Volunteers Needed


It’s a little over two years since the Continuo Community was founded. We’re growing and being welcomed as a supporter and promoter of chamber music in Victoria. And we’ve already commissioned two new works, the first of which will be premiered in December.

In order to keep growing, and to keep up the good work, we could use some help. If you like what we do, and have some time to spare, here are the roles we’d like to fill:

    Regular, to check the newsletter before it goes out on Wednesdays, OR
    Occasional to check additions to the website for accuracy
    If you’re comfortable with Facebook, Instagram or X (Twitter) we’d love to have you help us put up more posts, more often
    Spread the word to family, friends, and complete strangers sitting beside you in concerts. Distribute flyers about Continuo.

Volunteers who become regular helpers will be given free membership of Continuo.

Interested? Please click on the button below to drop us a line. Doing so is not a commitment, just an enquiry!

MICMC Winners: Trio Orelon and Affinity Quartet

MICMC Winners: Trio Orelon and Affinity Quartet

Affinity Quartet were the first Australian Quartet to reach the finals of MICMIC in the 30 years since MICMC began. That was exciting, for a start. But at the String Quartet Grand Final on Sunday evening, they triumphed, winning First Prize, the Audience Prize and the Grand Prize for best ensemble, where they were competing with Trio Orelon, winners of the Piano Trio First Prize.

In the picture above Affinity are on the left, with second and third quartet prizewinners. For all the details of the prizewinners in both quartet and trio sections, click on the button below.


If you missed either or both of the Grand Final concerts, you can hear the stunning performances of all the finalists streamed from the ABC. Click on the button below and scroll down to the bottom of the page on the ABC website

Happy 40th Birthday Hamer Hall

Happy 40th Birthday Hamer Hall

Hamer Hall is celebrating its 40th year in 2023! In November 1982, Hamer Hall – previously known as the Melbourne Concert Hall – opened its doors for the first time. It quickly became the premier venue for orchestral performance in Victoria and has continued to provide cultural and memorable experiences for the community.

To mark this milestone, the Arts Centre wants to unearth and spotlight stories of Hamer Hall from those that built its memorable walls to performers on its stage. And to its audiences – to you.

Everyone’s story of Hamer Hall is unique – and they want to hear yours.

If you would like to share your memories of Hamer Hall with the Arts Centre in celebration of four decades of live performance, click on the button below.

ANAM to enter into 50-year lease on South Melbourne Town Hall

ANAM to enter into 50-year lease on South Melbourne Town Hall

At a meeting on 15 March, City of Port Phillip Councillors voted unanimously to accept the recommendation of Council Officers to enter into a new Lease of up to 50 years with the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) at the South Melbourne Town Hall.

As part of the new arrangement ANAM will invest $40m in the refurbishment and renewal of the building over the coming 20 years (with a further $10m for specific ANAM fit-out). ANAM’s plans build on Council’s $15m+ investment to secure the structural integrity of the building, and bring it to a compliant, tenantable condition.

ANAM’s $40m will halt the decline of this landmark building, and deliver:

  • Security for a major piece of education infra-structure for the State of Victoria;
  • Two state-of-art performance venues (for music, dance, drama, comedy, receptions);
  • A catering kitchen for functions and events;
  • Improved front-of-house amenity, including a café/bar;
  • Extra rehearsal studios;
  • A greener building, with improved insulation and energy efficiencies;
  • Heritage-based refurbishment and refresh;
  • Jobs and increased economic activity for the precinct.

Under the lease ANAM will be responsible for the building’s routine maintenance. Council will be responsible for capital and major services maintenance and renewal. ANAM will also pay rent to the City of Port Phillip.

The lease commits ANAM to providing special rates for community hire of the public facilities. ANAM will also establish the South Melbourne Town Hall Cultural Fund – with $1 from each ticket sold for every event in the building – to be made available via public application process to support cultural activity in the area.

ANAM has committed to providing a Council facility in the building – community meeting rooms or support services – depending on what Council decides to be the highest priority. ANAM will provide much needed office accommodation at the Town Hall for Victorian small-to-medium cultural organisations.

The project itself and flow-on activity of community groups, ANAM, and other cultural organisations will lead to more jobs and economic activity in the precinct. The Cost-Benefit Analysis completed by Sustainable East as part of ANAM’s Business Case submitted to the Victorian Government estimates a $1.88 return to the community on every dollar invested.

