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Thursday 18 November 2021

7:30pm at Hamer Hall


Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Finnegan Downie Dear conductor


Tchaikovsky Nutcracker Suite (selections)
Thomas Adès Polaris
Stravinsky Petrushka (1947)

About this performance

Acclaimed young conductor Finnegan Downie Dear makes his anticipated debut with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra performing Stravinsky’s Petrushka and works by Tchaikovsky and Adés.

  • The North Star, or Polaris, is a star that other stars appear pulled to by something akin to magnetic force. It is almost motionless, and because of this, has been used for navigation for as long as we can remember. Thomas Adès’ Polaris takes inspiration from the magnetism of the star: the composer uses a “magnetic series”, which means all twelve notes are presented slowly, but keep returning back to an “anchoring” pitch, as if the note itself is magnetic.
  • The suite from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker came about when the composer’s ballad The Voyevoda was programmed for performance in St Petersburg. Tchaikovsky had destroyed the full score following its first performance, and so needed to quickly find a replacement for the upcoming performance. He compiled and orchestrated the suite in early 1892, which was immediately an audience favourite.
  • After his success with Ballet Russes founder Sergei Diaghilev on Les Sylphides and Firebird, the idea of a puppet “suddenly endowed with life” came to Igor Stravinsky. After hearing just a little, Diaghilev was thrilled to start workshopping choreography for Petrushka and the ballet premiered in Paris in 1911.
  • Petrushka tells the love story of three puppets; in short, Petrushka is in love with the Ballerina, but the Ballerina loves the Moor. A classic, complicated tale!

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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