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Newsletter No 1: 2011 Season

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From the President

2011 is a year of NEW BEGINNINGS for the Zelman Memorial Symphony Orchestra. Highlights will be:

  • An open air concert-in-the-park in February at the invitation of Boroondara City Council.
  • An amazing world-class soloist from London in September – don’t miss that concert! Read more details in this Newsletter.
  • A new venue for our three major concerts. We encourage you and your friends to experience its increased capacity and excellent facilities.
  • Most concerts will be recorded and broadcast by 3MBS FM.
  • One concert in regional Victoria.

We are continuing to embrace new challenges under the charismatic leadership of our Artistic Director, Mark Shiell.

We hope you will enjoy our 2011 season.

Allison Summers

New Beginnings - Our 2011 Season

We are delighted to announce our 2011 season.

Concert 1: Saturday 19th February, 6:00 to 8:00pm
Boroondara Summer Music Series – Free concert Grace Park, Hilda Cres, Hawthorn

We thank Boroondara City Council for inviting us to play a concert-in-the-park and for providing the facilities and soloists for this concert. Come early and bring a picnic. The concert will feature Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and many other light classics with:

Conductor: Mark Shiell
Pianist: Katherine Day
Soprano: Julie O’Connor
Tenor: Raymond Khong (of Three Chinese Tenors)

Concert 2: Saturday 2nd April, 8:00pm*
Xavier College Eldon Hogan Performing Arts Centre

This concert features the Elgar Cello Concerto, No. 10 in ABC FM's top 100. It will be performed by Charlotte Winslade, acclaimed soloist and Artistic Director and principal cellist of the Canberra Concerto Orchestra. The program also includes Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No. 5 and the Suite from the Ballet Pineapple Poll by Sullivan arranged by Mackerras.

If you can't get to the concert on April 2nd you could catch it by coming to Daylesford on Sunday March 20th.

Concert 3: Sunday 19 June, 2:00pm
Free concert - Hawthorn Town Hall

In this concert, we accompany the finalists in the Boroondara Eisteddfod Piano Concerto Competition. The standard of these young pianists is always outstanding and these are most enjoyable concerts.

We will also play Smetana's - Má vlast - Vltava (The Moldau) and a new work by Edward Fairlie composed specifically for one of our players.

Concert 4: Saturday 10th September, 8:00pm*
Xavier College Eldon Hogan Performing Arts Centre

You will have the unique opportunity of hearing outstanding international pianist Julian Jacobson, Professor of Piano at the Royal College of Music in London and a Steinway artist. This youtube link,, is to a documentary called The Art of Piano, Great Pianists of the 20th Century. The pianist whose hands feature during the opening of the documentary is Julian Jacobson.

With us, Julian Jacobson will perform Rachmaninov's demanding and well known Variations on a Theme by Paganini and Beethoven's Rondo for Piano and Orchestra in B flat, Wo06. The orchestra will also play Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake Suite and Gershwin’s An American in Paris.

Concert 5: Saturday 3rd December, 8:00pm*
Xavier College Eldon Hogan Performing Arts Centre

Barbara Jane Gilby, concertmaster of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra will play the melodious Bruch Violin Concerto with us (No. 11 in ABC FM’s top 100). We will team that with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 and a new work commissioned by the orchestra under our emerging composer program which we run together with Melbourne University School of Music.

* Come early for Mark Shiell’s talk about the music you are about to hear. His pre-concert talk will be in the auditorium at 7:30 pm. Also, please note that all programs are subject to change.

Mark Shiell previews our April 2nd concert

Mark Shiell says “I enjoy writing and talking about music almost as much as I enjoy conducting it. Working with the Zelman Symphony enables me to choose great music which is both a pleasure and an honour to share.” He goes on to say that “Art doesn't emerge from a vacuum. It grows from a particular time, place and society. Such things are not only windows to the past. Great music moves us in the 'here and now'”.

Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No. 5 was dedicated to Jean Sibelius who wrote that "This is a marvellous work… the dedication made me feel proud and grateful… I wonder if Dr. Williams has any idea of the pleasure he has given me?" This is a work of ethereal beauty and yearning. It was first performed at a Prom Concert in London in June 1943, with the composer conducting the London Philharmonic. Vaughan Williams’ Fourth Symphony is an altogether more violent affair. Symphony No 5, written during wartime seems to call for peace and for simpler, gentler times.

The period before WWI was a time of extraordinary growth and development in music. New styles and ideas emerged with almost explosive force. Running alongside this rapid change was a world plunging into the war to end all wars. Elgar’s Cello Concerto is a cry of yearning of such direct power and potency that we feel Elgar's loss as though it is our own. Whether he yearns for an England that never existed or something else, one can't really say but we are inevitably drawn in to reflect upon our own experience. The concerto was written during World War 1 and it’s easy to imagine that perhaps Elgar looked with longing at a simpler past or peacetime. What is certain is that Elgar’s world was a place of uncertainty. The music’s power is such that we feel its emotional content. Once again great art shows its ability to transcend time and place and to touch us in the here and now.

Our New Venue - Eldon Hogan Performing Arts Centre

After 10 years, we are leaving MLC and are fortunate to have found a new and better home nearby at Xavier College in Kew. The recently opened Eldon Hogan Performing Arts Centre is a state-of-the-art school auditorium seating 430. It gives us the opportunity to hold our concerts in a much better environment and to grow our audience substantially. Please help fill the hall and cover the increased costs by enthusing everyone you know to come!

Access is via either Barkers Rd Main Gates, Melway Map 45 C8, or Charles St (gate 2), Melway map 45 D8. There is no car access from Gellibrand St (one way spikes). Charles St gate will be closed to car traffic after 8.15 pm. Exit will be via Barkers Rd or Gellibrand St.

Concerts at Eldon Hogan PAC have numbered seats.

Purchase your reserved ticket on-line using Visa or MasterCard at or by phoning our volunteer, Klaus Buechler on 9853 1962. Or mail your cheque to ZMSO, PO Box 408, East Kew, 3102 (sorry – no credit card mail bookings). The box office will open at 7:15 pm on concert nights.

Within the auditorium, all seats will be good but the best seats will probably be those from about half way back from the stage to near the rear of the auditorium.

Player Profile: Lesley McGarvie

I was brought up in Bendigo and started learning the piano aged 8. I was a reluctant student and didn't enjoy practising. When I was 12, I persuaded my parents to let me take up the violin while still persevering with piano. After a few years my parents suggested I give up one or the other as I rarely practised either. This led me to an about face and I decided I wanted to make music my career.

My first experience playing in an orchestra was with the Bendigo Concert Orchestra and I was captivated. Some years later, I played Beethoven’s first piano concerto as a soloist. After finishing school at Girton College with high AMEB grades, I enrolled at Melbourne University Conservatorium to study piano under Lindsay Biggins and violin with Franz Schieblich. After completing my Diploma of Music I took up the Viola as I was able to play more chamber music by doing so.

I taught both piano and violin at home, at Girton, Clyde, and St Catherine's, and in the 1980s I taught strings at Mentone Girl's High School. I married in 1953 and had 4 children so I didn't have much time for music. Later I joined the Sandringham Orchestra, and when it folded, played with Frankston and South Melbourne. I formed a piano trio with some former "Con" friends and we are still playing after 50 years.

I joined Zelman in 1973 when Leon La Gruta was conductor. 20 years ago I also joined the Melbourne Sinfonia under Johannes Roose and still play with both. In 1980 I also formed a string quartet and we have met regularly for 30 years. Chamber music is my special love.

Editor’s note: When Lesley was living at Government House, she arranged for the Zelman Orchestra to play in the ballroom – a memorable experience!

Friends of Zelman

Join free to stay in touch. Receive concert notices, flyers and newsletters. Email or write to Friends of Zelman, PO Box 408, Kew East, 3102.

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