Melbourne Symphony Orchestra announces 2022 season

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New Melbourne Symphony Orchestra conductor Jaime Martín has announced the orchestra’s 2022 season – his inaugural schedule in his new role.

The season features over 110 performances, with music by 15 Australian composers featured in the main series – including Anne Boyd (who turns 80 in 2022), Miriam Hyde, Margaret Sutherland, Anne Cawrse and Brett Dean. There are also six commissions, five world premieres and two Australian premieres, as well as an ongoing engagement with First Nations artists and culture.

Jaime Martín

Jaime Martin. Photo © Marc Mitchell

Over 20 conductors and directors will conduct concerts, including Vasily Petrenko, Sir Andrew Davis, Tan Dun, Alpesh Chauhan, Xian Zhang and Nodoka Okisawa on her Australian debut, while 20 international guest artists include Sheku Kanneh- Mason, James Ehnes and the South Korean. pianist Yeol Eum Son made her Australian debut.

Meanwhile, Melbourne-based teenage violin sensation Christian Li, who recently recorded his debut album for Decca with members of the MSO, will join the Orchestra as a Young Associate Artist for 2022.

Two months after his appointment was announced in June 2021, Martín came to Melbourne in August to run two different MSO programs, which could not happen due to COVID lockdowns. Speaking from London on Zoom, he says he was able to use the time to set up many meetings with staff, musicians and Benjamin Northey, MSO’s principal conductor in residence.

“My first concert in August was going to be a side-by-side collaboration between MSO and MYO [Melbourne Youth Orchestra], and it was not organized by chance. I am fully committed to working with young people, with young musicians, students; for me, it is very important ”, declares the hot Spanish maestro.

“When you put young talent in a room… a lot of things happen, not just making music, but they’re going to make quartets, chamber music, lifelong friends. I know the orchestra has been doing this for a long time, and it’s fantastic, but as the conductor of the orchestra, I really want to be a big part of it, and I really want to be in the middle of these activities. of the orchestra. “

In August 2022, he will conduct a concert entitled Symphony in a day, featuring musicians from the community alongside OSM members in a performance by Dvořák From the New World.

“That sort of thing, I’ll be very happy to be a part of,” he said. “So [it’s] not just the super glamorous concerts; I want to be there at the center of things. For me, this is very important. This is how I became a musician, and I think I have to do whatever I can to help [others]. “

Deborah Cheetham

Deborah Cheetham. Photo © Wayne Quilliam

The Spanish maestro begins his inaugural season with the Season Opening Gala, aptly called New beginnings, which presents the world premiere of Deborah Cheetham Baparripna, with didgeridoo virtuoso William Barton, Haydn’s Symphony No.6 and Mahler’s Symphony No.1.

“When I came here last February… I had the opportunity to conduct a new play, Nanyubak, by Deborah Cheetham, and I have to tell you that for me, working with Deborah and Aaron Wyatt, who was the soloist in this piece, was an eye-opening experience. It was my first connection actually with the First Nations [artists] in Australia, and once I was offered the position of conductor-in-chief of the orchestra, reflecting my experience in February… I want to do my part to build on the already incredible work that the orchestra has done .

“You know, for me, the opening concert in February will be my first contact with the public [as Chief Conductor]. I really thought about it, and in a way it’s a new adventure for me – not just a new country, a new continent, a new culture – [so] this idea of ​​”new” is like the start of something for me. “

With this in mind, Martín says he chose the theme of “awakenings” and “morning” for the opening gala, and programmed two pieces that are very important to him – Haydn’s Sixth Symphony, nicknamed “The Morning “like opening movement clearly represents sunrise, and Mahler 1, whose opening” portrays waking up after a long winter, “says Martín.

He asked Cheetham to write a play to complement the theme and suggested that he collaborate with Barton. “She said for years that she wanted to do it, but somehow it didn’t happen. So she was very happy to write a new play for us, and the new play is going to be called Baparripna, which in fact in the Yorta Yorta language means “dawn”, so it is like an awakening. So for me it’s a concert with songs that show beginnings.

Sheku kanneh-mason

Sheku Kanneh-Mason. Photo © Jake Turney

At his mid-season gala in July, Martín will direct rising star Sheku Kanneh-Mason. The British cellist will be the soloist in Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 2. The concert will also include the At the Sunrise and Dvořák’s Symphony No.9 From the New World.

The concert will mark Kanneh-Mason’s Australian orchestral debut. Then in August, he and his family of musicians, who will be touring Australia, will perform a program of works by Chopin, Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky.

