Lunar New Year celebrations

Celebrate the Lunar New Year with three of our orchestras, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. The Lunar New Year celebration is shared between Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean and other Asian communities.

Lunar New Year celebrations


The Sydney Symphony Orchestra welcomes the Year of the Boar with orchestral fireworks. The Spring Festival Overture at Sydney Symphony Orchestra captures the festival excitement of the Lunar New Year. It’s so popular that it was broadcast into space on China’s first lunar probe. It ushers in an East meets West musical celebration with dances from the heart of China and thrilling moments from opera by Borodin and Tchaikovsky. And the Jin Wu Koon Lion Dance Troupe ensure the year gets off to an auspicious start.

Qigang’s exquisite Iris Unveiled brings shimmering Chinese colours, instruments and voices to the orchestra. The striking, sensuous sound of Peking Opera Singer Meng Meng with erhu (fiddle), pipa (lute) and zheng (zither) contributes to a dreamlike atmosphere, with music that is by turns refined, abandoned and seductive.

Directing the celebrations is ‘impeccable and virtuoso’ young conductor Elim Chan. She’s one of Hong Kong’s brightest musical stars. 

You can alsoLive stream the celebration on Friday 1 Feb.

Over at the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra visionary composer Tan Dun returns to Melbourne to conduct a thrilling concert featuring Hanggai, a troupe of traditional-meets-rock musicians from the steppes of Inner Mongolia via Beijing.

Also on the program is Tan Dun’s Double Bass Concerto The Wolf, inspired by the Chinese novel “Wolf Totem” by Jiang Rong, andPassacaglia (Secret of Wind and Birds), also known as the Cellphone Symphony.

Combining traditional instruments like the morin khuur (horsehair fiddle) andtobshuur (two-stringed lute) with a hearty serving of rock bravado (influences include Rage Against the Machine and Pink Floyd), Hanggai’s adaptations of Mongolian folk songs incorporate throat singing and have to be seen to be believed. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness this world music behemoth perform in full symphonic sound with the MSO.

In Adelaide, celebrate with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra at this family event that draws on both the old and new, from China and the West. Led by Chinese-Australian conductor, Dane Lam, the concert features the remarkable Australian-Chinese Cellist, Li-Wei Qin playing Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations and emerging violinist Harmonnia Junus playing the Butterfly Lovers Concerto for violin by He Zhanhao and Chen Gang.