Transfigured Night

Schoenberg and Ravel


Due to COVID restrictions, conductor Lawrence Renes is unable to travel to Australia to join the MSO on the scheduled dates of (1 & 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
Jack Schiller bassoon


Ravel Pavane pour une infante défunte
Matthew Laing* Bassoon Concerto (World premiere of an MSO Commission)
Schoenberg Transfigured Night

*2021 Cybec Composer in Residence

About the performance

Highly emotional, turbulent and ultimately ecstatic, Arnold Schoenberg’s Transfigured Night is one of the most important works by the 20th century revolutionary composer. Lawrence Renes conducts this Romantic and inventive piece, paired here with one of Ravel’s most well-loved works and a world premiere by the MSO’s 2021 Cybec Young Composer in Residence.

  • A poignant poem
    Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night) originated as a string sextet in 1899, (the string orchestra version premiered in 1943) inspired by a poignant poem by German writer Richard Dehmel. The story tells of a woman, confessing to her lover that she is pregnant with another man’s child, and the man’s acceptance and love for her regardless. Perhaps more well known for his radical style that was to form in the years to come, here Schoenberg was inspired by the Great Romantics in Strauss, Mahler and Wagner – particularly the latter’s opera Tristan and Isolde.
  • A mysterious masterpiece
    Melancholic and mysterious, Ravel’s Pavane for a Dead Princess was composed for the Princesse de Polignac (née Winnaretta Singer, an heiress to the Singer sewing machine fortune) – an arts patron for whom Fauré, Stravinsky, Weill, Poulenc and de Falla also dedicated works.
  • A showcase of young virtuosity
    Rising star composer and violist Matthew Laing has been commissioned by such esteemed ensembles as Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, Affinity Quartet (London) and Flinders Quartet – where he was mentored by Brett Dean – in his burgeoning compositional career. As MSO’s 2021 Cybec Young Composer in Residence, this concerto was written to showcase the virtuosity of MSO Principal Bassoon Jack Schiller.

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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