The Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO) is Brisbane’s leading community orchestra. The orchestra brings together up to 200 musicians a year to play a variety of classical orchestral music. Over 100 members of the incorporated association form the core of the orchestra. Other players perform as casual musicians, but often join as full-time members after their first concert with BPO. The orchestra was founded on principles of musical excellence and development, communal participation and organisational professionalism.
Since its creation in 2000, the BPO has become the community orchestra of choice for over 500 musicians. It is eagerly sought as a performance partner for touring choirs, festivals and internationally acclaimed instrumentalists and vocalists. The orchestra performs its own series of symphony concerts and participates in multiple community and festival events throughout the year, attracting an audience of over 2,500 people. The orchestra’s main metropolitan concert series includes four to five symphony concerts at Brisbane City Hall and the Old Museum Concert Hall. Programs vary between concerts featuring the great classical, romantic, and 20th century composers, light concerts including film music, as well as concerts with programs targeted at a younger audience. Additionally, BPO performs one chamber music concert, featuring multiple smaller groups in a more intimate setting.
The BPO maintains many community partnerships including with Queensland Music Festival, 4MBS Festival of Classics, Brisbane City Council and The Brisbane Airport Corporation. These partnerships provide essential connections with artistic, educational, professional and social programs, and cater to the association’s increased responsibility to culturally enhance localities and bring a diversity of people together in a fast-paced, ever-impersonal global village. Unusually for a community orchestra, entry to the BPO is by audition and the ensemble is the only community orchestra within the city that rotates guest conductors by invitation rather than establishing a permanent Music Director. Uniquely, this allows a variety of the finest local professional conductors to deliver diverse and innovative programming to artistically stimulate members of the orchestra.