Sibelius' First Symphony


Friday 29 & Saturday 30 September 2023, 7.30pm

Perth Concert Hall

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West Australian Symphony Orchestra respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and Elders of Country throughout Western Australia, and the Whadjuk Noongar people on whose lands we work and share music.

How to use your Digital Program

Sibelius’ First Symphony

Johan WAGENAAR Cyrano de Bergerac Overture (14 mins)

John ADAMS Gnarly Buttons (26 mins)
The Perilous Shore
Hoedown (Mad Cow)

Put Your Loving Arms Around Me

Interval (25 mins)

Symphony No.1 (38 mins)
Andante, ma non troppo – Allegro energico
Andante (ma non troppo lento)
Scherzo (Allegro)
Finale (Andante – Allegro molto)

Otto Tausk conductor
Ashley Smith clarinet

Wesfarmers Arts Pre-concert Talk
Find out more about the music in the concert with this week’s speaker, Margaret Seares. The Pre-concert Talk will take place at 6.45pm in the Terrace Level Foyer.

Wesfarmers Arts Meet the Artist (Saturday only)
Join tonight’s conductor, Otto Tausk for a post-concert interview immediately following the Saturday evening performance in the Terrace Level Foyer. Uncover more about the music and hear insights into the performance experience.

Listen to WASO
This performance is recorded for broadcast on ABC Classic. For further details visit

Did you know?

Waagenar's Cyrano de Bergerac is a musical portrait of the title character from Edmond Rostand's play.

The play follows Cyrano de Bergerac, who sacrifices his own chance of happiness for that of his best friend Christian, and his cousin Roxane, with whom they are both in love.

The clarinet was the John Adams' first instrument, and inspired the composition of Gnarly Buttons.

Alongside being the "rock star of the clarinet", Ashley Smith is an avid long distace runner, and likens being a musician to being an athlete.

Look out for Ashley Smith's genuine vintage Mexican boots - it took Ashley a year of searching to find the right shoes for his soloist performance of Gnarly Buttons, which features a hoedown!

Sibelius' First Symphony was inspired, in part, by Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique, but the work also largely references Tchaikovsky.

WASO On Stage

About the Artist

About the Artist

About the Music

About the Music

About the Music


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John Adams on Finding His Voice

About WASO

Your Concert Experience

Reconciliation in action


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In 2022 WASO began a new chapter in the organisation’s history by committing to a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). Our RAP gives the organisation structure and accountability as we play our part to advance reconciliation in Australia, addressing a range of actions based around the core pillars of respect, relationships and opportunities.

Our journey through the first stage of our RAP has already seen some fantastic outcomes that have occurred by intentionally focusing on reconciliation in the world of music. We were thrilled in January to see one of our brilliant Crescendo students, Sandra Hart, travel all the way from Kwinana to Sydney where she spent a week with Deborah Cheetham Fraillon AO and Ensemble Dutala; Australia’s first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander chamber ensemble. This was an incredible opportunity for Sandra to be mentored by musicians such as Deborah and Aaron Wyatt, and continue to develop her violin talents nurtured in WASO’s Crescendo program.

Aaron Wyatt will be familiar to many WASO supporters, having appeared regularly as a casual viola player with WASO. We have watched with pride as his career as a composer and conductor has grown, and were thrilled when Aaron accepted our invitation to return to WASO next year to open our 2024 season, conducting his work The Coming Dawn. Beyond the stage, our RAP work has focused on internal organisational growth and learning. So far this year, WASO staff have partaken in a smoking ceremony led by Elder Barry McGuire, learned about Noongar music traditions with Professor Clint Bracknell, participated in local events like the Walk for Reconciliation in Kings Park (Kaarta Koomba) and learned about the history of the Uluru Statement with Nolan Hunter. We are grateful for everyone who has shared their time, knowledge and culture with us so that WASO can be an increasingly respectful and culturally aware collaborator with First Nations artists.

To continue playing our part to advance reconciliation in Australia, WASO is proud to advocate for a Voice to Parliament. You can read WASO’s full statement of support on our website. We acknowledge the diversity of views on the voice and encourage our community to read the Uluru Statement and hear the invitation within it: “We call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution. In 1967 we were counted. In 2017 we seek to be heard… We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.”

Image: Sandra Hart plays violin in a Crescendo end-of-year concert. Credit: Daniel James Grant.

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Meet the Musician

Community Engagement

Leaving a Legacy

Our Supporters

2023 Trusts and Foundations

Lead Partner of Crescendo


First Nations Creative Collaborations / Composition Project

Assistant Conductor Program

About the Speaker

Connect with WASO

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Asher Fisch appears courtesy of Wesfarmers Arts.

Fri 17 & Sat 18 November 2023, 7.30pm
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