So, after cancelled their performance last year due to a heat wave, on Saturday, the 26th of February 2011, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra hosted its biggest annual performance, the Santos Symphony Under the Stars, which marked the 75th year of music making for the ASO.
The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1936. and currently consists of 74 permanent members. Each year, the orchestra undertakes over 100 performances across a diverse musical spectrum. The ASO provides the orchestral support for all productions of the State Opera of South Australia, for Adelaide performances of the Australian Ballet and Opera Australia, and is the most prolific contributor to the Adelaide Festival. The popular annual tradition of Symphony Under the Stars, the outdoor Alfresco series, the innovative Education Program, ASO on Tour, the East End Rush Hour chamber series, and the entertaining Showtime Series are just some concerts bringing live orchestral music to South Australians each year.
The performance was due to start at 8pm, but we went early because we were afraid we wouldn't be able to find a good seat, so we took the 5.34pm train to the city. We arrived at around 6pm and found Elder Park already full of music lovers. They brought chairs, picnic baskets, blankets and many of them had their dinner while waiting for the concert to start.
While waiting for the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, we were entertained by the Adelaide Youth Orchestra whose members are South Australia’s best emerging musicians aged 14-25. They performed classical, folk and popular music as the curtain-raiser the Adelaide’s biggest outdoor annual orchestral concert.
For this occasion, I went with David, my father in law, Bertie and Maria. Bertie wore the Batik that I bought for him during my last visit to Indonesia, he likes it so much.
At the venue, there were a lot of stalls which sold variety of food and beverages. As we didn't bring our picnic basket, we bought fried rice with chicken satay and spring rolls for dinner and for dessert, we had strawberry Pavlova, which is made from egg white blended with castor sugar and baked, then served with whipped cream and fresh strawberries....very Australian.
While we were there, we met a new friend, a Vietnamese lady with her baby, Emily. Her name is Jumi........weird right. Juni and Jumi.....
As night fell, the Orchestra entered the stage to begin their performance. Unfortunately, the evening was interrupted by a few light showers of rain, so Maria and I hurriedly went to the front of the stage to take some more pictures.
Their performance really fantastic, with Nick Davies as the conductor. The program consisted of: Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man and Rodeo: Hoe Down, Ravel's Bolero and so much more. Sitting there with the beautiful music and the ever changing light show which gave a marvelous view made me love Adelaide even more.
Finally, at around 10pm, the concert came to a stunning climax with Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture played during the amazing fireworks display. This was really a beautiful night.