I have discovered that there is a lot of support for people wanting to learn about the beauty of classical music, and once you've bought your ticket there are a couple of extra things that you can avail yourself of to help enhance your experience of the music and the performers;-
1. The free magazine called "MSO in Concert" showcases all the concerts over a two month period, with articles talking about the music and the artists and composers. It is very information-dense and quite a bit of it went right over my head, but even so I enjoyed it. It's a bit like reading the newspaper: read what you find interesting and skip the rest.
If you're really keen and have the time you can also go to:
2. The Pre-Concert talk. The one that I went to was about Verdi's Requiem and was given by Graham Abbott (host of the KEYS TO MUSIC program on ABC Classic FM radio) whose enthusiasm was infectious. He talked about what to look out for while the concert was in progress, and what made this music, and in particular the concert that was to follow, unique.
The pre-concert ticket was attached to the side of the actual concert ticket although we did not have to show it to anyone to listen to the talk