The Darwin Symphony Orchestra (DSO) is set to receive an additional $1 million in funding from the Federal Government over the next four years.

The support from Creative Australia doubles the DSO’s current funding and will provide paid roles for its Principal players from 2025, for the first time in the orchestra’s 35-year history. The funding will also allow DSO to expand its touring and musical education programs across the Northern Territory.

Principal Percussion Ingrid Purich, Federal Member for Solomon Luke Gosling Kate Stephens and Jonathan Tooby. Photo © Hannah Herbert

“I am so completely thrilled that DSO has received this extraordinary funding. It brings this fabulous organisation, determined to share its unique and powerful voice, into the light. DSO’s future shines brightly indeed,” said Jonathan Tooby, DSO’s Artistic Director and Chief Conductor.

2024 has already seen impressive growth from the orchestra, with the establishment of its its first-ever Composer in Residence role. Its inaugural recipient is NT-based composer Netanela Mizrahi, once the orchestra’s principal second violinist. DSO’s Vital Forces program on 17 August will deliver a world premiere work from Mizrahi and her collaborator, Larrakia Elder Dr Auty Bilawara Lee.

Darwin Symphony

Jonathan Tooby, Rod McGrath and the Darwin Symphony Orchestra. Photo © Paz Tassone

In 2014, Limelight reported that the DSO’s funding from the Australia Council (now Creative Australia) amounted to $203, 934; the orchestra’s base $1m funding has seen a 500 percent growth in a decade. This additional amount supplements the orchestra’s already-existent funding under the Territory Orchestras Funding initiative.

“This significant funding increase will be transformative for Darwin Symphony Orchestra and the community,” said DSO General Manager Kate Stephens.

“It will enable our orchestra to reach more Territorians, and allow us to provide more of our musicians with secure employment into the future. Everyone at DSO is thrilled at this opportunity to deliver more inspiring music across the Northern Territory.”

More about the Darwin Symphony Orchestra can be found here.

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