Artistic Director's message

It is a pleasure and an honour to welcome you to the 2023 season of thrilling and inspirational music-making with the sensational Willoughby Symphony Orchestra. Even in my third decade as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor with this extraordinary group of musicians, the profound pleasure to conduct the family of musicians that is the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra is as fresh and exciting today as it was the first time I ever conducted them some thirty-five years ago!! As always, I want to thank all of our musicians and members of our management team, from the bottom of my heart, for their exceptional engagement and integrity, their delight in music-making, and for a shared vision which brings inspiring concert experiences to the community we proudly serve.

This brochure offers you a glimpse into what I promise will be a treasure trove of exquisite riches for our souls.

We start the year with a blockbuster extravaganza – glorious soundtracks from Hollywood’s most beloved scores.

The musicians and I will showcase heroes of the silver screen from Princess Leia and Wonder Woman to Indiana Jones and Superman. Two fascinating concerts in the season will be conducted by our brilliant Associate Conductor and my dear friend, Dr. Sarah Penicka-Smith. In her programs you’ll hear our Concertmaster Maria Lindsay perform the concerto that was written for her by Australian musical legend Tommy Tycho as well as an uplifting and powerful concert featuring our astounding Chorus with some of the most dramatic selections from the operatic repertoire. The phenomenal Avan Yu, winner of the Sydney International Piano Competition will also join us for a program in which he will play and direct magnificent concertos of Mozart and Beethoven.

I could not be more thrilled to announce that my beautiful wife, Rosa Donata Milton, Concertmaster of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Jena, Germany, will appear on stage with me in July to perform the exquisite violin concerto by Korngold. Rosa has performed this extraordinary concerto throughout Germany and this concert will obviously be a personal and emotional season highlight for me.

The musicians of your Willoughby Symphony Orchestra join with me in extending to you a heartfelt invitation to spend some time with us in 2023. We promise inspirational concerts that will lift your souls and enrich your hearts. 


Dr Nicholas Milton AM
Chief Conductor and Artistic Director

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