A foot-tapping, hand clapping musical extravaganza for all ages with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Rhythm will take centre stage as Melbourne Symphony Orchestra open the doors of the Melbourne Town Hall to more than 10,000 school students, parents and teachers for Education Week this week.
Education Week, to be held between 28 May and 1 June, is the Orchestra’s annual open house dedicated to sharing the joy of music-making through the first-hand experience of live orchestral music.
This year the week will be a foot-tapping, hand-clapping musical extravaganza with programs inspired by stories and cultures from all across the globe, led by the MSO’s Patricia Riordan Associate Conductor, Benjamin Northey, acclaimed UK composer and educator, Fraser Trainer, and dynamic percussionists O Duo (Oliver Cox and Owen Gunnell).
“From the heat of Cuban dance halls to the masterful restraint of Ravel’s Bolero, rhythm plays a vital role in music and throughout history has been shared, adopted and adapted by musical cultures and composers from all across the globe,” says MSO Managing Director André Gremillet. “The MSO can’t wait to share the fun of rhythm with Melbourne audiences of all ages, many of whom will be experiencing the sights and sounds of an orchestra for the very first time.”
The spectrum of upbeat concerts includes the Orchestra’s popular education programs Meet the Orchestra for primary school students (sold out) and Classic Kids (ages 3 – 7) which will introduce young audiences to the Orchestra through works inspired by mysterious and mythical creatures and places, including Harry Potter.
Alongside these concerts will be a new program titled Rhythm Machine – a one hour, early evening performance for audiences of all ages – featuring the contemporary urban rhythms of a new double percussion concerto written by Fraser Trainer for the MSO and O Duo called Breaking Silence, as well as orchestral works from a range of composers, including Béla Bartók, Maurice Ravel and Arturo Marquez.
“Education Week means a lot to all of us and demonstrates clearly that the MSO is committed to its world-class education program as a core and vital part of the organisation. These concerts are our chance to inspire and invigorate young musicians and future lovers of music,” said Benjamin Northey.
As part of Education Week more than 1300 students from low socio-economic families and primary-schools will attend concerts on sponsored excursion packages. This has been made possible by the generous donations of MSO Patrons at the Orchestra’s 2012 annual Gala Dinner. To date, this initiative has provided access to the MSO for over 4,200 children whom otherwise might not have the opportunity to experience a live orchestral concert.
In other Education Week events, Symphony in a Day, featuring more than130 amateur musicians from across Victoria rehearsing and performing alongside musicians from the MSO will return for its second year.
The MSO’s collaboration with the Melbourne Youth Orchestra, Share the Chair, which aims to shape our next generation of musicians, will be conducted by father-son team Yan Pascal and Maxime Tortelier
Education Week will kick off with a “Mystery Program” inspired by the Orchestra’s popular Secret Symphony concert series. Also keep a look out for O Duo who will be popping up on street corners around the CBD in a series of concerts titled Take 5.