As eras go, the ‘Sir Andrew Davis era’ looks to be counted among the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s more golden. With 2019 the last of his six years as Chief Conductor, the 74-year-old British maestro’s services as Conductor Laureate have already been secured going forward. Chatting over the phone in the midst of a well-earned break in the wilds of rural Sussex, Davis cites his nearly-completed Mahler cycle as probably his fondest achievement during his MSO tenure, but there have been other pleasures, such as the opportunity to introduce Victorian audiences to the more rarefied pleasures of Berlioz and Charles Ives.

Sir Andrew Davis. Photo © Hugh Peachey

On paper, 2019 has its share of celebrity soloists (headed by Chinese ‘superstar’ pianist Lang Lang) and solid box office blockbusters – there are live scores of a Harry Potter plus The Return of the Jedi– but along with a few rarities for the cognoscenti, the season also has its fair share of intriguing programming. “It’s not the most wildly adventurous season,” admits Davis. “I mean, there are some very interesting things, but I...

Access our paywalled content and archive of magazines, regular news and features for the limited offer of $3 per month. Support independent journalism.

Subscribe now or log in to continue reading.