Orchestra Performs Pop-Up Gig Aboard Qantas Flight at 30,000 Feet


Passengers aboard Qantas Flight 81 from Sydney to Singapore Friday removed their in-flight entertainment headphones in wonder when nine musicians rose from their seats and began to perform as the plane reached cruising altitude.

The musicians are members of the Australian World Orchestra, en route to Singapore where they play their first-ever concert on Saturday night. The orchestra is comprised of the country’s best musicians who come together to play just a few times a year.

The 300 unsuspecting passengers were treated to a rousing four-minute piece from Boléro by the French composer Maurice Ravel. The ensemble included a French horn, snare drum, cello, flute, trumpets and a saxophone.

The thrilled audience applauded the mini concert, dubbed the Orchestra in the Sky, and several encores were played to the various cabins on the A330.

Watch the mid-air performance… Story continues after video.


“Australia is lucky to have some of the best musicians in the world,” Second Officer Mitch Clark said. “Qantas has always had great inflight entertainment, but a live performance arranged for our passengers is a real high note in all my time flying.”

The AWO was fresh from a sold-out performance at the Sydney Opera House and plays the Esplanade Theatre in Singapore 1 October.

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