With a reputation for excellence, versatility and innovation developed over more than 100 years, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is Australia's oldest professional orchestra, renowned for its performances of the great symphonic masterworks with leading international and Australian artists. Following integration with the Melbourne Chorale in 2008, the Orchestra now has its own choir – the MSO Chorus. The Orchestra has also enjoyed hugely successful performances with popular artists such as Elton John, KISS, Meat Loaf, Ben Folds and Burt Bacharach.
The MSO has received widespread international recognition in overseas tours to the United States of America, Canada, Japan, Korea, Europe (2000), China (2002), St Petersburg, Russia (2003) and Japan (2005). In 2007 the Orchestra embarked upon its second highly-successful European tour to Spain, Paris, Berlin and Milan.
Each year the Orchestra performs to more than 250,000 people in Melbourne and regional Victoria, at events ranging from the annual series of Sidney Myer Free Concerts to its Classic Kids concerts for young children. The MSO reaches an even larger audience across Australia through its regular concert broadcasts on ABC Classic FM and through recordings on the Chandos and ABC Classics labels. ABC TV has also produced documentaries on the Orchestra, To Russia with Love, about the MSO's St Petersburg tour and MSO Century in celebration of the Orchestra's 100th year.