CSO 2021: A message from the Chair and CEO

It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the Canberra Symphony Orchestra’s 2021 season. I look forward to the  opportunity to come together once again to enjoy the beautiful music of our orchestra.

I would like to acknowledge with sincere appreciation the long and distinguished service of Dr Nicholas Milton AM, whose dedication over 15 years has helped establish the orchestra as a significant presence in the local community and in the national orchestral landscape. I welcome our incoming artistic leadership team, who will take the CSO forward with vision and tenacity: Jessica Cottis, Artistic Advisor; Simon Hewett, Principal Guest Conductor; Professor Deborah Cheetham AO, Australian Series Curator; and Andy Baird, Artistic Planning Manager. I also acknowledge our accomplished Concertmaster, Kirsten Williams.

Our subscribers and donors play an important role in sustaining and developing the CSO. I am deeply grateful for your ongoing support, particularly during the incredibly difficult year we have experienced in 2020.

We look forward to welcoming you along with your family and friends to the CSO concerts in 2021.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston AK, AFC (Ret’d)

The launch of a CSO season always fills me with excitement. While it would be an understatement to call 2020 a year like no other, it would be impossible to overstate my pride in the CSO and my great anticipation for what this next chapter will bring.

I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting many longtime CSO subscribers over the years. Some of the most moving interactions, however, have been the letters, emails and phone conversations of recent months, reminding me of how privileged we are to have such an engaged and dedicated audience.

I’m also humbled by the perseverance and character of our musicians and staff – their creativity, integrity and generosity of spirit, and the ways in which they’ve stood by each other and advocated for the music that we all cherish. Our long-awaited return to the concert hall will be a triumph for each of them and each of you.

I acknowledge the vital support the CSO receives from the Australian Government, through the Australia Council for the Arts, and the ACT Government, through artsACT. I also thank our dedicated network of partners and donors for their generous support of our artistic and community programs.

Rachel Thomas
Chief Executive Officer

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