About Us

Adelaide Art Orchestra - swing orchestraSince its wonderfully successful launch in 2001, the Adelaide Art Orchestra has established a reputation for vibrant, energetic and diverse performances of contemporary classical and popular repertoire and has become a major force in Adelaide’s dynamic music scene.

Early performance highlights included a film score for the movie Till Human Voices Wake Us (Paramount Pictures), concerts featuring the music of Sculthorpe, Stravinsky and Gershwin, the Carnival of the Animals and Peter and the Wolf.  The orchestra also played for the highly acclaimed Forbidden Broadway production in the Festival Theatre for the 2002 Adelaide Cabaret Festival.  Other classical performances included the SA premiere of Handel’s oratorio Joshua, and Romeo and Juliet with the State Ballet of Russia. Other engagements included a Classical/World Music fusion CD Unitopia, the award-winning Music on the Murray at Waikerie (one of the largest musical events ever held on the Murray River), Adelaide Cabaret Festival shows with Broadway composer Jason Robert Brown and a major concert featuring the SA premiere of John Adams’ Piano Concerto Century Rolls.  This was followed by a whirlwind tour of its acclaimed radio-style show Gershwin and Friends, covering the SA regional centres of Mt. Gambier, Renmark, Tanunda, Whyalla, Port Lincoln and Port Pirie.

  • AdAO Group Shot

    Photography by Photographyroom.

  • Adelaide Art Orchestra - swing orchestra

  • Geoff Bradley

  • Timothy Sexton - Founder, Conductor and AdAO President

  • Carolyn Lam - Concertmaster and AdAO Vice President

In 2004, the AdAO entertained at the State Dinner to launch The Ghan, the inaugural Gawler Gourmet and Heritage Festival and multiple performances in the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, including the world premiere of Oscar-winning New York composer David Shire and Richard Maltby’s new musical Take Flight.  Subsequent concerts included Morning Melodies and Something on Saturday concerts at the Adelaide Festival Theatre, and a new radio show based around the music of Cole Porter.

The AdAO began 2005 with the Opera Australia/Adelaide Festival Centre summer Season of The Mikado with Anthony Warlow and Judi Connelli.  Julie Anthony joined the AdAO and a 200 voice choir for Music on the Murray in Waikerie, followed by a season of South Pacific with John Diedrich. Private functions included performances with Marina Prior, Rob Guest and the original members of the Little River Band.  The AdAO featured in thirteen Adelaide Cabaret Festival shows, including Australia’s Leading Ladies. Other diverse concerts included appearances with Aussie rock legend Doug Parkinson, the Windmill Performing Arts children’s opera Midnite, the music of Philip Glass in the highly acclaimed concert Reflections on Glass, and an ABC Classic FM Sunday Live broadcast.

In 2006  the AdAO performed in African Sanctus and Israel in Egypt for the 57th Intervarsity Choral Festival and concerts with David Hobson, Marina Prior and Rob Guest. The AdAO also staged a mini Festival of Contemporary Music.  Other events included a Mozart concert with the St. Peter’s Cathedral choir, an ABC Classic FM Sunday Live Broadcast, Mozart’s Bastien and Bastienne and Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine with State Opera and two Christmas Proms performances at the Adelaide Festival Theatre.  In January 2007, the Adelaide Art Orchestra played for the Summer Season of Pirates of Penzance with Opera Australia – a production starring David Hobson and David Campbell.  Subsequent performances have included the Australian premiere of Mark Adamo’s opera Little Women, a third Music on the Murray at Waikerie, multiple shows in the 2007 Adelaide Cabaret Festival, supporting Max Pellicano and The Beatniks in Elvis Meets The Beatles at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Handel’s Messiah with Graham Abbott and the Adelaide Philharmonia Chorus and the Christmas Proms with the Adelaide Festival Centre.

2008 events included a performance with David Campbell for the Clipsal 500 and concerts for Country Arts SA comprising a Broadway concert at Port Augusta and a tour of Glenn Miller and Friends to SA regional centres.  The AdAO was featured prominently in the 2008 Adelaide Cabaret Festival and also performed in the Greek Odyssey Hellenic Festival.  The AdAO also recorded the orchestral soundtrack for Slingsby Theatre Company’s production of Wolf which has toured nationally. The year ended with highly successful performances of the Christmas Proms with Christine Anu and Tim Campbell.

Shows in 2009 included encore concerts of Glenn Miller and Friends, accompanying international star Bernadette Peters as part of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival and performing the Christmas Proms with pianist/entertainer Bernard Walz and singer Silvie Paladino. This great diversity continued in 2010 with a range of events including Cabaret Festival performances with Natalie Cole (broadcast on Foxtel Ovation), multiple Broadway concerts, Astor Piazzolla’s tango opera Maria de Buenos Aires and Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci, a concert with Kate Ceberano and  four Christmas Proms concerts with Rhonda Burchmore and PJ Lane.