Artistic Director's message


I am delighted to present the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra’s 2024 season, a line up of extraordinary musical performances. Our 2024 season-opening gala concert An Evening with James Bond sets the tone for an exuberant and thrilling year. A massive orchestra brings the most beloved title songs to vivid life, including 'Goldfinger,' 'Nobody Does it Better,' 'Skyfall,' 'No Time to Die' and 'Diamonds are Forever.'

I will also conduct two “fifth” symphonies in 2024: Beethoven’s fifth contains surely the most famous symphonic statement of the entire repertoire, but our audiences will equally be astounded by the raw emotional impact of Shostakovich’s earth-shattering Fifth Symphony. As always, the Willoughby Symphony welcomes prodigious Australian soloists, including the remarkable Konstantin Shamray, winner of the First Prize at the Sydney International Piano Competition. Dazzling instrumentalists Winnie Su and Edward Walton represent the next generation of Australian musical stars.

The powerful Willoughby Symphony Choir, under the direction of one of Australia’s leading Choir Masters, Peter Ellis, will feature in an irrepressible Christmas concert and, with our brilliant Associate Conductor Dr Sarah Penicka-Smith, the choir will mount what will surely be a spectacular rendition of Dvořák’s soulful "Stabat Mater".

Our eternally popular 'Last Night of the Proms' promises colossal spectacle and jubilation in a special edition concert featuring music from the coronation of King Charles III and a host of special guest artists.

The orchestra also presents a wide range of educational and concert programs for young people and families. Disney’s classic 1989 animation, The Little Mermaid will be projected on the big screen at The Concourse concert hall with the complete score being performed live by the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra conducted by the brilliant Vanessa Scammell.

It continues to be an honour for me to make music with the wonderful musicians of our orchestra, who perform with such electrifying commitment and enthusiasm and who share such an inspiring vision for our community.



Dr Nicholas Milton AM
Chief Conductor and Artistic Director