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Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

All Rise 

Lincoln Center Orchestra with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
by
28 August 2023

When Wynton Marsalis’s début album appeared on CBS Records in 1982, with its moody, pensive black and white cover portrait of the then twenty-year-old trumpeter, few could have predicted where his career was headed. Sure, he had performed Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto with the New Orleans Philharmonic at fourteen, and further honed his craft in the trumpet chair of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers.

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Zenith of Life 

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
by
28 February 2023
The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra has a new sponsor – Ryman Healthcare. Perhaps inevitably, the gala concert that opened MSO’s 2023 season on Friday evening was titled ‘Zenith of Life’. Goodness knows we all need more healthcare – not to mention sponsors. ... (read more)

The Requiem 

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
by
31 October 2022

When Alessandro Manzoni died on 22 May 1873, it was an event of major significance in Italy. The poet, novelist, and philosopher – an early proponent of Italian unification – was a hero of the Risorgimento. His novel I promessi sposi (1827), with its appeal to Italian patriotism, was (and remains) one of the most famous Italian novels.

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Blood on the Floor 

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
by
14 April 2021

The writer and academic Malcolm Bradbury once argued that we can find traces of the chaos, contingency, and plurality that typify the modern urban environment embedded in the structure of the modern novel or in the design and form of modernist painting. But in music? I think it is fair to say that classical composers have struggled to find similes as obvious, potent, or effective for the experience of living in a modern city as artists working in other media, or indeed as musicians working in other genres. It’s not for nothing that we commonly speak of urban rap, but not, say of urban symphonic music.

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Sir Andrew's Messiah 

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
by
10 December 2019

‘Sir Andrew’s Messiah’ it was: the conductor’s affectionate choice (Andrew Davis had soloed in Messiah as a boy), and his own orchestration, of Handel’s masterwork for his farewell concert as the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s chief conductor. Sir Andrew, who has caught an Australian habit, will return in 2020 as Conductor Laureate. Handel (who didn’t rate a mention on the MSO’s concert program cover) is perennial, so his return, and return, to Australian concert stages, churches, community singalongs, and recording studios is more guaranteed than rain.

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Hansel and Gretel 

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
by
29 November 2019

This charming, persuasive, and glowing concert performance of Hansel and Gretel, part of Andrew Davis’s final Melbourne Symphony Orchestra season before he steps down as chief conductor, more than proved (if proof is required) what an outstanding opera conductor he is. Maybe, in future seasons, when Davis returns as the orchestra’s conductor laureate, there will be more: perhaps Berg’s Lulu, another of the maestro’s favourite operas, which the MSO would perform magnificently.

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Symphony orchestras around the world, presumably in order to mitigate financial pressures, have turned to Hollywood in the last few years, and Australia is hardly immune. At times it seems that one of our major orchestras is playing the score to another Harry Potter film every other week. There may have been an artistic case to make when ...

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Midwinter Melbourne resounded last week to Igor Stravinsky’s promise of spring, in two works that trace the seasonal drama of life, death, and rebirth. The Rite of Spring (1913) is a young man’s spectacular evocation of the exhilaration and terror of spring in ancient Russia, while Perséphone (1934) is a more reflective response to the endless cycle of the seasons, written by an older and more spiritual composer by then in permanent exile.

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The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s 2019 Season Opening Gala last night was billed as part of their curated ‘East Meets West’ experience, and featured violinist Lü Siqing, with whom the orchestra toured China in 2018. It opened with a short welcoming address from MSO Board Chairman Michael Ullmer ...

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