2021 MSO-season-header.jpg
All events

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Season 2021

Geelong Series: Part One

Rediscover the art of listening with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Bursting with musical colour, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra's Season 2021: Part One is a celebration of homegrown talent, featuring Australian artists and the music of our times.

Purchase your tickets as a subscription package to all 3 shows!

As seats will be limited due to reduced venue capacity, we encourage you to book early for the best chance of securing seats.


Mazzoli, Dvořák & Sibelius

Friday 5 March 2021


The MSO marks its return to Geelong with one of Australia’s brightest young stars of classical music, Grace Clifford, performing Dvořák’s Violin Concerto.

  • As an alumnus of the famed Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Australian Grace Clifford joins the company of fellow violinists Lara St. John, Hilary Hahn and Ray Chen. No big deal! Since she won the ABC Young Performer of the Year Award at 16 years of age, Clifford has proven herself one of the country’s finest young violinists. Here she performs Dvořák’s Violin Concerto, a work of exuberant energy with the charm of traditional Czech folk music.
  • American Missy Mazzoli’s These Worlds in Us explores the themes of grief and joy. Mazzoli says, “I like the idea that music can reflect painful and blissful sentiments in a single note or gesture, and sought to create a sound palette that I hope is at once completely new and strangely familiar to the listener.”
  • With his seventh and final symphony, Sibelius abandoned traditional symphonic form and the grand, sweeping gestures of his earlier symphonies. The result? A dynamic and joyous work for which some claim the Finnish composer as the greatest symphonist of the 20th century.

Program and artists subject to change.


  • Conductor Benjamin Northey
  • Violin Grace Clifford


  • Missy Mazzoli The Worlds in Us
  • Dvořák Violin Concerto
  • Sibelius Symphony No. 7


2021 MSO-grace-clifford.jpg

Ruler of the Hive: Shakespeare and the Symphony

Friday 23 April 2021


Fearless, feminine and forthright, Australian actor Pamela Rabe interprets several Shakespeare heroines in Melody Eötvös’ Ruler of the Hive as part of a program based on The Bard in music, conducted by Johannes Fritzsch.

  • Award-winning actor Pamela Rabe’s legendary body of film, television and stage work sees her in the company of Australia’s most outstanding actors and directors. Here she portrays portions of Emilia (Othello), Beatrice (Much Ado About Nothing), Helena (All’s Well That Ends Well), Isabella (Measure for Measure) and Rosalind (As You Like It) in this powerful work for narrator and orchestra by Melody Eötvös.
  • With a musical style described as having, “old pagan flavours, but with new mindset and expression”, young Australian composer Melody Eötvös’ works have been performed across the UK and USA, and by many Australian ensembles. Ruler of the Hive explores Shakespeare’s relationship with women as well as the social and political issues that have impacted women from the Renaissance to present day.
  • With four decades of immeasurable experience, German conductor Johannes Fritzsch is revered by Australian audiences. Conductor Laureate at QSO and Principal Guest Conductor at TSO, here Fritzsch leads the MSO showcasing works from Shakespeare-inspired operas by Berlioz and Verdi.

Program and artists subject to change.


  • Conductor Johannes Fritzsch
  • Narrator Pamela Rabe


  • Berlioz Béatrice et Bénédict: Overture
  • Melody Eötvös Ruler of the Hive
  • Verdi Macbeth, Act III: Ballet Music


2021 MSO-pamela-rabe.jpg

Bach and Beamish

Sophie Rowell and James Crabb

Friday 4 June 2021


MSO Concertmaster Sophie Rowell leads the Orchestra through a celebration of the incomparable J.S. Bach and the prolific composer’s influence on music of the present day, with Scottish accordion virtuoso James Crabb as soloist.

  • This coupling of J.S. Bach and English composer Sally Beamish sees James Crabb play the part of continuo, normally reserved for the harpsichord, on the piano accordion. Sophie Rowell play-directs Bach’s Orchestral Suite No.3, lavishly orchestrated for its time, highlighting the composer’s mastery of harmony, rhythm and his sense of fun. This 1730 suite contains one of the most famous and beautiful movements in the entire Bach canon, the Air on the G String.
  • James Crabb has been praised world-over for his versatile musicianship, appearing with the London Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Orchestra and countless contemporary ensembles. Among his various Australian performances, Melbourne audiences will remember Crabb conducting and performing in Victorian Opera’s 2013 production of Maria de Buenos Aires.
  • The peculiar thing about Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No.3 is the lack of a fully developed slow movement. Concerti movements usually follow a fast-slow-fast format, but here Bach differed from the norm, which is how Sally Beamish’s Brandenburg “Slow movement” came to be. Intended to serve as the missing movement in a complete performance, this work was commissioned by the Lautten Compagney Berlin and first performed in 2010.

Program and artists subject to change.


  • Director & Violin Sophie Rowell
  • Accordion James Crabb


  • Bach Orchestral Suite No. 3
  • Sally Beamish Seavaigers
  • Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 3: Allegro, Adagio
  • Sally Beamish Brandenburg “Slow movement”
  • Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 3: Allegro


2021 MSO-sophie-rowell.jpg

We have implemented a range of health, hygiene and physical distancing measures, in line with government guidelines. These measures include:

  • Mandatory mask wearing unless eating or drinking
  • Hand sanitiser is available at hygiene stations in foyers and outside lifts and stairs
  • Capacity signage throughout venue and studios to promote physical distancing
  • Increased cleaning of all facilities.
  • Disinfection of seating and touchpoints before each performance
  • Increased cleaning of foyer spaces and handrails
  • Increased cleaning of bathrooms
  • Sneeze guards at point of sale
  • Foyer seating arranged to ensure 1.5m distancing
  • Decreased capacities in theatres and foyers.
  • Staggered audience entry and exit in venues
  • Physical distancing markers at queuing areas such as Food and Beverage outlets and Box Office
  • Staff monitoring traffic flow and distancing


Ticket prices

  • Adult Sub $237 - $120
  • Concession Sub $225 - $108


Costa Hall


60 minutes, no interval.