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The Sydney University Symphony Orchestra, originally known as the Pro Musica Orchestra, was founded in 1948 by Donald Peart. It is now one of the most established performing arts societies at The University of Sydney.
The orchestra consists of over 70 students from all faculties and campuses of the university including the Conservatorium. In addition to our rehearsal and performance schedule we organise regular social events, including barbeques, pizza dinners and Thai lunches, which provide members with many opportunities to make friends and enjoy university life.
Our concert season features four concerts each year and our home venue is the Great Hall in the university's grand neo-gothic Quadrangle. Over the years SUSO has been led by many prominent conductors including Eric Gross, Peter Platt, Ben Macpherson, Nicholas Routley, Colin Piper and George Ellis. Through a longstanding connection with the university’s Arts Music Unit the orchestra has performed works by prominent Australian composers including Anne Boyd, Ross Edwards, Peter Sculthorpe, Matthew Hindson and Gordon Hamilton.
The orchestra is part of the University of Sydney Union’s Clubs & Societies programme and is run by an eleven-member student executive committee. In the last few years we’ve performed a varied programme including works by Beethoven, Mahler, Gershwin, Mozart, Rimsky-Korsakov, Dvořák and Rojas. Highlights include Beethoven's Choral Symphony No. 9, Mendelssohn’s 'Elijah' and Orff’s 'Carmina Burana' with SUMS, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with pianist Kathryn Selby, Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 (“From the New World”), Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 with Vivien Jeffery, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 with the University of New South Wales Symphony Orchestra.
SUSO’s principal conductor is Luke Spicer, who debuted with the orchestra in 2013. Luke is a passionate young conductor, and acclaimed violist and chamber musician, who performs regularly on viola with Opera Australia and the Tasmanian Symphony. He is also guest conductor of The Metropolitan Orchestra and in 2015 he made his operatic conducting debut with Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice for the Spectrum Now festival. In 2017, Luke has joined Opera Australia as Music Director of the NSW Schools Tour. The orchestra also has David Saffir as assistant conductor and strings co-ordinator.