Contact Us

Follow us on Facebook

Newsletter No 3: 2017 Season

Read the PDF version:

From the President: Daniel Kirkham

2017 has been a momentous year for Zelman Symphony - not only mounting our first full debuts at Hamer Hall and the Recital Centre, but also finding a new Artistic Director.

By far the greatest highlight was the Babi Yar Anniversary Concert - to sit down the day after and see a steady stream of accolades pour in, most citing how moving the experience was, made me realise just what we had achieved. On behalf of the Orchestra, I wish to acknowledge the huge contributions by Adrian Tamburini, George Deutsch and a multitude of others in bringing the project to fruition, and to you, the audience, for your support and appreciation.

And after eight magnificent years, Mark Shiell is leaving us to pursue other dreams - I'm sure orchestra and audience alike wish him well.

In 2018 we embark on a new journey with our new Artistic Director, Rick Prakhoff, which is already shaping up as a memorable one. Please keep an eye on our website or join Friends of Zelman so you can be one of the first to see our 2018 program.

Daniel Kirkham
President, ZMSO Inc.

Babi Yar Concert Success in Hamer Hall

On September 19, as Adrian Tamburini with the members of Zelman Symphony and the Babi Yar Choir stood on stage in Hamer Hall savouring the standing ovation from some 1500 people, we realised the event just concluded had not only been an emotional yet uplifting experience for each of us but that it had made a huge impact on everyone present. We had just performed an immense program.

The concert started with a new work we had commissioned from Harry Sdraulig, followed by flautist Sally Walker playing Elena Kats-Chernin’s flute concerto, Night and Now.

With everyone in Hamer Hall standing in respectful silence, Ravel’s Kaddish was sung in memory of all of the 110,000 the horrendous massacres which occurred at Babi Yar near Kiev in WWII. The concert culminated with Shostakovich’s Symphony No.13, Babi Yar.

These quotes sum up the magnitude of this event:

A concert of deep importance and emotional significance. Nobody who was there will ever forget this concert, nor will they forget how they personally felt and responded to the music.

People were clapping through tears, affected by the sincere and moving performance by all.

Tears of pain and joy were rolling down my cheeks throughout this breathtaking event. Pain for the suffering of so many innocent people... Joy for the fact that people remember, they care and produce such exquisite music and poetry in commemoration.

An exceptional tribute. Let us not forget. An amazing musical feast, so appropriate.

It was a powerful, meaningful commemoration of one of the saddest events in history.

Mark Shiell's Farewell

Over the years there have been a few occasions when I've quoted Olivier Messiaen, "Consider the charm of impossibilities."

When I began with Zelman I could not have dreamt of what was to come. Many of the experiences we enjoyed together would not have been considered possible when we set sail in late 2009. There have been so many highlights!

My role with Zelman has taught me that leading an ensemble is equally about music and people. Shostakovich 13 was proof of that. So much more than louder, softer, shorter, longer. Musical elements fused with the power of communication. The orchestra emotionally and musically united in an unforgettable way.

It’s not only in performance that both 'sides' are important. A community orchestra combines many backgrounds and experiences. Everybody is a volunteer. Turning up is an act of giving. It's a statement that says you want to belong to something that adds value to your life. That's important for the bunny out the front to remember. Keeping such a diverse range of experiences and personalities engaged is a great challenge.

I now believe that music making and rehearsal isn't a 'one size fits all' thing. The rules of engagement vary not only between youth, community and professional ensembles but also between individual ensembles. How does one go about engaging a collection of musicians? The lack of a single answer makes for a fascinating journey for any musician crazy enough to stand on a podium.

Thank you to every single member of ZMSO. You have allowed me not only the chance to experience making great music but also the privilege of working with you as colleagues and friends.

I wish the orchestra and Rick every possible success for an exciting and musically stimulating future. I look forward to continuing to share your musical journey... just from the audience.

Rick Prakhoff - Zelman Symphony's New Artistic Director

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Rick Prakhoff as Zelman Symphony’s Artistic Director and Principal Conductor for 2018.

Rick came to conducting from a background as a concert classical guitarist via a brief but significant flirtation as an operatic baritone.

Following his time in Perth and London studying classical guitar, Rick returned to Perth to study conducting at WAAPA.

His training continued in Melbourne through the Symphony Australia Young Conductor programme where for five years he studied intensively with renowned international conductors Gustav Meier, Noam Sherif, Vernon Handley and Johannes Fritsch. Rick has conducted major symphony and opera orchestras around the country.

Since 2009, Rick has been a lecturer in conducting and conductor of the choir for the VCA and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, where he continues his advocacy for thorough training of young conductors in all styles of repertoire and techniques. In 2014, following the passing of John Hopkins, Rick was honoured to be invited to continue the very successful Honours conducting course instigated by Hopkins.

Rick has an extensive orchestral, operatic and choral repertoire ranging from baroque through to contemporary works and has a particular interest in adapting historical techniques and performance practice to the contemporary orchestra.

In 2006 Rick formed the highly successful Melbourne Bach Choir.

Rick is delighted to have been chosen as Zelman Symphony’s Artistic Director and Principal Conductor for 2018. In accepting the appointment, Rick said ‘Zelman Symphony has set challenging precedents with its adventurous programming in the last few years – something I plan to continue. It is an absolute privilege to be chosen to take the reins of a community orchestra with both a strong historical connection to Melbourne and such a thriving musical presence in Melbourne today.’

2018 Concert Season

KEEP THE DATES – 2018 Season to be announced soon:

8:00 pm, Saturday 24th March - EHPAC, Xavier College, Kew

8:00 pm, Saturday 19th May - EHPAC, Xavier College, Kew
Daylesford Town Hall 2.00 pm Sunday 20th May

2:00 pm, Sunday 17th June - Hawthorn Arts Centre
Boroondara Eisteddfod Piano Award

8:00 pm, Saturday 1st September - EHPAC, Xavier College, Kew

8:00 pm, Saturday 1st December - Venue to be finalised

Let's Fill the Gap!

This Fill the Gap appeal is to enable us to buy a fourth timpani to create a complete set. Our timpanist will be able to concentrate much more on rhythm and dynamics rather than having to continually worry about having to adjust the tuning of the three timpani to play the required notes.

Our sincere thanks go to those of you who have already donated generously to this appeal. We would be grateful for a few more donations so we can reach our fund raising target.

We are also pleased to acknowledge receipt of an Australian Government grant of $5,000 for this project via the Stronger Communities Programme Round 3. We thank Mr Josh Frydenberg MP, Member for Kooyong, who brought the availability of this grant to our notice.

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.

Friends of Zelman

Join free to stay in touch by Email and receive concert notices, flyers and newsletters. Or become a friend on our Facebook page.

Printable View
Page last modified on December 05, 2017, at 04:37 AM