More adventurous concert programmes are needed to sustain the interest of audiences and musicians, writes Graham Strahle.

All our orchestras are guilty of it: devising programmes around star soloists and adhering to a fairly narrow range of standard repertoire that comprises well-known symphonies and concertos by household names. With a few notable exceptions, Australia’s main city orchestras have chosen to stay firmly with this same well-worn formula in 2017.

Mahler cycles from the Melbourne and Queensland Symphony Orchestras stand out, as does the former’s new composer-in-residence initiative, which sees Elena Kats-Chernin in the spotlight in five of its concerts.

Bravo to them. However, that’s about it in terms of big projects. Minor mention goes to the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra for mounting a pair of Rachmaninov concerts that feature all four of that composer’s piano concertos, and to the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra for its second semi-staged collaborative project with the State Theatre Company of South Australia in Romeo and Juliet.

Pianist Robert Levin Pianist Robert Levin. Photo © Clive Barda

Oh for programming that breaks out of the mould – for special events that explore lesser known works, and for composer festivals such as the...

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