The world premiere of a symphony celebrating Australia’s Antarctic icebreaker, RSV Aurora Australis, will be performed by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra at Arts Centre Melbourne tonight.

Leading Australian composer and conductor Gordon Hamilton travelled south with the Australian Antarctic Program to compose and make recordings for his ‘Far South’ symphony in 2018.

He sailed from Hobart on a four-week voyage on the RSV Aurora Australis to Australia’s Casey research station.

The premiere of the work will be shared by three orchestras — The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and The London Mozart Players.

“It’s a privilege to be able to pay homage to this iconic ship ahead of its retirement from the Australian Antarctic Program,” Mr Hamilton said. An account of the voyage is published in his blog.

Over three decades of Antarctic service, the icebreaker has carried more than 14,000 expeditioners across the Southern Ocean on over 150 research and resupply voyages.

Australia’s new icebreaker, RSV Nuyina, is due to arrive in Hobart in 2020.