David Robertson - Conductor from 2014 to 2019
Vladimir Ashkenazy - Conductor from 2009 to 2013
Gianluigi Gelmetti - Conductor from 2004 to 2008
Edo de Waart - Conductor from 1994 to 2003
Stuart Challender - Conductor from 1987 to 1991
Zdeněk Mácal - Conductor from 1986 to 1987
Charles Mackerras - Conductor from 1982 to 1985
Louis Frémaux - Conductor from 1979 to 1981
Willem van Otterloo - Conductor from 1973 to 1978
Moshe Atzmon - Conductor from 1969 to 1971
Dean Dixon - Conductor from 1964 to 1967
Nicolai Malko - Conductor from 1957 to 1961
Eugene Aynsley Goossens - Conductor from 1947 to 1956
|City||Sydney, New South Wales, Australia|
The orchestra began in 1932 as the National Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra. It was established by the newly formed Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) and consisted of a group of 24 musicians who were brought together to play concerts and to provide incidental music for radio plays.
The first significant concert event in which the orchestra took part was in 1934, when Sir Hamilton Harty visited Australia. His visit led to calls for the creation of a permanent symphony orchestra for Sydney.
Because of the political instability in Europe in the 1930s, many leading artists spent large amounts of time in Australia. Performances were given under the direction of Antal Doráti and Sir Thomas Beecham.
At the end of World War II, the ABC reached agreement with the Sydney City Council and the New South Wales state government to establish an orchestra in Sydney. In 1946 it purchased the title "Sydney Symphony Orchestra" from the original owner. The new 82-member Sydney Symphony Orchestra gave its first concert in January 1946.
Eugene Goossens joined the orchestra as its first chief conductor in 1947. Goossens introduced outdoor concerts and conducted Australian premieres of contemporary music. In 1948, he uttered the prophetic words, "Sydney must have an opera house!"
Under Willem van Otterloo, the orchestra made an eight-week European tour in 1974 which culminated in two concerts in Amsterdam and The Hague. Also under van Otterloo, the orchestra established the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House as its home base for most of its concerts.
In 1982 Sir Charles Mackerras, a former oboist with the orchestra, became the first Australian to be appointed its chief conductor.
In 1994, the orchestra received increased support from the federal government, enabling it to raise the number of players to 110, increase touring and recording ventures. That year, it also appointed Edo de Waart as the orchestra's chief conductor and artistic director; he held the post until 2003.
De Waart is regarded as having significantly improved the quality of the orchestra during his tenure, bringing it into the first rank of international orchestras for the first time. De Waart introduced blind auditions for permanent positions for the first time, introduced restrictions on the use of substitutes, and brought a new level of drive to the orchestra.
Gianluigi Gelmetti was chief conductor 2004–2008, succeeded by Vladimir Ashkenazy (2009–2013). Wikipedia