THE Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s 2016 season features something for everyone — from the seasoned music-lover to those just beginning their orchestral journey.

In his third year as Artistic Director of Australia’s flagship orchestra, David Robertson has invited some of the world’s most exciting soloists and conductors to perform with the SSO.

[showads ad=MREC] Perhaps the biggest name on SSO’s 2016 season is Conchita Wurst, the bearded drag queen and Eurovision 2014 winner. For a once-off performance at the Sydney Opera House in March, Conchita will take to the stage with the SSO and fellow drag icons, Courtney Act and Trevor Ashley as well as cabaret legend Paul Capsis. Performing songs from her debut album, her From Vienna with Love concert will also feature a yet-to-be-named guest star who will be revealed on the night.

In terms of regular shows, Robertson — who is also SSO Chief Conductor — will have a few himself. Beginning with Swing Symphony in March, Robertson and the SSO will join trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and his New York-based Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra on stage.

In an international collaboration with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, St Louis Symphony and other orchestras, Robertson will also present Messiaen’s From the Canyons to the Stars accompanied by projections of the stunning Utah Desert.

The pinnacle of Robertson’s season will be his latest Opera in the Concert Hall series, featuring bass-baritone Alfred Walker and soprano Nicole Cabell and an all-star cast performing Gershwin’s 1935 masterpiece Porgy and Bess.

Robertson’s presentation of Stravinsky’s three great scores for the Ballets Russes — The Firebird, The Rite of Spring and Petrushka — also promises to be a highlight.

Chinese piano superstar Lang Lang is set to return to Sydney, performing a recital program of Bach, Chopin and Tchaikovsky as well as three concerts featuring Grieg’s Piano Concerto conducted by Manuel López-Gómez.

Former SSO principal conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy will conduct a series of Beethoven concerts encompassing all nine Beethoven symphonies, while world-renowned German conductor Christoph von Dohnányi will conduct the SSO in his Australian debut across two not-to-be-missed events.

The SSO also plans to diversify its offerings in 2016, with the return of its family series to provide an engaging way to introduce children under 12 to classical music. Also on the cards is the return of a new series of At the Movies, featuring Back to the Future with Silvestri’s score and Raiders of the Lost Ark with John Williams’ soundtrack, and brand new concert series at Angel Place and Carriageworks.

With world-class performers and conductors from the classical music world, SSO’s 2016 season is on track to be one of its best.

Details and bookings: sydneysymphony.com

Conchita Wurst will return to Australia once again early 2016 as part of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival line-up. Pictured here with members of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, with whom she'll share the stage for a one-off concert night in March. (PHOTO: David Alexander; Star Observer)

Conchita Wurst will return to Australia once again early 2016 as part of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival line-up. Pictured here with members of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, with whom she’ll share the stage for a one-off concert night in March. (PHOTO: David Alexander; Star Observer)

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**This article was first published in the January edition of the Star Observer, which is available now. Click here to find out where you can grab a copy in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra and select regional/coastal areas.

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