Shostakovich and Beethoven


Due to COVID restrictions, conductor Lawrence Renes is unable to travel to Australia to join the MSO on the scheduled dates of (1, 8 & 10 April), We are working to finalise replacement dates for July 2021 and will be in touch as soon as this is confirmed. Ticket holders have been contacted via email. If you have further questions, please contact our Box Office at


Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Lawrence Renes conductor


Shostakovich Symphony No.9
Beethoven Symphony No.4

About the performance

Following his 5-star Verdi Requiem with MSO in 2019, Dutch-Maltese Maestro Lawrence Renes makes his welcome return to Melbourne with two giants of symphonic repertoire at their sympathetic best: Shostakovich’s Ninth and Beethoven’s Fourth symphonies.

  • A star conductor returns
    In-demand on both the concert and opera platforms, former Royal Swedish Opera Music Director Lawrence Renes has conducted (among many others) the San Francisco Opera, London Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lyon, and Mahler Chamber Orchestra in recent seasons. Limelight lauded Renes’ handling of Verdi’s Requiem as ‘stunning and beautiful’.
  • A joyful little piece
    Initially intended to be a majestic praising of Stalin and Soviet Victory in World War II, Shostakovich’s Ninth Symphony turned out to be neither reflective of triumph or tragedy. Whimsical and playful, the work was banned for the remainder of Stalin’s life after its 1945 premiere. Shostakovich himself considered it “a joyful little piece”.
  • A slender symphony
    Standing between the enormous symphonies that bookend it, (the monumental Eroica and fiery Fifth Symphony) Beethoven’s Fourth has been considered a genial, lighter example of the composer’s myriad musical expression. Robert Schumann is said to have called the Fourth Symphony “a slender Greek maiden between two Norse giants”.

Duration: approx. 60 minutes with no interval

Program and artists subject to change

Arts Centre Melbourne indoor venues are operating at 75% 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 only
  • 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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