Adelaide Festival Centre 40th Anniversary Concert

AFCT40yearsThe Adelaide Festival Centre together with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra will present a special anniversary concert – Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony – as part of the Adelaide Festival Centre’s 40th Anniversary.

ASO Chief Conductor Arvo Volmer directs the concert which reprises the Festival Theatre’s grand opening night with a performance of Beethoven’s great Ninth Symphony – the Choral – featuring Soprano Sara Macliver, Mezzo Soprano Sally-Anne Russell, Tenor Paul McMahon and Bass Stephen Bennett together with the Adelaide Symphony Chorus.

Beethoven’s Ninth, with its powerful themes of freedom and universal brotherhood has, over many years, been associated with world changing events. In the last century, it was most famously conducted by Leonard Bernstein in 1989 to mark the demolition of the Berlin Wall.

This is profound music which marks the pinnacle of Beethoven’s musical achievements as in this, his last symphony, the Ninth journeys from darkness to light reaching its climax in an astonishing and innovative finale. Here Beethoven, for the first time in the history of the symphony, introduces the human voice as massed choirs proclaim Friedrich von Schiller’s ‘Ode to Joy’.

Volmer says, “The last works of great masters are often considered as their ultimate message to generations to come. The Ninth carries a message of humanity and hope, mixing poetry and music in a totally new way. It represents Beethoven’s symphonic writing at its peak.”

The concert will also include the World Premiere of Fanfare Festiva – a fanfare for the next 40 years, commissioned by Adelaide Festival Centre for the concert, by renowned Adelaide composer, Graeme Koehne.

Koehne who attended the 1973 performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (then named South Australian Symphony Orchestra) with his mother as a child says “writing the fanfare is particularly meaningful, because that opening concert happened just when I was beginning to immerse myself in classical music, seeing the concert was instrumental in my choice of career.”

“I remember hearing the fanfare composed by Richard Meale who later was to become my composition teacher”.

Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director Douglas Gautier says “I was on stage as part of the opening night performance in 1973 and since then the spirit and ethos of this place has been a source of inspiration to me and many others here and all over the world.”

“For forty years it has been a site where consistently great performances and receptive audiences have come together. Come and help us celebrate that history and achievement by attending our Anniversary events.”

Since its opening in 1973, the Festival Theatre has been Adelaide’s preeminent venue for the world’s finest artists, while also providing a venue of international standard for countless performances, community events, and local companies. The Festival Theatre 40th Anniversary Concert is just one of the events programmed to celebrate the Centre’s 40 years of hosting arts, culture and entertainment from every corner of the world.

Festival Theatre 40th Anniversary Concert
Adelaide festival Centre – King William Street, Adelaide
Friday 31 May / Saturday 1 June 2013 – 8.00pm
Bookings: 131 246 or online at:

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: courtesy of the Adelaide Festival Centre

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