The West Australian Symphony Orchestra: Celebrating 90 years in 2018
It all began on 16 September 1928, with a performance at The Queens Hall on William Street, under the leadership of charismatic conductor Harold Newton. 32 professional musicians presented a concert that included Perth’s first ever performance of Dvořák’s Symphony No.9 From the New World. According to a review the following day in The West Australian, “the performance proved a surprisingly good one”, and so this was the conception for what would later become known as the West Australian Symphony Orchestra.
From small beginnings 90 years ago, WASO has steadily evolved to become a trailblazing arts organisation, employing 82 full-time musicians dedicated to enriching the lives of West Australians.
The Capitol Theatre played an important part in WASO’s history as a regular venue for the Orchestra from 1953 until 1966, after which it was demolished and replaced by an office building. Left with no permanent performance space, concerts were shifted to Winthrop Hall at the University of WA in 1967 and remained there until Perth Concert Hall was opened on 27 January 1973.
In 2018 WASO celebrates 90 years of classical performance. Led by Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser Asher Fisch, the Orchestra proudly continues its mission to touch souls andenrich lives through music.