Melbourne Symphony Orchestra to bring special concert to Ballarat

Special concert: The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra are bringing An Evening with the MSO to Ballarat, featuring English clarinet virtuoso Michael Collins.
Special concert: The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra are bringing An Evening with the MSO to Ballarat, featuring English clarinet virtuoso Michael Collins.

Ballarat music lovers will have a rare opportunity to watch English clarinet virtuoso Michael Collins play with and conduct the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Collins will join the MSO in Wendouree next week in a riveting series of works, including the dynamic Ornamental Air, written for him by the orchestra’s composer-in-residence Elena Kats-Chernin.

The MSO’s cello assistant principal Nicholas Bochner said Collins would take on three different roles during the performance, a feat he is well known for.

Bochner said Collins would play within the section of the orchestra, then as a soloist and finally, a conductor.

“It’s a rare opportunity to hear (Collins), and in Melbourne as well. He just creates a unique atmosphere,” Bochner said.

“It’s unusual to have a musician of such calibre.”

Titled An Evening with the MSO, the performance in Ballarat is the first of a regional program for the MSO, which will visit Horsham, Hamilton and Warnambool.

The program includes Dvorak’s Serenade for Winds and one of Mendelssohn’s Konzertstück, in which Collins will be joined by the 2015 ABC Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year, Brisbane-born Lloyd Van’t Hoff.

Rounding out the evening of sumptuous classical music is Beethoven’s Symphony No.8, which the composer fondly referred to as his ‘little Symphony in F’.

Bochner said the MSO had been performing in regional towns for a long time and orchestra members enjoyed performing outside Melbourne.

He said the MSO was one of Victoria’s greatest assets and it was important to share that with communities.

“We are trying to make sure we keep engaging with the wider audience,” Bochner said.

He said workshops would be held for school groups while the MSO is in Ballarat, with the opportunity for young musicians to work with the MSO’s composer-in-residence Elena Kats-Chernin.

The MSO are bringing An Evening with the MSO to Wendouree Centre for Performing Arts on Monday, October 16 at 8pm.

To book tickets for the two-hour performance, visit the MSO website, www.mso.com.au