Medals should be awarded to Chris Howlett and Adele Schonhardt, co-directors of the Melbourne Digital Concert Hall. When many in the arts industry (rightly) despaired over what COVID-19 has done to their industry, these two met it head-on and created an outlet for musicians to continue their craft and pay the rent besides.
Howlett and Schonhardt secured a concert venue, Melbourne’s Athenaeum Theatre, and a swag of sponsors and donors, and put musicians on the stage to give live-streamed concerts. “Audiences” buy “tickets” to watch the concerts on “devices”, and all proceeds of tickets sales go to the artists. Howlett says that since they started at the end of March 2020, the concerts have raised over $400,000.
Howlett very nicely and informatively introduced the concert and players – six members of the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra, founded by the late Richard Gill, but would benefit from developing his microphone technique to lose the “popping”. The ensemble comprised two violins, two violas, cello and double bass, led by concertmaster, Rachael Beesley.
The concert featured a thoughtful and enchanting program of five works....