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Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra Tours With Beethoven and Mendelssohn

August 7, 2023 @ 7:00 pm

The Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra completes its 2023 10th Anniversary season with a national tour, taking 41 of Australia’s finest musicians to Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Newcastle, Sydney, Penrith & Chatswood as well as the popular Voyage of Musical Discovery music education series.

The Midsummer Dreams: Mendelssohn Scottish & Beethoven Eight tour features the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra, conducted by playing music by the iconic Classical & Romantic composers Beethoven & Mendelssohn.

The program: MENDELSSOHN Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Op.61 (1826)/ BEETHOVEN Symphony No.8 in F major, Op.93 (1812)/ MENDELSSOHN ‘Scottish’ Symphony No.3 in A minor, Op.56 (1829-42)

Like all European young men of means in the 19th century, Felix Mendelssohn set off on a Grand Tour of Europe at the age of 20. Unusually, however, Mendelssohn elected to begin in Scotland – and while there he was greatly moved by the dramatic landscape and the bloody history of Mary Queen of Scots. He began writing his Scottish Symphony while on his tour, although he didn’t complete it until a decade later. But clearly, Scotland had left its mark on him, and the symphony seems to evoke the striking countryside.

Equally evocative is Mendelssohn’s Overture to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, written when he was just 16 – the quick, playful strings at the start suggest the scampering of fairies’ feet, and later one can hear the braying of Bottom after he has been turned into a donkey.

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 features a lightness of touch, but it is perhaps his most radical symphony. It completely abandons the traditional structure of a symphony, leaps from loud to soft without warning, and at every turn surprises and confounds expectations. When asked by his pupil Carl Czerny why the eighth was less popular than the seventh symphony, Beethoven is said to have replied, “because the eighth is so much better” – an appropriately enigmatic answer for a fascinating work!

The 31 July Voyage of Musical Discovery in Brisbane – entitled ‘Musical Identities’ – reveals the multiple identities of composer and performer and the links between them. Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra and Muses Trio will explore common threads in music from the past and in the latest Australian music. At the 7 August Voyage in Sydney, the orchestra and Australia’s musical trailblazers Ensemble Offspring will do likewise, featuring the latest works by Australian women composers. And in Melbourne on 3 August, the guest ensemble is the Australian Art Orchestra presenting music by their artistic director, Aaron Choulai.

Image credit Robert Catto.


Sydney Concerts: Mon 7 August 6.30pm | City Recital Hall, Sydney (Voyage)/ Tue 8 August 7.00pm | The Concourse, Chatswood

Regional and Interstate:

Sun 30 July 3.00pm | Brisbane City Hall

Mon 31 July 11.30am | St Peters Lutheran College, Indooroopilly (Voyage)

Tue 1 August 7.00pm | Albert Hall, Canberra

Thu 3 August 6.30pm | Robert Blackwood Hall, Monash University, Melbourne (Voyage)

Fri 4 August 7.00pm | Robert Blackwood Hall, Monash University, Melbourne

Sat 5 August 7.00pm | Newcastle City Hall

Sun 6 August 3.00pm | Richard Bonynge Concert Hall, JSPAC, Penrith



Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra


City Recital Hall
2 Angel Place
Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia
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