Retiring in November, the SSO musician looks back at a career spanning seven Chief Conductors.

Her children used to dread her putting on her black clothes. It meant she was going out. Janet Webb has been Principal Flute of the Sydney Symphony for some 34 years and is stepping down from her position in November. Some of her last concerts include Symphony No 9 by Beethoven with former Chief Conductor Ashkenazy, whom she respects “with every ounce” of her being, and Symphony No 4 by Tchaikovsky with conductor and violinist Pinchas Zukerman.

It’s been quite a journey for the 59-year-old Avalon resident, who joined the orchestra as a single woman. Her husband proposed after she won the job – at the time she was one of only two women to be appointed to a Principal position in the orchestra – and they married and had three children.

Janet Webb, Principal Flute of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra

With most concerts taking place at night, her three boys knew that when Webb started putting on her black orchestral clothes it meant she was going to work and they probably wouldn’t see her...

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