A new year and a new look for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

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The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is preparing for the excitement and challenges of its 2015 season.

MSO Managing Director André Gremillet said the orchestra, refreshed from its annual break, is excited about 2015, which heralds a new and fresh look.

“Every orchestra is, by its very nature, a changing organism. Just as no two concerts can ever be the same, the MSO itself goes through constant and inevitable internal changes. This is part of the evolution of a great orchestra,” said Mr Gremillet.

One of the year’s significant changes begins with the MSO’s new Concertmasters, Dale Barltrop and Eoin Andersen, who play in their first full season in 2015. They will share their roles through the season. For example, Andersen will be Concertmaster this month [February] and for Chief Conductor Sir Andrew Davis’ performances of Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust in March. Later that month, Barltrop will lead the orchestra for Sir Andrew’s performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 3.

“I am thrilled to be working with the MSO in such an important position,” said the Brisbane-born Dale Barltrop, who began his tenure with the MSO last season.

“The 2015 season has some wonderful music programmed, and I can’t wait to get started.”

The American-born Eoin Andersen, who has been Principal Second Violin of the Zurich Opera Orchestra since 2011, will divide his time between Melbourne and his Berlin home.

“The MSO is a fantastic orchestra both musically and personally. I have played with the orchestra as a guest, and Melbourne already feels like home,” said Mr Andersen.

This week, the MSO announces another major front-desk appointment. Adelaide-born violinist Sophie Rowell is the orchestra’s new Associate Concertmaster. Rowell, who has played solo violin with all the major Australian symphony orchestras, has been Guest Concertmaster with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra as well as the Adelaide, Melbourne and Tasmanian Symphonies. Rowell has also held various teaching positions, and was first violin with the Australian String Quartet for six years (2006-2011).

“Coming to the MSO is, for me, renewing a long-valued association with superb musicians and old friends. The year ahead has a strong repertoire and with many challenging works. I am keen to begin work,” said Ms Rowell.

André Gremillet describes Andersen, Barltrop and Rowell as ‘superb musicians’ who will greatly contribute to the MSO for years to come.

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Media enquiries: Ali Webb, Public Relations Manager webba@mso.com.au / 0408 294 501 / 03 9626 1106