Contact Us

Follow us on Facebook

Newsletter No 4: 2016 Season

Read the PDF version:

From the President: Daniel Kirkham

In our final concerts for the year, we are delighted to present two rarities: both a female conductor and a female composer. We cherish our role in giving opportunities to emerging artists, and are proud to present the inaugural winner of the Rosemary and John Hopkins Award, Jenny Going, as conductor of Peer Gynt, and ZMSO/Melbourne University Emerging Composer , May Lyon, with her new work Nornir Concerto for Viola to Violin, the latter with soloist Kat Tsyrlin. Mark Shiell, our principal conductor, will conduct the balance of the program, which features Stefan Cassomenos in the ever-popular Grieg Piano Concerto.

Our two big concerts for 2017 are already on sale, and we are certainly looking forward to our first complete concerts at both Hamer Hall and the Recital Centre. Please get in and book early if you want the best seats! Our remaining concerts will go on sale once venues are confirmed.

As this is the last newsletter for 2016, all members of the orchestra wish you, our audience, the compliments of the season, and hope to see you at a concert soon.

Daniel Kirkham
President, ZMSO Inc.

Player Profile: Margot Bremner

I grew up in a remote village in Scotland. We were very poor so music lessons were out of the question. The nearest I got was teaching myself to read music on the piano from Arthur Mee’s Childrens’ Encyclopaedia.

When we emigrated from the UK to Canberra in 1967 my two girls took up violin lessons. Their teacher suggested I learn the cello so we could play together. I learned to play well enough to join a community orchestra and a chamber group.

Unfortunately my commitments at the Australian National University and looking after three children left me with little time to pursue my cello. However I did plan, organise and raise funds for a Canberra Youth Orchestra tour to the UK and Europe. I was tour manager for a party of over 85 for five weeks. Many of those youngsters are now professionals in orchestras here and overseas.

After 22 years at the ANU I took early retirement and moved to Melbourne. Then it was full steam ahead with the cello. I had lessons from Simon Meighan, Cordula Neil, Sarah Morse, my son in law, Christian Wojtowicz, and others and joined the Whitehorse and U3A Orchestras. I became a member of the Zelman Orchestra in 2004 and have been playing with it ever since. I’ve also played in the Sinfonia of Melbourne.

Highlights have been: the Dartington Summer School of Chamber Music in the UK and the Mt Buller Chamber Music Summer School; the MSO’s Symphony in a Day - twice; the Verdi Requiem and Mahler 8 with ZMSO, regular sessions with my quartet; and finally, being presented with a copy of the Schubert Quintet for 2 cellos on my birthday by my daughters Kirsty and Rachel, and Sarah and Isobel Morse, and spending the afternoon playing it with them.

From the Artistic Director

Lately I have been aware of just how full of apparent contradictions the world of music really is.

Conductor, Sir Simon Rattle once said that "whatever can be said about conducting, the exact opposite is also true." This apparently confusing statement rings very true for me. In the teaching of conducting you may at any given moment find yourself advising a student to "be clear" or at others to "not get in the way" or even to "not be clear". Karajan used to the say that worst thing a conductor could do was to be clear! The idea there was to force the musicians to listen to each other and be engaged effectively like chamber musicians.

Contradictions in music run deeper than just conducting of course. What about the playing of music or the rehearsal and interpretation of it? Music, at least for me, is an emotional art. How then to capture the transitory nature of emotion in sound? The very act of rehearsal tends towards 'setting' an approach. These notes short, these notes long, here softer, there louder, you blend with the flute etc., etc. It goes on and on. It is in effect very calculating which is apparently at odds with the spontaneous nature of the rise and fall of emotion. Contradiction.

It's a faster and faster world out there. I think great things often have inherent contradictions lurking within. Considering and exploring contradictions means taking the time to explore. Are we in danger of losing the value of 'time taken' to explore possibilities? Are we in danger even of becoming impatient with this approach? I hope we never lose sight of the fact that music, like life, shouldn't have simple black and white, formulaic, fast answers.


Exciting 2017 Concerts
Hamer Hall and Melbourne Recital Centre

By the time you read this Newsletter, tickets will be on sale for our two major concerts next year, one at Hamer Hall and the other at the Recital Centre. We suggest you book seats early to get the best available seats.

Arts Centre Melbourne, Hamer Hall
2pm, Sunday 17 September 2017

For those of you who may not yet know about this concert, it will feature Shostakovich’s 13th Symphony, Babi Yar, which will be performed to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the horrendous WWII massacres of over 110,000 people, mostly Jews in 1941 at Babi Yar near Kiev.

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.”

Soloist for the Symphony will be leading Australian Bass Baritone, Adrian Tamburini, who asked us to perform the symphony with him. The concert will feature a 200 voice male choir, a 95-piece orchestra including four harps, and of course Adrian as soloist. If you know anyone who would like to sing in the all-male choir please suggest they contact us via Babi Yar Player Information.

The concert will open with the World Premiere of a work by Harry Sdraulig commissioned by Zelman Symphony especially for this concert. Harry was the Zelman Symphony / University of Melbourne emerging composer for 2015 and our audience and players really enjoyed the work he composed for us then. Harry has a special connection to this concert because his grandmother hid Jews in Poland during WWII at great risk to her own life.

This will be followed by 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.

For more information and to book tickets visit Babi Yar 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 to a sell-out audience of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1, invited us to accompany him in two major piano concertos to be performed in the one concert at Elisabeth Murdoch Hall at Melbourne Recital Centre. We agreed with alacrity!

The exciting program is: Brahms: Academic Festival Overture
Rachmaninov: Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini
Brahms: Piano Concerto No 1.

For more information and to book tickets visit Hoang's Concert Concert.

Our other 2017 Concerts

We have some great concerts lined up for earlier in 2017, but as yet we can't confirm dates until later in the year. The likely dates for 2017 are:

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

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.

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 November 21, 2016, at 09:13 PM