, under its then chief conductor David Porcelijn.

The TSO was the first Australian orchestra to have its own radio program, "Journey into Melody", which was broadcast weekly from 1956 to 1969.

By the late 1960s, there were far more more subscribers per head of the state population (1 in 144) than in any of the other capital-city based ABC orchestras. In 1995, when funding cuts threatened to downsize the orchestra from 47 players, a petition was launched by the Friends of the TSO that gathered 35,000 signatures, the largest petition in Tasmanian history.
Federation Concert Hall, home of the TSO
In 1998, A Taste of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra was published. This was a cookbook that included recipes contributed by members of the orchestra, guest conductors and visiting artists. It sold far more than anticipated, including healthy sales on the Australian mainland.

It receives government funding from both the Tasmanian and Australian government. The Orchestra performs at a number of concert venues both in Tasmania and interstate, including Federation Concert Hall, Tolosa Park in Glenorchymarker, Princess Theatre and Albert Hall both in Launcestonmarker, Burniemarker Town Hall, Devonportmarker Entertainment Centre, Wrest Point Entertainment Centre in Sandy Baymarker and the City Recital Hall in Sydneymarker. Major sponsors of the Orchestra include Hydro Tasmania, Bass and Equitable Building Society and the Hobart City Council.

Amongst the orchestra's recordings are the complete works of Ignaz Moscheles for piano and orchestra, for which the soloist and conductor was Howard Shelley.

The TSO has toured to Israelmarker, Greecemarker, South Koreamarker and Indonesiamarker, as well as widely throughout Australia. It won the 1996 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award, and a documentary on Maurice Ravel's Mother Goose, which featured the TSO, won the Best Biography Profile at the New York Festival International Television Programming Awards.

Chief Conductors


See also


  1. Eileen Joyce (1908-1991) Timeline

Other sources

  • Catherine Hocking, Feature on the TSO, ABC Radio 24 Hours magazine, April 1998

External links

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