A season of celebration

Welcome to the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra’s 2020 season – a season of classics by favourite composers as well as some new and exciting pieces.


BTHVN 2020
This is the international registered trademark for Beethoven’s 250th birthday. The logo dates back to Beethoven himself, who used to sign some of his scores using his name without vowels: Bthvn

2020 marks the 250th anniversary of the birthday of one of the most important composers of all time, Beethoven.  The Dunedin Symphony Orchestra (DSO) is celebrating this anniversary through its performances of three of his masterpieces, as well as through Beethoven’s Big Birthday Bash, a community concert which will involve players and singers from Dunedin and surrounding regions performing some of his Symphony No. 9 (well known for the ‘Ode to Joy’ in the final movement).  In 2020, we are also thrilled to celebrate a significant birthday of Dunedin-based composer Anthony Ritchie.

Heading the DSO’s 2020 artists is conductor Simon Over, now in his sixth year as the DSO’s Principal Guest Conductor. He will be conducting the orchestra’s performance of the most famous of all Beethoven’s symphonies, Symphony No. 9, Choral.

The DSO is also delighted to welcome back:

  • several ex-Dunedinites who have gone on to outstanding careers: conductor Tecwyn Evans, singers Anna Leese and Jonathan Lemalu, bassoonist Todd Gibson-Cornish.
  • Celebrated conductors Kenneth Young and Tianyi Lu, and mezzo soprano Kate Webber.

During the 2020 concert series, audiences will be introduced to several highly-acclaimed international soloists:

  • pianist John Chen.
  • the 2019 Michael Hill International Violin Competition winner Anna Im.
  • Australian violinist Glenn Christensen.
  • Australian oboeist Thomas Hutchinson.

City Choir Dunedin, which has been a regular performing partner with the DSO since the orchestra’s inception, will be to the fore in the performance of ‘Ode to Joy’ in Beethoven’s ninth symphony.

Something new is ‘Unwrap the Music’, a talk by Anthony Ritchie in which he will introduce the works in the 2020 series concerts.  This is designed to be an informative and entertaining guide and a tempting taste of what audiences can expect to hear in the up-coming concert series.

If these don’t capture the attention of all of the family, we are also presenting a Halloween concert at the end of October, Halloween Spooktacular.

As well as these, the orchestra will continue its comprehensive range of education projects, its community events, and much more.  There’s something for everyone!

The DSO thanks its core funders (Creative NZ, Dunedin City Council, Otago Community Trust), sponsors (especially our Matinee Series sponsors Forsyth Barr and concert sponsors Webb Farry), donors, and its treasured audiences for such invaluable continuing support over its 54 years.  It looks forward to sharing the inspiration and excitement of the DSO’s 2020 concerts.