MSO takes audiences on a musical adventure

The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra held its sixth annual Education Week – a mini festival of music making activities for the young, and young at heart – at Arts Centre Melbourne, Hamer Hall.

MSO takes audiences on a musical adventure


Over 11,000 children, parents and teachers filled the Hall to dive into the heart of the Orchestra and learn more about classical music.

Taking audiences on a musical adventure, internationally acclaimed music educator Paul Rissmann joined forces with MSO’s Associate Conductor Benjamin Northey to direct the week, presenting a number of interactive and engaging performances.

‘Although many young people are fascinated by the orchestra, for some, the ritual of a classical performance can appear quite alien. I passionately believe that the orchestra should never be regarded as elitist or exclusive. Its diverse repertoire offers something for everyone, and I think it is a very special moment when new listeners suddenly engage with amazing musicians,’ Rissmann said.

The week kicked off with An Adventurer’s Guide to the Orchestra, a big, bold and fun concert that showcased the sheer power of a large-scale orchestra performing some of the greatest music giants – John Adams’Short Ride in a Fast Machine, Elgar’s Enigma Variations, Prokofiev’sRomeo and Juliet and John Williams’Star Warstheme.

MSO’s youngest fans explored Saint-Saëns’ delightful salute to the lion, the tortoise and the swan during Jams for Juniors, as children aged 3-7 were taken on a wacky adventure during Classic Kids: Crazy Creatures and school aged children met a host of audacious characters during Meet the Orchestra: Bamboozled.

For those who were unable to join the Orchestra at Hamer Hall, ABC Splash, an online education resource for students, live-streamed the Meet the Orchestra concert across the country, with children watching the broadcast in classrooms and at home. ABC Splash recorded 200 streaming sessions, and it is estimated that 80% of the sessions took place in classrooms.

To cap off the busy week, community musicians from around Victoria had the opportunity to perform side-by-side with their counterpart in the Orchestra during Symphony in a Day. After a number of rehearsals during Education Week, more than 50 community musicians joined the Orchestra on stage for a performance of works by Wagner, Borodin, Elgar and Sibelius, conducted by Benjamin Northey.

Since its inauguration in 2011, MSO has hosted more than 60,000 children, teachers and parents during Education Week.

In 2016, more than 950 students and teachers from low socio-economic schools attended concerts on sponsored excursion packages. In addition to this, the MSO collaborated with Arts Centre Melbourne via their First Call Fund, which has allowed over 2,200 additional students and teachers to access Education Week in a subsidised capacity.

In April 2016 over at the Australian Symphony Orchestra, internationally acclaimed composer and educator Paul Rissmann lead an augmented program of school and family concerts, teacher workshops, community events and a cutting-edge creative project.



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