New Chief Conductor’s inaugural season goes back to basis with Beethoven, Brahms and a handful of big guns.

When it was known that American conductor David Robertson would be taking over the helm of the SSO a year or so ago there was much speculation that his reputation for 20th century and contemporary work would blow a few cobwebs out of the late romantic corners of the last few years. And if you look carefully, some of that is definitely lurking in this, his inaugural season. But what comes across loud and clear from the 2014 program as announced is a desire first and foremost to consolidate the orchestra’s reputation vis-à-visthe pillars of the classical repertoire. And that means healthy helpings of Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms.

There are a slew of first rate soloists, many of them following Robertson across from the US, lead by veteran pianist Emanuel Ax who will headline with all five of the Beethoven concertos across a two week concert-fest lead by the Chief himself. Robertson will be in Sydney three times during 2014 – February, June and August – conducting music ranging from Beethoven’s seventh symphony to the film scores of composer...