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Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Season 2022

MSO Geelong Series

Take your seat at the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Season 2022!

You’re invited to witness a program featuring great works spanning the centuries. Experience sensational musicianship, spectacular guests and the thrill of live performance.

If you have previously subscribed to the MSO and wish to renew your subscription and seats, your seats are on hold for you.

Please return the renewal form mailed out by the MSO, or alternatively, contact the Geelong Arts Centre Box Office on 1300 251 200 or


Bach and Beamish

Sophie Rowell and James Crabb

Friday 25 March 2022


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.

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  • 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

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Hidden Gems: Classical Brilliance

Benjamin Bayl

Friday 17 June 2022


The MSO is joined by conductor and early music specialist Benjamin Bayl for a sparkling program of classical and classically-minded works.

  • Rameau’s Zoroastre follows the story of a Persian priest who lived during sixth-century BCE. The opera was not initially a hit with audiences, but a rewritten version which premiered in 1756 was a great success. Critics praised Rameau’s elegant orchestration and richly detailed instrumental voicings.
  • Haydn’s Sinfonia Concertante remains the only example of the genre composed over a prolific career. A sinfonia concertante shares characteristics with a concerto, but incorporates multiple soloists – here drawn from MSO musicians – into the orchestral texture. Haydn deftly contrasts the high and low sonorities of a violin, cello, oboe and bassoon in a characteristically bright and animated work. 
  • Louise Farrenc broke many barriers in her lifetime: she was the first woman professor of piano at the Paris Conservatoire, a role she held for thirty years. The concert overture was a popular genre in the nineteenth century, inspired by the drama and spectacle of Grand Opera in Paris.
  • Schubert’s Third Symphony was written when the composer was only eighteen and working full time as a teacher. The lively rhythms and spirited melodies reveal a clear debt to Mozart, Haydn and Rossini.

Program and artists subject to change.

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  • Conductor Benjamin Bayl


  • Louise Farrenc Overture No.2
  • Haydn Sinfonia Concertante
  • Rameau Zoroastre (excerpts)
  • Schubert Symphony No.3

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Benjamin Northey conducts Kaleidoscopic Splendour

Benjamin Northey and Emily Sun

Friday 16 September 2022


The MSO brings a program of vivid melodies and kaleidoscopic colour to Costa Hall, joined by a rising star soloist Emily Sun.

  • With works spanning the 20th century, Miriam Hyde remains one of Australia’s most respected composers. At 21, she even debuted her own Piano Concerto with the London Philharmonic Orchestra! Within a compact running time, Village Fair – subtitled ‘a ballet for orchestra’ – alternates buoyant and sprightly melodies with introspective and lyrical passages.
  • Currently based in London and teaching violin at the Royal College of Music, Emily Sun possesses an expansive resume with accolades such as the 2018 ABC Young Performer of the Year. Emily tackles Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s elegant and yearning Violin Concerto, expanded from thematic material he originally composed for film scores during the 1930s.
  • Antonín Dvořák’s cheerful Eighth Symphony emerged out of the composer’s desire to refresh his approach to the form. Composed over a whirlwind few weeks in his holiday home in the Czech countryside, the symphony seamlessly moves through passages of melancholy and vigorous joy. 

Program and artists subject to change.

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  • Conductor Benjamin Northey
  • Violin Emily Sun


  • Miriam Hyde Village Fair
  • Korngold Violin Concerto
  • Dvořák Symphony No.8

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Stars and Stripes: Gershwin and Copland

Gemma New and Simon Tedeschi

Friday 25 November 2022


Young New Zealand conductor Gemma New makes her MSO debut with a stunning collection of American greats celebrating jazz, blues and the American century.

  • It was one day after the raging success of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue that he was approached to write a “real piano concerto”, something closer to the traditional classical model. Rather than turn his back on the then current musical forms, Gershwin decided to incorporate them. The result was Concerto in F, a work that ranges effortlessly over different musical structures, to create something truly wonderful and unique. There are suggestions of the Charleston, ragtime, jazz and blues throughout the work, and flexibility in the way these elements emerge from one another – a masterful, consummate fusion.
  • Accompanying this work is Copland’s Symphony No.3, another pillar of 20th century American composition. A grand and stirring work, composed between 1944 and 1946, it suggests the mammoth achievements of the United States at the close of WWII without a hint of triumphalism.
  • New Zealand conductor Gemma New brings with her a work by fellow New Zealander Salina Fisher, Rainphase. Inspired by the rain falling on the city of Wellington, it is sonically adventurous and beautifully evocative.

Program and artists subject to change.

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Image: Anthony Chang


  • Conductor Gemma New
  • Piano Simon Tedeschi


  • Salina Fisher Rainphase
  • Gershwin Piano Concerto in F
  • Copland Symphony No.3

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

  • The wearing of face masks is mandatory across all Geelong Arts Centre venues
  • 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