Martín says he has developed a “pretty intense” relationship with Kanneh-Mason. They have worked together on the cello concertos of Dvořák and Saint-Saëns, but this will be the first time they have performed Shostakovich 2 together.

“I’m really excited about this. He’s a huge success, he’s a completely charismatic person. I think he can be one of those artists who can inspire a lot of people. I think in this world we need a lot of people like Sheku, ”says Martín.

In August, Martín will conduct a triple program of Stravinsky ballets: The Firebird, Petrushka (1947) and The Rite of Spring. “This concert will be the starting point of our new relationship with ANAM, Australia’s National Academy of Music. We have been in conversation for months and I am very happy to know that from now on MSO and ANAM will be working together on many projects and on many very exciting ideas, ”he said.

Yeol Eum Son

Yeol Eum Son. Photo © Jaehyong Park

In August, Martín conducts the Australian premiere of British composer Thomas Adès Extermination Angel Symphony. A few years ago, Martín had the chance to attend the premiere of the opera d’Adès The exterminating angel, based on Luis Buñuel’s surrealist film from 1962. When he learned that Adès had made an opera symphony, he immediately began to try to obtain it. MSO is part of a group of international orchestras presenting the premiere of the symphony.

“I’m so happy, I love the music of Thomas Adès,” says Martín. “In this season, we are also going to have another piece by Thomas Adès, which is part of his suite for one of his operas. Powder her face, which I also think is a fantastic and fantastic play.

The concert in August featuring the Extermination Angel Symphony will also include Sibelius’ Symphony No.5 and Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G with Yeol Eum Son as soloist.

Other repertoires Martín will conduct for MSO in 2022 is a concert in November called Beethoven Five featuring Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.5 and Symphony No.5, which will complement and end the Australian premiere of Brett Dean’s Piano Concerto, Gneixendorf Music, a winter dayy (an MSO co-commission).

Dean’s concerto was inspired by Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto, and Martín says that Dean suggested that his piece follow “The Emperor”.

Martín’s last concert in his inaugural program, the Season Finale Gala, is called A journey through Spain and transports the public to the striking landscapes of its Spanish homeland, with exuberant works by de Falla and Ravel.

“For me, it’s a pretty good season, [celebrating] the start of my relationship with a new orchestra that I find incredible, ”says Martín. “Occasionally [people] talk about [whether the] chemistry is good or not good, but I really felt from the first moment I worked with the orchestra that there was a connection between us, and I feel incredibly comfortable.

Tan Dun

Tan Dun. Photo provided

In other highlights, there will be three East meets West concerts. Joshua Tan will conduct the Chinese New Year concert in February. In April, Tan Dun will be running his own Organic Trilogy with his Water Concerto for Water Percussion, Paper Concerto for Paper Percussion and Earth Concerto for ceramic instruments. These works explore his earliest memories of his childhood in rural China and the ritual music he heard, inspired by nature. In June / July, MSO Principal Guest Conductor Zian Zhang will conduct Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Zhao Jiping’s Violin Concerto No. 1.

Benjamin Northey will conduct, among other programs, two Metropolis concerts. The loss, to be performed in St. Paul’s Cathedral, includes two pieces by Australian composer Mary Finsterer, as well as works by Arvo Pärt and Hildegard von Bingen. In the second, Immortal diamond, Paul Grabowsky (who will continue as MSO Composer in Residence in 2022) and Lisa Gerrard will join MSO and MSO Chorus for Grabowsky’s world premiere Immortal diamond at the Forum.

Vasily Petrenko to conduct world premiere of Matthew Laing’s Bassoon Concerto of paradise lost (delayed from 2021 due to COVID restrictions) in July, and in October, Nodoka Okisawa will direct the world premiere of Melody Eötvös Sonarmilo for harp and orchestra.

In December, Sir Andrew Davis, award-winning conductor of the OSM, will return to conduct his new orchestration of Handel’s music. Messiah in December. He will also conduct Christian Li in Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto.

NAIDOC week in July will see MSO team up with Marliya, a choir of young Indigenous women, Emma Donovan and conductor Lyn Williams to perform a symphonic version of Spinifex eraser featuring music by Felix Riebl and Ollie McGill from The Cat Empire.

Sidney Myer’s popular free concerts return in February with A symphonic eveninge led by James Judd, An Evening of John Williams directed by Jessica Gethin, and A song: the music of Archie Roach directed by Northey and starring Roach and Paul Grabowsky.

In a new addition to the MSO season, a program called Music and Ideas invite the audience to discover more about the music, artists, producers and composers through open rehearsals, masterclasses, conversations and the popular podcast Get up late with Ben Live, moderated by Benjamin Northey.


More information can be found at the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra website.

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