The decision of Port Phillip Councillors followed their consideration of the more than 560 submissions received in a recent public consultation about the proposal. The local Port Phillip community overwhelmingly supported ANAM remaining in the Town Hall for up to 50 years, with 91% of respondents in favour of the proposal, 4% opposed, and 5% unsure.

With the decision in place, ANAM can focus on raising the necessary funds required to realise its plans. It has already raised $15m (including $12.5m from the Commonwealth Government). Members of Melbourne’s philanthropic community have expressed enthusiasm for the plans, and have indicated that they are keen to support the redevelopment if the Victorian Government joins the project with a commitment to match the Commonwealth Government funding.ANAM’s discussions with the Victorian Government are continuing.

About ANAM’s proposal:  http://renewsmth.com.au


John Daley, Chair, ANAM Board said:

“We are delighted that Council and the community have thrown their support behind ANAM’s vision for the South Melbourne Town Hall. By working together, we can rejuvenate this magnificent building. It’s a huge commitment to the future – many of the ANAM musicians who will be training in the Town Hall and the members of the local community who will be able to enjoy their music-making haven’t even been born yet.ANAM is an internationally acclaimed leader in the education and training sector, In the words of conductor Simone Young “an extraordinary institution”. This major investment in the education fabric of the State secures Victoria’s reputation as the country’s leading music education and training capital for the next half century.

It will be exciting to make the Town Hall into a world-class venue appropriate for one of the best music education institutions in the world: many of the world’s finest musicians come to ANAM, and we are certain that they will be inspired by this great building.

We are also looking forward to returning to the South Melbourne community. For the past 15 years ANAM has been an outward-facing, community-minded, organisation. Our musicians lead projects in local primary schools, perform in nursing homes, mentor the schoolies group, and contribute to community festivals. It takes a village to grow a musician, and it is important for ANAM’s musicians to be part of the village that surrounds them.

An inviting, busy and iconic Town Hall – a building that should be on the “must see” list of every visitor to Melbourne – will create jobs and rejuvenate the local retail and hospitality industries.To be entrusted with the care of this wonderful building is humbling. Council’s decision will ensure that Emerald Hill continues to be an important place for gathering and for culture, as it has been for tens of thousands of years”.

Port Phillip Council Mayor Heather Consolo said:

“The lease will secure the long-term future of what has been a much-loved landmark for 140 years.

We’re excited that ANAM’s presence will further enhance South Melbourne’s reputation as a vibrant, cultural hub for both visitors and our community.

The investment required under the lease also means this impressive building can reopen and again provide a focal point for community gatherings and events as well as hosting civic functions such as Council meetings and citizenship ceremonies.”

2023 Continuo Commission awarded to Melody Eötvös

2023 Continuo Commission awarded to Melody Eötvös

We’re so-o-o excited about this year’s Continuo Commissioning Circle project!

We received almost three times as many applications as last year, and they were all great.

Our eminent selection panel of David Griffiths, Mary Finsterer and Stuart Greenbaum thought all the proposed projects deserved to come to fruition by some means, and had a hard time choosing just one to receive the 2023 Commission.

Melody Eötvös will write a work for the Quercus Trio: Elizabeth Sellars (violin), Carla Blackwood (French horn) and Rhodri Clark (piano). Melody says, “The work will embody the metaphor of the oak tree as it grows and takes on the Australian soil and air, thriving and becoming a part of its environment… As a child of an immigrant, the metaphor of how the oak grows in Australia has another very particular connection to me – through my Hungarian ancestry.”

Here’s Melody’s response to the notification that she was the successful applicant:

It’s lovely to hear from you and thank you for the incredible news!!!  This is wonderful and I’m very much looking forward to sharing this great news with Quercus Trio, and the world! 

If you’re as excited as the composer, the ensemble and we are, there are still a couple of places in the 2023 Continuo Commissioning Circle.

Quercus Trio are a trio of wonderful musicians, always on the lookout for more works to add to the repertoire for their somewhat unusual combination of instruments. They have recently recorded an album of horn trios by contemporary composers with the ABC. The album was launched at a concert at Tempo Rubato on Saturday 6 May.

And a big, big thankyou to David, Mary and Stuart, who worked together so harmoniously and thoughtfully in discussing all the applications, and successfully overcame the challenge of deciding on the one winner.