2016 Sidney Myer Free Concerts

Wednesday 17 February 2016 at 7:30pm

Saturday 20 February 2016 at 7:30pm

Saturday 27 February 2016 at 7:30pm



The Sidney Myer Free Concerts are the perfect soundtrack to summer in the city at one of Melbourne’s most iconic outdoor venues. Admission is free and gates open at 4.30pm, entry is on a first in, best dressed basis. Each concert runs for 2 hours and includes a 20 minute interval.

Full conditions of entry can be found here.

Dvořák Under the Stars

Wednesday 17 February

Joshua Weilerstein conductor
Stefan Cassomenos piano

Adams Short Ride in a Fast Machine
Gershwin Piano Concerto
Dvořák Symphony No.7

When Dvořák contracted composer’s block while writing his Symphony No.7, he wrote to his publisher in February 1885, ‘I don’t want to let Brahms down’. He didn’t. A mere month later, the Symphony was done and dusted. Even faster, in composing time and brevity, is John Adams’ brilliant Short Ride in a Fast Machine, which the American composer said, ‘You know how it is when someone asks you to ride in a terrific sports car, and then you wish you hadn’t?’ American conductor Joshua Weilerstein, making his MSO debut, also directs another American classic, George Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F, with Melbourne soloist Stefan Cassomenos.

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Summer Carnival

Saturday 20 February

Joshua Weilerstein conductor
Dale Barltrop violin

Dvořák Carnival
Barber Violin Concerto
Tchaikovsky Symphony No.5

In his second Sidney Myer Free Concert, Joshua Weilerstein conducts more Dvořák and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No.5. These flank the Violin Concerto by Samuel Barber, with soloist, MSO Concertmaster Dale Barltrop. Barber’s lyrical and (dare we say?) romantic concerto is embedded in the modern repertoire, but was not always thus. In 1940, as Barber was struggling with the score, renowned violin teacher Albert Meiff called it ‘far from the requirements of a modern violinist’ and that the score ‘required surgical operation by a specialist’, offering to wield the scalpel himself. Fortunately, Barber ignored this gratuitous offer.

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The Tang of the Tango

Saturday 27 February

Benjamin Northey conductor
Slava Grigoryan guitar
Leonard Grigoryan guitar

Falla The Three-Cornered Hat: Suite No.2
Rodrigo Concierto madrigal
Gershwin Cuban Overture
Piazzolla Selected tangos
Ginastera Estancia: Four Dances

The brothers Grigoryan — Slava and Leonard — join Benjamin Northey and the MSO in a Spanish-South American program that includes tangos by Astor Piazzolla, a Concerto for two guitars by Joaquin Rodrigo, and works by Ginastera, Falla and Gershwin. The perfect summery way to conclude the Sidney Myer Free Concerts for 2016.

Dianne Heywood-Smith and David Backler from Sidewalk Tango, specialists in Tango Argentino, are joining the MSO to dance to Piazzolla’s Oblivion and Libertango onstage.

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In association with
The University of Melbourne

Supported by
ABC Classic FM774 ABC

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