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Archived event

Performance details

Friday 27 October 2023 at 7.30pm
Saturday 28 October 2023 at 2pm

Arts Centre Melbourne, Hamer Hall

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Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Chloé van Soeterstède conductor
Dale Barltrop violin
Rachael Tobin cello


Prokofiev Classical Symphony
Elena Kats-Chernin Sarenka Concerto: for Solo Violin and Solo Violoncello*
Sibelius Symphony No.1

*World premiere, commissioned by the Weis Family in memory of Sara Weis

About this performance

Music possesses a unique power to stir the emotions, both good and bad – whether it be seducing via serenade or rallying support for nationalistic identity. The MSO welcomes illustrious French conductor Chloé van Soeterstède for this stellar program exploring music’s role in love and resistance.

  • Prokofiev’s playful and charming 1917 Classical Symphony was composed during a stay on a farm in the Russian countryside, where he could work and walk in nature, removed from the political turbulence of the Russian Revolution. Most symphonies at the time were emotionally-driven, however Prokofiev railed against this, instead taking inspiration from the classical structures of Mozart – cheeky humour, classical craftsmanship, beautiful melodies, and a dash of dissonance make this one of Prokofiev’s best loved works.
  • Known for her melodious, evocative, and playful music, the MSO presents the world premiere of beloved Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin’s concerto for violin and cello. Featuring MSO Concertmaster Dale Barltrop on violin and MSO’s Rachael Tobin on cello, this work is inspired by the story of Sara Weis, a young girl who escaped the Nazis to make a safer life in Australia. Read more about the remarkable inspiration for this work on our blog.
  • Finnish composer Jean Sibelius’ First Symphony was in many ways a diplomatic endeavour as much as a musical one. Performed at the Paris World Exhibition in 1900 following its Finnish premiere, this symphony, with its longing clarinet song and uniquely deft harmonies, became a symbol of peaceful resistance against Russian oppression – making the unequivocal declaration on the world stage that Finland had culture worth defending and preserving.

Duration: approx. 2 hours including interval

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