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Newsletter No 2: 2016 Season

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From the President: Daniel Kirkham

"Change is the only constant" — one of the many translations of the writings of ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus — certainly applies to Zelman Symphony.

In this edition of our Audience Newsletter, we bid farewell for the time being to our concertmaster of the last seven years, Mary Johnston as she takes a sabbatical from the orchestra, and welcome our special guest concertmaster, Marianne Rothschild.

Artistic Director Mark Shiell and First Violinist Leonie Schellhorn write beautifully about Mary's achievements and huge contribution to the orchestra, to which I simply add, on behalf of the Orchestra: Thankyou Mary.

Another change is our forthcoming concert, which will be at Hawthorn Arts Centre rather than our usual venue at Xavier College. The orchestra has played at Hawthorn many times as part of the Boroondara Eisteddfod, but this is the first time we will be holding one of our regular concerts there — please let us know how you enjoy the venue. We will be back at Xavier for our next subscription concerts.

Daniel Kirkham
President, ZMSO Inc.

Player Profile: Rosia Pasteur

I was fortunate to have been born into a very musical family in England. It was a given that we all learnt an instrument or two. I ended up with a violin with piano coming a close second. I loved languages at school and had an idea I wanted to be an interpreter or a linguist of some sort. But after a successful audition for the Royal Academy of Music in London that all changed. The dream of becoming an orchestral player became less distant and even a possibility.

The Academy was a "hot bed" of brilliant violinists and after three years I thought that I would have a better chance of an orchestral job if I switched to viola. At that time viola players were a rarer breed.

Luckily that proved to be the case and I landed a job in the Halle Orchestra (based in Manchester). At that time the conductor was Sir John Barbirolli who was exciting to play for, even if a bit terrifying for an inexperienced player like me. He quite often noticed if one wasn’t in the right part of the bow and would growl out a command to the unfortunate player, with his alcohol affected voice. He was in the twilight of his career! The Halle did a lot of touring around England and we had a lovely trip to Scandinavia in my time there.

Change beckoned and I took myself to West Berlin in the mid 1960s in order to undertake further studies and different playing experiences. Lucky again, I was in an Orchestra as a free-lancer and did a lovely tour round the then West Germany. I also met my American husband and thus allowed my career to be ended, or so I thought. Two children and three countries later (USA, UK, Holland) we ended up in Melbourne where I was lucky enough to get into the MSO. With them I enjoyed 38 years of playing and some great tours to Japan, China, South Korea, Russia and Europe.

Having left the MSO, I discovered a whole new world of music, of which Zelman is an important part. I am enjoying taking part in this world and hope to continue doing so for many years!

From the Artistic Director

After giving one of our most exciting concerts to date on March 5th we are now moving into what feels like a new era for the orchestra.

Our extraordinary concertmaster, Mary Johnston, is taking a sabbatical to pursue other interests after many years of bringing fantastic energy, skill, experience and contribution to the role. Mary does not do things by halves!

We have had an amazing period of growth and development at Zelman and Mary has played a major role in it. So many of Mary's former and current students, friends and colleagues attend or have played in our concerts.

This has been due to her tireless advocacy for Zelman Symphony. Mary has always been passionate about the importance of this orchestra’s history. During her time as leader we frequently spoke of the legacy of the orchestra and continuing to honour and contribute to it.

Mary's wealth of orchestral experience and training have been major contributors to the development of orchestral skills in our orchestra. A large part of where we are today is a direct result of the extraordinary contribution that Mary has made in her role as concertmaster. We wish her all the very best in her future endeavours.

We are delighted that Marianne Rothschild has agreed to lead our next concert for us. We are, as always, looking forward to giving of our best to perform great concerts on 21st and 22nd May.


Mary Johnston Concertmaster

After many years as concertmaster with Zelman Symphony, Mary Johnson is taking time out to pursue other interests. Mary has been invited to lead and mentor numerous projects and performances including various concerts with Camerata, the Monash Academy Orchestra, a recording of the new musical The White Mouse, and conductor and artistic director of senior strings at MYM summer school.

At Zelman Symphony, she has been an inspirational leader, giving us valuable musical and technical insights gained from her life as a professional orchestral musician.

Mary first played with Zelman Symphony as Guest Concertmaster in 2006 at our Centenary Concert which commemorated the founding of the original MSO in 1906.

After several further guest concertmaster engagements, Mary was appointed as permanent concertmaster in 2009. She has provided wonderful leadership to the orchestra and significantly developed the capability of the string sections. Audiences and players alike have enjoyed Mary's beautiful playing in many solos.

Mary's very specific instruction on musical style has been invaluable in achieving the effect required for the whole orchestra and always caused me personally to think more during rehearsals! An example of this is the passion Mary has for baroque bowing and this has certainly opened my eyes to a different style of playing.

Mary is head of strings at Melbourne Girls Grammar and teaches privately. She encouraged many students to play with us which has been wonderful for the orchestra. Mary has also worked industriously for Melbourne Youth Music.

On behalf of Zelman Symphony I would like to say a huge thank you to Mary for her dedication and professionalism and above all for sharing her love and passion of orchestral playing with us all. It has been an honour to sit behind Mary and feel nourished by her energy.


Welcome Marianne Rothschild

Special Guest Concertmaster

We are delighted to welcome Marianne Rothschild as special guest concertmaster. Here is a brief biography to introduce her.

Having migrated to Australia at the age of six with her family from Denmark, Marianne began learning the violin at age seven. She studied with Tania Casey, Julian Quirit, Deborah Fox, Marco van Pagee and Carl Pini and completed a degree in music at the Victorian College of the Arts in 1997.

She returned to her birthplace to participate in masterclasses with Cho-Liang Lin, and in 2000 was one of five violinists around Australia to be awarded a scholarship to study at ANAM.

A versatile schedule has included playing with Alice Cooper, Roger Daltrey and Jimmy Barnes — and also with Simone Young, Sumi Jo, José Carreras and Pavarotti. She has appeared with Orchestra Victoria, the Australian Philharmonic and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. In 1995 Marianne commissioned the violin she is playing from Melbourne maker Glen Nicholls. In 2015 the Rothschild‒Riddle Duo released their first CD, The Sky is Melting to critical acclaim. They are currently beginning work towards their next CD.

Legacy from Herbert Baer

We gratefully acknowledge a generous legacy from the estate of the late Herbert Baer who was a valued player with the orchestra. Herbert joined the 1st Violin Section in the late 1970s and played his last concert with us in 2003.

Vale Ryan Cooke

It is with deep distress that we record the most un-timley death of hornist Ryan Cooke as a result of a car hitting his motorbike.

Our 2016 Season

Full details and booking links for our five concert 2016 season are at Dates and program highlights are:

Sunday 19 June, 2pm: Hawthorn Arts Centre
Boroondara Eisteddfod Piano Concerto Award Final

Saturday September 10, 8pm: Xavier College
All American program, including:
Copland Clarinet Concerto: Philip Arkinstall

Saturday December 3, 8pm: Xavier College
Sunday November 27, 2pm: The Memo Healesville
Grieg Piano Concerto: Stefan Cassomenos
Sibelius Symphony No.2

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