Australian Wind Symphony

The Australian Wind Symphony is a national touring wind ensemble celebrating new music by living composers. Comprised of the finest instrumentalists across Australia, this ensemble follows on from the trail-blazing Canberra Wind Symphony.

Canberra Wind Symphony was founded in 2015. It creates performance opportunities for the professional wind players of Canberra, and is one of only a few platforms for the emerging genre of the wind ensemble in Australia. After launching at the ACT Legislative Assembly, this trailblazing ensemble was the first wind symphony to ever be included in the Canberra International Music Festival (2018). In 2019 they also became the first private wind ensemble to offer their players a fully paid gig (with Marina Prior, 2019).


In 2018 CWS made its debut on the Llewellyn Hall stage. This was a joint effort with USA leading ensemble The St. Olaf Band in a sell-out show, which promoted the genre to a new and growing audience.

CWS’s primary stated aim is to fly the flag for new music by living composers. In 2018 they premiered Winds of Hope by Australian composer Michael Dooley. This work was written specifically for them, and will enter the catalogue of Australian music for this genre.

Canberra Wind Symphony provides new opportunities for up to 45 professional wind and percussion players in Canberra. These players can therefore work with high end venues, a dedicated conductor, pro marketing, rehearsal spaces, and tens-of-thousands of dollars’ worth of percussion and rehearsal equipment, which they normally wouldn’t have access to. We do not charge for membership, and aim to pay the players as much as possible from ticket sales. Generally, CWS performs between 6 and 9 concerts each year, and is completely privately funded.

Canberra Wind Symphony is co-owned by the founder of Armchair Philanthropy.

How will your philanthropy benefit them?

There are a number of ongoing expenses in running AWS which take a slice out of the players’ performance fee. Philanthropising AWS will offset these expenses, thereby enabling the musicians to take home a better payment for their professional services.

Unfortunately the governmental arts bodies do not recognise professional wind ensembles as an art form, which means there is no funding available to us.

Your philanthropisation will cover:
*promotional expenses (running the website & web-app program notes, poster printing, social media boost campaigns)
*performance venue hire fees
*rehearsal venue hire fees
*sheet music purchase (often from living composers)
*commissions of new music
*hearing protection for the musicians
*incidental auxiliary percussion (eg. one piece we play required purchase of the ACME Whistle!)
*AWS van expenses
*Photographers, videographers and video editing
*Touring expenses … and more!

How will Armchair Philanthropists benefit?

Philanthropise us by January 31st, and you'll receive free concert tickets for as long as your subscription remains current.

Aside from knowing they will be contributing to sustaining new contemporary Australian Art Music, Armchair Philanthropists will be rewarded with bonuses and thank yous, for example: All philanthropists receive access to discounted concert tickets, possibility of special meet-and-greet opportunities, the odd free merchandise, and special recognition by name in our concert programs (optional!). We are certain to come up with even more innovative and exciting ways to reach out to our Armchair Philanthropists, and you can be certain that the first reward will be our eternal gratitude!

All philanthropy benefits are at the discretion of the individual artist.

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