Benjamin Northey Conducts Enigma


Bizet Carmen Suite No.1
Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No.2
Elgar Sospiri
Elgar Enigma Variations

Benjamin Northey conductor
Kristian Chong piano

Experience one of the ‘brightest stars in the heady firmament of pianists from Melbourne’ (Herald Sun), Kristian Chong, joining the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra for Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto No.2.

To Chong, Saint-Saëns’ Second Piano Concerto is a sparkling, breathtaking and vibrant work full of joy and dazzling virtuosity, and is yet lyrical with so many sincere and beautiful melodies throughout; “The concerto is so much fun to play. It’s exciting, dazzling, and virtuosic throughout and immediately lures and seduces one into it’s charming character.”

English composer Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations brought him international fame in 1899 and is one of his greatest musical masterpieces. Centred around one specific theme, upon encouragement from his wife he devised 14 variations representing different characters close to Elgar. While these included Elgar himself and his wife, Enigma Variations also contains sketches of the composer’s friends and associates, and even a reference to a dog!

Elgar always maintained that the theme of the Variations was a melodic counterpoint to another well-known piece of music. Exactly what that other theme is has never been satisfactorily identified, but with Benjamin Northey and the MSO leading this exploration, you might just crack the code…

Also in the evening’s repertoire, delight in another of Elgar’s finest moments, his heartfelt adagio, Sospiri as well as Bizet’s spritely Carmen.

Read article: Melbourne’s Connection to Elgar’s Enigma Variations

Pre-concert organ recital: Ticket holders are invited to attend a free, 30-minute pre-concert recital by Dr Calvin Bowman, on the Melbourne Town Hall grand organ, commencing at 6.30pm.

Running time: 2 hours, including a 20-minute interval

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Melbourne’s Connection to Elgar’s Enigma Variations

21 July, 2017

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