This chapter provides an international context to the contemporary Australian symphony and explores what ‘symphony’ and ‘symphonism’ have meant since 1960. The term ‘symphony’ retains the sense of a prestigious, large work for orchestra that works through ‘the large-scale integration of contrasts’ but is freer and more flexible than in its traditional connections to sonata form and orthodox three or four-movement structure. Although the form was overshadowed by the musical developments of the 1950s and 1960s avant-garde which focused on new sounds and intricate structures, symphonies continued to be composed during that time in significant numbers. With the widespread reappearance of tonal centres, traditional rhythms, metres and orchestration conventions during the late 1970s and 1980s, the symphony’s importance expanded accordingly. This was particularly evident outside the German-speaking musical world in the regions of Northern and Eastern Europe, Russia, the UK and the USA. These trends and the more flexible definition of the symphony are evident, too, in the largely unexplored concert music of New Zealand and Australia. The late twentieth-century symphonic resurgence has received little comment from critics and musicologists to this point.