A performance by the Australian World Orchestra is like a musical solar eclipse: a rare moment of overlap between stellar figures, ever in motion, which is almost too dazzling to look at directly.

“The amazing part at the beginning, when the AWO started, was this energy, the electricity of all these people who’ve known each other from childhood or studying, who haven’t seen each other for a long time, suddenly getting to play together,” violinist Natalie Chee tells Limelight. “It was such a buzz just seeing people!”

Natalie Chee, AWO, Australian World Orchestra

Chee is one of many Australians who will be returning home for the AWO’s 2023 performances, at which conductor and Artistic Director Alexander Briger will lead the orchestra through Mahler’s Symphony No. 9. 

Chee is the current Concertmaster of Cologne’s Gürzenich Orchestra, a position she has previously held with the Camerata Salzburg and the Radio Symphony Orchestra in Stuttgart. She has also been guest concertmaster for the BBC Symphony Orchestra and led its 2014 Last Night of the Proms. By the time she’d...