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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
Jack Schiller bassoon


Still Mother and Child
Matthew Laing Of Paradise Lost, Bassoon Concerto: First Movement (MSO Commission)
Tchaikovsky Sleeping Beauty Suite

About this performance

Conductor Xian Zhang makes her debut as MSO Principal Guest Conductor with William Grant Still’s moving Mother and Child alongside Tchaikovsky’s exquisite Sleeping Beauty Suite and a brand-new commission from Cybec Young Composer In Residence, Matthew Laing.

  • The composer William Grant Still was incredibly prolific and diverse – writing works for choir, opera, ballet, chamber ensembles, orchestras and soloists, and in 1943, wrote his Suite for Violin and Piano, based upon the works of “three contemporary Negro artists who I admire.” The second movement of the Suite, based on the lithograph “Mother and Child” by Sargent Johnson was orchestrated, and became the moving work we hear now.
  • After the premiere of Sleeping Beauty in 1890, Tchaikovsky approached his publisher about the possibility of making “one or even two suites” from the music of the ballet. The suite was indeed written, and while the first performance sadly did not occur until after the composer’s death, it has now become a staple in the orchestral repertoire.

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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