Woollahra Philharmonic Orchestra Mission
To bring musical enrichment to the community, providing a professional attitude towards innovative and enjoyable concerts
In 2014, The Woollahra Philharmonic Orchestra received the Highly Commended for Most Innovative Cultural/Arts Initiative award for our outstanding contribution to our community from Woollahra Council. This was a significant mile stone in the WPO’s history and it is one we continue to share with our families and friends who support us, encourage us and motivate us to strive for higher and higher standards; and we share it with our audience without whom, this would never be realised. .
History Of the Woollahra Philharmonic Orchestra
The Woollahra Philharmonic Orchestra is the premier community orchestra in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs. It was established in 1996 by local amateur musicians after receiving backing from Woollahra Municipal Council. With the continued support of the Woollahra Municipal Council, the orchestra has steadily grown in stature and now makes an important contribution to the cultural life of the Woollahra municipality and the wider eastern suburbs of Sydney. The orchestra comprises up to 50 regular members who come from all walks of life, are of all ages, and includes amateurs, students and professionals. Although we are a diverse group we all share a common goal of playing fine symphonic music in a friendly and encouraging environment. The orchestra performs four public concerts programs a year with a rehearsal period of about 8-10 weeks for each concert. The orchestra's first conductor was Mathias Rogala-Koczorowski, a brass teacher based at the Mitchell Conservatorium of Music in Bathurst. Following his retirement in 2011 Dr Anthony Clarke was appointed as the WPO’s Musical Director and under his guidance, has expanded the orchestra’s repertoire and outreach. The WPO now performs each program twice and reaches a wider demographic within the Woollahra community and beyond. The WPO also performs benefit concerts and chamber music programs, reaching outstanding levels of musical excellence, both in performance and programming. The Orchestra aims at striking a balance between serious music-making on the one hand and creating an atmosphere where members can enjoy themselves on the other. The orchestra is set up as an incorporated association under the Associations Incorporation Act 1984 (NSW) and is administered by a committee made up of orchestra members. In addition to the generous funding from Woollahra Council, the orchestra relies on subscriptions from its members, donations from sponsors and concert takings for its running costs. We are proud to have as our Patrons, one of Australia's most well-regarded composers, Elena Katz-Chernin as well as the celebrated Australia Pianist, Rachel Valler..
Margaret Whitlam OA and Peter Sculthorpe were long standing patrons and passionate supporters of the Orchestra.