2nd May 2021
Simple Symphony, Op. 4
Piano Concerto No. 3 in C, Op. 26.
Soloist: Hannah Shin
Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64
After the privations of 2020, the opportunity for students and staff in the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music to return to our Southbank campus and resume our work together in our new home in the fabulous Ian Potter Southbank Centre has been a wonderfully intensive and euphoric experience for us all. Practising alone for months has given us a deeper appreciation and awareness that collaboration and sharing are the essence of music — and perhaps the most important gifts that music bestows on all of us. We are listening with fresh ears and responses, and we are energised by the mutual empowerment and inspiration that blossom when we play and listen together. The opportunity to perform in Hamer Hall is another occasion for joyous celebration, and our performance today has been prepared with great enthusiasm and anticipation for this moment when we share our efforts with you: our listeners, our community. Thank you for joining us today!
The global scope of the Covid captivity has heightened our awareness of history and has also altered our sense of time. It hovers like a time balloon that elevates our perspective but also blurs some of our memories from before and during lockdown. Reflecting on this shifted awareness of historical and quotidian time has made me more conscious of the fundamental fact that musical works are time capsules from the past, from specific places and interpersonal cultural contexts. They are individual and societal records of reflected experience, bequeathed by the composer and by the communities that supported their artistic development. Music is a temporal art form, and each piece of music articulates its own complex time balloon, with specific ways of turning from moment to moment, and of shaping a larger trajectory. At a time when we are celebrating the opportunity to connect again in person, public concerts also allow us to connect to the past — across time, geography and different cultural contexts, through musical time balloons. It is a magic quality of music and art that these connections across time and space can manifest as very personal sensations for each of us individually. But they are only possible through concerted personal and communal effort. I invite you to enjoy this shared opportunity to connect together once again in the present, and also to reflect on the past, through music as a shared cultural archive of sensation, sentiment, contemplation, and enjoyment. Each composition on the program offers very different resonances and reflections on the richness and complexity of human experience. And let us also listen with respectful acknowledgement of the traditional owners of this land and their Elders past and present, seeking to grasp the time scale of their experience and knowledge as the first musicians, artists, poets, botanists, astronomers, and healers in this extraordinary place.
I also invite you to join me in congratulating Hannah Shin as featured winner of our 2019 Concerto Competition, and every student in the Orchestra and across the Conservatorium, for their tenacity, creativity, and accomplishments in 2020. This concert attests to the unstoppable energy that music gives us, and which we seek to amplify and share with you.
Professor Richard Kurth
Director | Melbourne Conservatorium of Music
2nd May 2021
Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne
School: Melbourne Conservatorium of Music