Skip to main content

The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra's Sidney Myer Free Concerts was named as a finalist in the International Music Cities Awards.

Acknowledged as ‘the soundtrack to Melbourne’s summer’, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s annual free concert series at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl has been named as a finalist in the International Music Cities Awards for 2021.

The global competition is designed to acknowledge and reward the most outstanding applications of music for economic, social, environmental and cultural development in cities and places all around the world. The awards aim to promote best practices and demonstrate the value of music to the world.

The MSO’s Sidney Myer Free Concert series is one of three finalists in the category ‘Best Use of Music in Towns and Cities’. In 2021 the concerts featured works by Australian composers Ross Edwards, Joe Chindamo, Paul Stanhope and Vanessa Perica, alongside Debussy, Stravinsky, Rameau, De Falla, Bernstein Ravel and Duke Ellington.

MSO Managing Director, Sophie Galaise, said the awards were a welcome acknowledgement of the MSO’s international standing as a world-class orchestra.

‘I’m delighted that the MSO’s reputation for excellence and innovation has been recognised internationally. As a cornerstone of Australia’s rich cultural heritage, we continue to represent our great city proudly through music at the highest standard and celebrate our close connection to community – here and abroad.’ Galaise said.

The MSO held its first free outdoor public performances in 1929 with the intention of bringing beautiful music to the people of Melbourne. Journalists at the time praised the concerts as a phenomenal success with more than 100,000 people in attendance. Thanks to the generosity of Sidney Myer and his family, the Sidney Myer Music Bowl has been the official home of the MSO’s free outdoor concert series since this iconic venue opened in 1959.

‘In 2021, the MSO celebrated 92 years of these free concerts and 62 years in the Sidney Myer Music Bowl,’ said Galaise. ‘These concerts attract up to 30,000 locals and visitors each year and have entertained millions of people since their inception. They have been a meeting place for family and friends, an introduction to a life-long love of classical music, an opportunity to be entertained by world-class performers, and to be moved by beautiful music.’

‘We are looking forward to returning to the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in December 2021 and will be announcing an extraordinary lineup of events in the weeks ahead.’ Galaise added.

Melbourne Lord Mayor, Sally Capp, congratulated the MSO on being a finalist in the international awards.

'Melbourne is consistently recognised as one of the world’s most liveable cities for so many reasons,’ Capp said. 'We are renowned for our incredible live music scene, people love it and the MSO is a key part of the city’s music offering. The MSO’s Sidney Myer free concerts are loved by Melburnians and they celebrate the amazing artistry and talents of this great cultural city. We are thrilled that the MSO continues to be lauded on the international stage'.

The winners of the Music Cities Awards will be announced in a virtual ceremony on November 9.

The MSO’s Sidney Myer Free Concerts are made possible by the MSO Sidney Myer Trust Fund, in association with ABC Classic, the University of Melbourne and Arts Centre Melbourne.

Stay tuned. Sign up.