Sydney Opera House_Concert Hall 2022_Nic Walker

ACO Musicians’ first Sydney Opera House Memories

”I remember thinking I would love to work here one day”

Sydney Opera House is one of the most famous and recognisable buildings in the world. And one of the most distinctive.

As the iconic landmark turns 50 this year, our Musicians have been reflecting on their first memories of visiting or performing at the House.

Ilya SOH

Ilya Isakovich, ACO Violin

“My first performance at the Sydney Opera House was with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Zubin Mehta. I remember thinking I would love to work here one day!”
Stef SOH

Stefanie Farrands, ACO Principal Viola

My first performance with the ACO at Sydney Opera House was when I was an emerging artist with the orchestra. I couldn‘t believe how special it felt, and I still can‘t believe I‘m able to spend my life walking on that stage.”


Elizabeth Woolnough, ACO Viola

“It was around September 2000 and I was six years old, beyond excited to perform at Sydney Opera House with 50 million other six-year-old Suzuki violinists. I was so amped that I threw up in the car on the way, but had the foresight to miss my fancy dress...
Max SOH 2

Maxime Bibeau, ACO Principal Bass

“My first time seeing the Sydney Opera House and performing in it was back in May 1998 when I was being trialled for the ACO position. I remember the excitement, walking down on this perfectly sunny morning. The excitement still hasn’t worn off.”

Click here to book tickets to our Sydney Opera House 50th birthday concert, Celebrating Icons: From Bach to Barnes, featuring guest soloists Jimmy Barnes and William Barton, 7 May 2023. All tickets just $50, or $35 for under 35s.

Plus, click here to discover and purchase $10 tickets to experience a live broadcast of this concert from the Sydney Opera House Forecourt.