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Important Concert Update

Due to the extension of the Victorian lockdown, this performance will not proceed as scheduled. The MSO Box Office will contact affected ticket holders with more information as soon as possible.

We thank you for your patience and support during this difficult time.


Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Xian Zhang conductor
Christian Li violin


Nokuthula Ngwenyama Primal Message
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto
Beethoven Symphony No.4

About this performance

Beethoven’s Fourth may not be the most regularly programmed symphony in any orchestra’s repertoire, but as a critic wrote, “there are no words to describe the deep, powerful spirit of this work from his earlier and most beautiful period."

  • Composer and violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama rose to prominence at 16 when she won the Primrose International Viola Competition and is now gaining acclaim for her compositions. Her work Primal Message – originally written for viola quintet – was orchestrated for Detroit Symphony Orchestra and conducted in its premiere by Principal Guest Conductor of MSO, Xian Zhang.
  • Prodigious violinist Christian Li returns to the MSO to perform Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto – a work written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky during a period of great difficulty. His marriage was a disaster, and his other compositional work was not really going anywhere, but his Violin Concerto brought him back to his creativity in the most stylish and virtuosic way.
  • Sitting between the Eroica and the famous Fifth Symphony, Beethoven’s Symphony No.4 doesn’t get nearly the recognition it deserves, despite it being a favourite of colleagues and critics. It was premiered privately in 1807, and there was almost no published criticism, which may have something to do with its lack of popularity!

COVIDSafe information

Arts Centre Melbourne indoor venues are operating at 100% capacity so you may be seated next to other patrons. The MSO and Arts Centre Melbourne strongly recommends the wearing of masks where 1.5m distancing is difficult to achieve, however wearing a mask is no longer a requirement for entry.

Important venue information:

  • QR code registration via a mobile device is required on arrival. We encourage you to download the Service Victoria app prior to your visit to ensure a faster check-in time.
  • Hamer Hall foyer bars will be open pre-show and if there's an interval involved.
  • Personal water bottles will be permitted inside and filtered tap water will be available for self-service at the foyer bars
  • No Cloak Room
  • No Box Office sales or transactions, only available for trouble shooting or ticket collection

Orchestra safety on stage
The safety of our musicians, staff and audience remain the highest priority as we return to the post-COVID concert hall. In conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria and Arts Centre Melbourne, the MSO has begun rapid-result, asymptomatic testing for all members of the Orchestra and on-stage production staff. As such, you may notice that our musicians are not wearing masks while performing, and that they may be spaced more closely together than previously.

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