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Sir Andrew Davis conducts Beethoven's Missa solemnis for the first time, with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

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Melbourne audiences are in for a rare treat this August as Chief Conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis, makes his debut conducting Beethoven’s Missa solemnis.

With a lifetime of music behind him, Davis feels ready to tackle this superb vocal work as he leads the orchestra in what are sure to be monumental performances.

Beethoven’s magnificent Missa solemnis is a work of towering proportions, which the composer himself thought to be his greatest achievement. Written for the enthronement of his great friend and pupil Archduke Rudolf as Archbishop of Olmütz but completed it three years after the ceremony, due to the emotional input it required. The piece stands alone in Beethoven’s output, both in terms of its spirituality and its scale, demanding singing and playing of an extraordinarily high standard.

Davis said:‘This will be a most important milestone in my life and a rare opportunity for our audience to experience the power of this music which, even more than the Ninth Symphony, breaks the bounds of classicism and speaks to us with great humanity.’

Davis is joined by forces fit to do it justice: four international soloists – soprano Susan Gritton, mezzo-soprano Michele Losier, tenor Andrew Staples and bass-baritone Christian Van Horn and the Melbourne Symphony Chorus.

A modern critic wrote: ‘To those for whom Beethoven’s music is an important reason for living, the_ Missa solemnis_ belongs at the centre of their experience – a work to respect, certainly, but still more to love.’

Date: Friday 26 and Saturday 27 August at 8pm
Venue: Arts Centre Melbourne, Hamer Hall
Tickets: $39 – $149 *prices subject to change without notice.
Bookings: or 03 9929 9600


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