How to get free concert tickets for classical music in Sydney Australia. Give your ears pleasure and your credit card a rest.
There are lots of opportunities to hear the best classical music, noteworthy composers and tomorrow’s stars, live and for free in Sydney.
Classical Music in Sydney: Live at the ABC
ABC Classic regularly stages free live concerts in different venues around Australia. They may be sent out as live broadcasts or recorded for future transmission.
Entry is free and tickets are not required, but you must be in place 15 minutes before the start of the performance.
The concerts are usually on Sunday afternoons and they start at 1500 (3 pm).
In Sydney they will generally be held downtown at the Eugene Goossens Hall, part of the ABC’s premises in Ultimo, or out west in the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre in Penrith.
There’s always a high standard of playing of this classical music in Sydney. Listen in air-conditioned comfort and enjoy the presenters as well.
Free Live Concerts – Sydney Conservatorium
Some of the more interesting classical music in Sydney can come from staff and students at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
Students perform, often brilliantly, and there is an extensive program of concerts the public can attend.
Regular weekly concerts include
Lunchbreak Concerts on Wednesdays from 1310 (1.10 pm) to 1400 (2 pm) in the Verbrugghen Hall at the Con. A gold coin donation is requested.
Rising Stars – Saturdays at 1100 (11 am) in the Recital Halls east and west.
Students perform with a professional accompanist. Free.
At the end of each semester (for one week in early June and late November) students give exam recitals for assessment in their branch of classical music. Listen to tomorrow’s stars. The public is invited to attend. Held in the Recital Halls east and west. Free.
A concert spectacular: Sounds Sensational, is held at the end of each year in the Con’s Atrium. It’s an eclectic concert, everything from shakuhachi to electric guitar. Don’t miss it if you’re in Sydney.
Quite apart from attending the free concerts, the Con is an interesting building to look around. Visit it in conjunction with a viewing of Government House just across the way. Or, if you’ve been to a performance at the Sydney Opera House, come and see where it all begins for Australian performers.
Sydney Symphony Orchestra Free Concert
Each year, on a Saturday in January, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra plays free classical music in the Domain.
Listen while you lounge on your picnic blanket, sipping your wine and snacking on your summer feast.
It’s always a fun occasion with a great atmosphere. And it inevitably concludes with the 1812 Overture, complete with fireworks.
So pack your picnic basket, take something to sit on and head to Sydney’s Domain for a classic (in all senses of the word) night of music under the stars with the SSO. And, if you don’t want to lug food around, there are plenty of food stalls right there (but there are often big queues).
Free Concert Tickets at the Sydney Opera House
From time to time there are free live concerts at the Sydney Opera House.
They’re not always widely advertised.
Your best way of finding out whether any free events are on is through going to the information desk in the foyer of the opera house. If there’s anything on they will know.
You can also keep and eye on their website, but I’ve found free concerts through a flyer on the information desk when there wasn’t a word about them on the website.
The sort of thing you might hear is an orchestra or national choir from a country which wants to showcase its talent. It simply hires part of the opera house. The concerts are usually very good.
If you can’t swing a free concert, then have a look at these options for cheaper tickets, including Sydney Opera House tickets.
There’s also an occasional free concert series at the Art Gallery of NSW. These are usually held on Sunday afternoons are are presented by the students and staff of the Australian Institute of Music. Check the gallery’s website for details.
Light Classical Music at Darling Harbour
If you enjoy light classical music, Darling Harbour has free live music most weekends. It may be more ‘best of’ than best, but it suits the fun-focused, family-oriented, outdoor setting.
You can also listen to gospel music, hip hop instrumentals, new blues music and Australian pop singers there. It’s an eclectic mix. And there are magicians, performers, occasional dragon boat races and lots of food outlets as well as an Imax cinema and a play area for children.
Free Church Organ Music & Lunchtime Concerts
For short lunchtime concerts of classical music listen at St James Church on Wednesdays, from 1315 to 1345 (1.15 pm to 1.45 pm). Entry is by donation at the door.
On Fridays pop into St Stephens Uniting Church from 1310 to 1350 (1.10 pm to 1.50 pm) for free classical instrumental, voice and chamber music.
Entry is free but donations are welcomed. Their program includes an organ recital on the last Friday of the month.
If your tastes run to classical organ music, then hear church organ music at St Andrew’s Cathedral. It holds lunch-time organ recitals each Thursday from 1310 to 1340 (1.10 pm to 1.40 pm).
Entry is by note (Australia’s smallest note is $5) but I’ve nevertheless included it in the free concerts – look on the dollars as a donation.
All three churches are in downtown Sydney CBD (central business district).
From time to time you’ll find a free lunchtime concert in the Town Hall, featuring the Sydney Town Hall grand organ. It’s always a one hour concert.
The organ was the biggest in the world when it was installed in 1890. It was completely restored in the 1990s.
Take the opportunity to visit the town hall – it’s a great space – have a break from running around and refresh your spirit with an hour of music.
Getting to the town hall is easy. Exit at the Town Hall railway station or use any George St bus service. It’s Stop 24 on the Sydney Explorer Bus.
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