The Melbourne Chamber Orchestra has announced its 2019 season, which will include some of Australia’s most accomplished musicians on the guest list as well as the orchestra’s first ever choral collaboration.

“Our Artistic Director William Hennessy has been persevering on some of these performances for three years,” MCO Executive Director, Richard Jackson said. “The road to listening bliss is strewn with speed bumps: is the soloist available when we need them? Is it the right balance within the year, across years? Will overture A work with concerto B? So I am elated this year that so many stars have finally aligned – it’s gratifying to see these wonderful musical ideas finally make it to launch. I’m particularly delighted that we’ve prised Andrew Haveron to Melbourne from the rigours of his Sydney schedule, and in another loan from our northern neighbours, Diana Doherty is a huge favourite with MCO audiences and I can’t wait to hear her perform with us again.”

Melbourne Chamber OrchestraMelbourne Chamber Orchestra

The season opens in March with Sydney Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Andrew Haveron joining the MCO in Tchaikovsky’s beloved Violin Concerto. The concert, conducted by Michael Dahlenburg, will include a string orchestra arrangement of the first movement from Tchaikovsky’s String Quartet No 1, as well as Mozart’s mighty Jupiter symphony. Then a chamber music concert at the end of the month, presented by the Australian Octet, will feature music by Shostakovich, Raff and Brahms.

In May, Australian pianist David Fung, who is now based in New York, will join the MCO in a pair of Bach Keyboard Concertos, in a concert to include Bartók, Dvořák and Telemann’s Concerto for Four Violins.

Oboist Diana Doherty. Photo © Christie Brewster

SSO Principal Oboe Diana Doherty and SSO Principal Cor Anglais Alexandre Oguey perform with the MCO in June, bringing Joe Chindamo’s Sanctuary (which the pair premiered with Camerata in Brisbane last year) to Victoria for the first time. Chindamo’s work will sit alongside a program of concerti grossi by Corelli, Avison and Handel, with Doherty starring in oboe concertos by Vivaldi and Albinoni.

July will see MCO’s first choral collaboration take place, with Polyphonic Voices –directed by Michael Fulcher – joining the orchestra in Schubert’s Mass No 2, on a program alongside the composer’s Third Symphony and Bach’s BWV 1042 Violin Concerto.

Another double concerto will feature in September, this time Mozart’s Flute and Harp Concerto, with MSO Principal Flute Prudence Davis and harpist Alice Giles teaming up. Haydn’s Mercury Symphony and CPE Bach’s Sinfonia in E Major Wq 182/6 are also on the program, as well as the world premiere of a new work, Yackandandah Music, by Nicholas Buc, commissioned by residents of Yackandandah, where the MCO tours each year.

Melbourne-based pianist Stefan Cassomenos joins the MCO in November for Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 22, as does violinist Natalia Harvey, who’ll perform Beethoven’s Romance No 2, on a program bookended by Cimarosa and Haydn.

In addition to its mainstage season, MCO will play a Chamber Music Dining at Narkoojee event in August and 2019 will see the return of the orchestra’s Daylesford Chamber Music Festival in September. The remainder of the orchestra’s regional touring season will be launched in December.

Season Details