Mahler 8 “Symphony of a thousand”


Mahler 8

Saturday 24 October at 7:30pm

Margaret Court Arena

In light of current government directives and travel bans during the COVID-19 crisis, we regret that this performance will not proceed as scheduled.

The MSO are working with the artists and venue to reschedule for a later date. We will be in contact via email to provide further updates as they are available.

Your ticket(s) will remain valid for the rescheduled date. If you are unable to attend any new performance date, you are eligible for a full refund.

For ticket information or refunds, please contact the MSO directly.

About the performance

He declared it the purest of symphonies, which came to him in a lightning flash of inspiration and changed the art form forever.

Gustav Mahler’s explosive Eighth Symphony is a cosmic swirl of orchestral power, sublime melody and the spiritual majesty of the human voice, and is widely considered the greatest he composed.

It’s an epic so gigantic it is rarely staged on the scale he intended, with eight soloists, massed choirs and the combined might of 130 players under a single conductor. Instead the masterwork is often downsized, leaving the complete wonder of the original unheard for years at a time.

In 2020, for one unforgettable night in Melbourne, that will change.

The MSO and Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis present Mahler’s Symphony of a Thousand, for the first Australian performance of its kind – with 1000 performers – in a decade.

This monumental symphony is a once-in-a-generation experience for concertgoers, bringing together one thousand performers to realise the colour and intensity of music once described as too beautiful to bear.

The Orchestra nearly doubles in size with additional musicians from around the world, sharing the stage with a cast of international soloists, a 200-strong children’s choir and acclaimed choral singers from across Australia and beyond.

Mahler’s Eighth was the first symphony to score the voice throughout: from the famous, full blast of the opening movement to the climactic finale of the second. It breaks free from convention and carries the audience, spinning, into a new kind of space.

“Try to imagine the whole universe beginning to ring and resound. These are no longer human voices, but planets and suns revolving.”

                                                                                                                                                                             – Gustav Mahler

Mahler’s 110 year-old symphony is an uplifting testament to love and the power of our shared humanity. A work of imaginative genius, it expresses our human longing to touch the divine.

Mahler’s Eighth will bring to a sensational close the MSO’s Mahler cycle under Sir Andrew Davis – a legacy event unmissable for orchestra fans.

If you see only one classical concert in Australia in 2020, make it this. Symphonic music doesn’t get bigger, soar closer to the heavens, or offer sweeter redemption, than this.



Mahler Symphony No.8 Symphony of a Thousand


Sir Andrew Davis conductor
Mathilda Edge soprano
Erin Wall soprano
Siobhan Stagg soprano
Lauren Decker mezzo-soprano
Nicky Spence tenor
Shenyang bass

Warren Trevelyan-Jones chorus master
Andrew Wailes assistant chorus master
Lyn Williams AM children’s chorus master

Choruses and children’s choirs from around Australia including:
MSO Chorus, Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Choir,

Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Melbourne University Choral Society,
WASO Chorus,  Box Hill Chorale, 
Choir of St James’ King Street Sydney, National Youth Choir of Australia,
Gondwana Choirs, Sydney Children’s Choir, National Boys Choir of Australia,
Australian Boys Choir