As summer comes to a close, Melbournians are treated to one final burst of fun, family friendly, outdoor activities with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s free concerts at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. Held every February, this year’s orchestral journey will take eyes and ears to Russia, the Ballet, along with star-cross’d lovers Romeo & Juliet being the crescendo of the Saturday night performance. Free entry means patrons will have fuller wallets to spend on the finer things in life; aged cheeses, Yarra Valley wine, or perhaps a babysitter if a romantic night under the stars is just what the doctor ordered. Those new to the world of classical music are invited to partake in the annual event which attracts up to 10,000 people at each concert. The relaxed vibe and comfortable environment is the perfect setting to experience classical music for the first, second, or seventy-fifth time.
MSO PLAYS THE RUSSIANS | Wednesday 8 February
Russia’s top composers can all be heard under the stars with the overture from Berlioz’s opera Benvenuto Cellini opening the night. Audiences will then be stunned by Rachmaninov’s passionate melodies from Piano Concert No. 2. Tchaikovsky’s music closes the evening, with two of his most famous pieces, one of which took him just six mere weeks to write.
MSO PLAYS ROMEO & JULIET | Saturday 11 February
The second concert of the series can be heard echoing through the city, with the MSO’s 2017 Composer in Residence, Elena Kats-Chernin taking centre stage unleashing “the full power of her magic-realist vision” (Canberra Times). The MSO’s rendition of Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet will open the evening with a bang, and Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances closing the evening of classical music.
MSO PLAYS LA VALSE | Wednesday 15 February
The MSO concludes the series of free concerts by taking audiences to the ballet, and hitting the dance floor with four famous pieces of work. Lead by Japanese conductor Kazuki Yamada, Stravinky’s ballet burlesque Petrushka opens the night, with La Valse by Ravel, and Straussiana by Korngold taking centre stage shortly after. Bringing the evening to conclusion is Richard Strauss’ Suite from Der Rosenkavalier which is filled with dramatic melodies, and gorgeous waltzes.
SIDNEY MYER FREE CONCERTS
Date: 7:30, Wednesday 8, Saturday 11, and, Wednesday 15 February 2017
Venue: Sidney Myer Music Bowl
Tickets: Free, subject to availability. Gates open at 4:30pm.