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Newsletter No 3: 2016 Season

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From the President: Daniel Kirkham

One of my treasured memories, before the days when everyone had their own music players, was looking through my father's vinyl LP collection, putting one on the turntable, waiting for the amplifier to warm up, and then enjoying the sound in warm, glorious mono.

I gravitated towards the classical LPs, but most of my Dad's collection was jazz; all the greats were there — Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Australia's own Don Burrows — and many more. Most weekends, after five, we'd retire to the lounge room and Dad would play a couple of beautifully selected LPs — always enjoyable. He knew this music well, as his father was a well-known and respected jazz musician in Perth.

And so to our September program, American Story, where we will hear how jazz, the music from multitudes of immigrants and the wide-open spaces has combined to form a distinct sound — the American sound. We hope you enjoy this concert as much as we are enjoying preparing it for you.

Daniel Kirkham
President, ZMSO Inc.

Player Profile: Nicole Reyes

I was born in New York City to amazingly supportive parents who indulged almost every interest my sisters and I had, and music was no exception: they've got a trio of string players in the family, as my twin sister plays the violin, and our baby sister plays the cello.

When the music teachers at our elementary school in suburban Chicago recruited youngsters to comprise the new wave of band and orchestra students, I was tricked into playing the viola by an orchestra teacher who described instrument's sound as the hot chocolate fudge sundae of the orchestra! And what a serendipitous deception it has turned out to be. Upon moving from Chicago to Atlanta, my interest in music deepened, and I played in several county and state orchestras, as well as the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra, a subsidiary of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

I continued to play the viola throughout university, at the College of William & Mary in Virginia, having obtained scholarships for music lessons. In addition to the traditional symphony orchestra, I played viola in the school's Middle Eastern music ensemble and the rebab in its Indonesian gamelan orchestra. I was also fortunate enough to perform with the orchestra while studying abroad at St Andrews, Scotland. I did take a hiatus from music to pursue a masters degree in speech-language pathology, and developed a keen interest in both the rehabilitation of neurological language disorders and surgical voice restoration. Missing music, I joined a lovely community orchestra in central Florida and enjoyed the reunion with music so much that, before moving to Melbourne in 2014, I looked online to find orchestras to join. Zelman Symphony had the most comprehensive and detailed website and thus became the orchestra I joined.

It's been amazing to have had the opportunity to play such a challenging repertoire of music with Zelman Symphony, and I am now excited to be a member of the orchestra's committee and to serve as its treasurer. When I'm not busy with Zelman, I also play with Corpus Medicorum, do crossfit, and veganise all baked goods.

From the Artistic Director

As a kid I loved Tchaikovsky's music first. It was exciting, extroverted, visceral. I loved the energy.

My son loves the heroics of the Avengers movies. Tchaikovsky's music was my equivalent when I was not much older than he is now.

I still love the music of the Russian Romantics but I also love music from around the world from between 1880 to 1920. It's so rich with colour, invention, energy, and expression. What a time it would have been to be alive as a musician — so much creativity and growth going on. Musical parameters stretched and pushed in new and fantastic directions.

Which of all of these parameters, if I absolutely had to, would I select as my favourite? It would have to be rhythm. Rhythm, as they say, IS IT! Which brings me to this program of ours this September, American Story featuring well-known 20th Century American Music. Rhythm plays a huge role in the impact of the music in this program. It is by no means the only parameter that makes a major contribution, but the sheer energy, variety and vitality of rhythm is enormous.

It is also a fantastic opportunity for us to grow our skills as an ensemble. Putting the complex jigsaw puzzle of rhythms and cross-rhythms together calls upon a demanding set of skills. As someone said to me recently “a challenging program makes everyone grow”. Cheers to that! It's lucky that we love the music so much. It's just so much fun to play and I hope to listen to as well.

Enjoy the rhythm and enjoy the music!


Exciting 2017 Concerts
Hamer Hall and Melbourne Recital Centre

Zelman Symphony is thrilled to announce that we will be playing in Hamer Hall and the Melbourne Recital Centre in 2017. And we are planning other amazing concerts for you as well. Keep the dates!

Hamer Hall - 2pm, Sunday 17 September 2017

Over 110,000 Jews were massacred by the Nazis at Babi Yar, near Kiev, during WWII. We will be presenting a concert during which Shostakovich’s 13th Symphony, Babi Yar, will be performed to commemorate the 75th anniversary of these horrendous events.

Shostakovich composed the Symphony in 1962 setting poems by Yevgeny Yevtushenko to music. The most important poem and movement in the symphony is about the Babi Yar massacres. Quoting Wikipedia: "... Shostakovich and Yevtushenko transform the mass murder by Nazis of Jews at Babi Yar, near Kiev, into a denunciation of anti-Semitism in all its forms."

The proposal to perform this symphony came to us from outstanding Opera Australia bass baritone, Adrian Tamburini, who sang with us in Mahler 8. The concert will feature a male choir of over 180, a 95-piece orchestra including four harps, and Adrian as soloist. If you know anyone who would like to sing in the male choir please suggest they contact us via Mail.

In the first half, we will perform the beautiful Elena Kats-Chernin flute concerto Night and Now, which we premiered in Victoria last December. We believe it deserves to become part of the mainstream flute repertoire, and are proud to present it a second time to a wider audience.

We have also commissioned Harry Sdraulig, who composed his lovely Sinfonietta for us in 2015, to write the opening work for the concert.

Melbourne Recital Centre - 8pm, Saturday 2 December 2017

Hoang Pham, who we have accompanied twice in recent years, including the electric performance earlier this year of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1, has invited us to accompany him in two major piano concertos to be played in the one concert at Elisabeth Murdoch Hall at Melbourne Recital Centre.

We agreed with alacrity! Stay tuned for details.

Other likely concert dates for 2017 are:

  • Saturday 18th March
  • Saturday 27th May
  • Sunday 25th June

but these dates are subject to confirmation late this year.

Our 2016 Season

Full details and booking links for our remaining 2016 concerts are at Dates and program highlights are:

Saturday December 3, 8pm: Xavier College
Sunday November 27, 2pm: The Memo Healesville
Grieg - Peer Gynt Suite No. 1
May Lyon - Nornir Concerto for Viola to Violin
Grieg Piano Concerto: Stefan Cassomenos
Sibelius Symphony No.2

Let's Fill the Gap!

Our resident timpanist, Roger Adams, is over the moon that we are now fundraising for a fourth timpani — in his words — glorious! With the increased complexity and range of the orchestra's repertoire, more changes of pitch are required and a full set will add greatly to the soundscape demanded in these works.

Information on how you can help us fulfil this dream can be found on the donations page of our website. Donations to the ZMSO Donations Fund are tax deductible and can be made securely online via or at the Box Office at our concerts.

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Page last modified on September 03, 2016, at 05:33 PM