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Important Concert Update

Due to the extension of the Victorian lockdown, this performance will not proceed as scheduled. The MSO Box Office will contact affected ticket holders with more information as soon as possible.

We thank you for your patience and support during this difficult time.


Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Xian Zhang conductor
Christian Li violin


William Grant Still Mother and Child
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto: first movement
Mozart Symphony No.39

About this performance

Conductor Xian Zhang makes her debut as MSO Principal Guest Conductor with William Grant Still’s moving Mother and Child alongside the first movement of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and Mozart’s majestic Symphony No.39.

  • The composer William Grant Still was incredibly prolific and diverse – writing works for choir, opera, ballet, chamber ensembles, orchestras and soloists. In 1943 he wrote Suite for Violin and Piano, based upon the works of “three contemporary Negro artists who I admire.” The second movement of the Suite, based on the lithograph “Mother and Child” by Sargent Johnson was orchestrated, and became the moving work we hear now.
  • Prodigious violinist Christian Li returns to the MSO to perform the first movement of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto – a work written by the composer during a period of great difficulty. His marriage was a disaster, and his other compositional work was not really going anywhere, but his Violin Concerto brought him back to his creativity in the most stylish and virtuosic way.
  • In the summer of 1788, Mozart composed a set of three final symphonies – the 39th, the 40th and the 41st. They were reportedly written extremely quickly, and with little break, perhaps pointing to the trio of works as a unified work.

COVIDSafe information

Arts Centre Melbourne indoor venues are operating at 100% capacity so you may be seated next to other patrons. The MSO and Arts Centre Melbourne strongly recommends the wearing of masks where 1.5m distancing is difficult to achieve, however wearing a mask is no longer a requirement for entry.

Important venue information:

  • QR code registration via a mobile device is required on arrival. We encourage you to download the Service Victoria app prior to your visit to ensure a faster check-in time.
  • Hamer Hall foyer bars will be open pre-show and if there's an interval involved.
  • Personal water bottles will be permitted inside and filtered tap water will be available for self-service at the foyer bars
  • No Cloak Room
  • No Box Office sales or transactions, only available for trouble shooting or ticket collection

Orchestra safety on stage
The safety of our musicians, staff and audience remain the highest priority as we return to the post-COVID concert hall. In conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria and Arts Centre Melbourne, the MSO has begun rapid-result, asymptomatic testing for all members of the Orchestra and on-stage production staff. As such, you may notice that our musicians are not wearing masks while performing, and that they may be spaced more closely together than previously.

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