Free streamed concerts from the Melbourne Conservatorium

Did you know that the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music have regular free concerts at Melba Hall in Parkville and at the Ian Potter Centre in Southbank?

Even better, all these concerts are streamed free, accessible any time. Click on the button below to see the list of concerts going back to 2019. Needless to say, there are fewer concerts recorded in 2020 and 2021, when Melbourne was in lockdown.

Brahms sextet on 9 August

Kym Dillon meets Croissants & Whiskey and Continuo

Croissants & Whiskey gave their debut concert on Saturday 23 July, as part of Yarra City Council’s “Leaps and Bounds and Beyond” Music Festival.

The very elegant Reading Room of the Fitzroy Town Hall was packed with people munching croissants, sipping whisky and enjoying wonderful playing by the quartet. One of the highlights was hearing Katie Yap play Emily Sheppard’s Aftermath live – the recording was the first video we put on the Continuo site during lockdown last year. Click here to watch and listen.

Amongst the audience were Kym Dillon, the 2022 Continuo Composer, and Helen Vorrath, Continuo Director and member of the first Continuo Commissioning Circle. It was a great opportunity for Kym to meet Continuo and to hear Croissants & Whiskey playing together. It’s inspired her to write the first of what we hope will be a series of updates on the progress of the project.  You can follow Kym’s story in Circle News.

Croissants & Whiskey playing at the Fitzroy Town Hall.

Photo Darren James

One year on… our first anniversary

One year ago, a group of chamber music aficionados gathered in a cafe and resolved to found Continuo Community. By the end of July 2021 the organisation was incorporated and the website created with a What’s On full of August events. The first Continuo Connect newsletter went out on Thursday 29 July 2021.

Since then, so much has happened. Almost immediately Victoria went into lockdown, and all those August events were cancelled. Then the September events. Then the October events. But we soldiered on, advertising all the streaming options that we could find. We made the newsletter weekly because we thought people needed something to read. We moved it from Thursday to “hump day” (Wednesday) as it fitted better with the weekly cycle of events.

When lockdown finally ended, there was an explosion of concerts, and we busied ourselves adding them to What’s On and adding information about the ensembles to the Who’s Who section of the website. There was a wealth of new music played or premiered in these concerts, and details of the Victorian composers whose music was featured were also added to Who’s Who.

We started Continuo Community not only to bring chamber music lovers together, but also to commission new chamber music from Victoria-based composers for local ensembles. Funding would come by forming Commissioning Circles, a group of equal contributors for each project. And earlier this year, we put together the first Circle and commissioned our first work.

Given the difficulties of starting something in the middle of a pandemic, we feel that Continuo has done well in its first year.

A renewed National Cultural Policy – Submissions invited

The Hon Tony Burke MP
Minister for the Arts

“The new Labor Government is consulting with artists and creators across Australia as they develop a new National Cultural Policy that they hope will bring drive, direction and vision back to the arts industry.

Creative Australia is to be be used as the starting point for an updated National Cultural Policy that Minister Tony Burke intends to deliver before the end of the year.

The official consultation process began on 1 July with the launch of a new website where any Australian with an interest in arts, entertainment and culture can make a written submission.

The government will also host a series of town hall meetings in every state and territory – starting in Hobart on Wednesday, July 6 – so they can hear directly from artists in every corner of Australia about what they need.”

Media Release 1 July 2022

No doubt there will be people making submissions insisting that AFL football is “culture” or “entertainment”. And other much more legitimate forms of art and culture will be actively seeking more support.

If you think that chamber music won’t get the recognition it deserves, then you have the opportunity change that. In this post-pandemic world of tight budgets, there will never be enough money to go round. If you have an idea about how money could best be spent to support chamber music, please consider making a submission. It could just make a difference.

EOFY donation suggestions

Here’s our list of ways that you can express your support for chamber music with a tax-deductible donation.

Calm – Trio for Flute, Violin and Harp by Michael Bakrnčev

Melbourne composer Michael Bakrnčev has just released a new single – a recording of his trio Calm for flute, violin and harp.

It’s a beautiful work and if you need calming then listen while watching the lovely video that goes with it.

If you want to add it to one of your playlists click below for links to Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music and more. Or download from iTunes.

Australian Festival of Chamber Music

Yes, we know that Townsville isn’t in Victoria. But we also know how many Victorians go north in winter to mix some sun with wonderful chamber music performances. So we thought we’d mention that bookings are now open, because it’s usually a sellout.

Click on the logo for more information.

Townsville, Queensland.
29 July to 07 August 2022

Selby and Friends come to Primrose Potter Salon in 2022

Experience five glorious and intimate chamber concerts with an ensemble of artists counted amongst the best in the world.

This stellar line-up includes pianist Kathryn Selby AM, SSO Concertmaster Andrew Haveron, SSO Principal Violist Tobias Breider, QSO Concertmaster Natsuko Yoshimoto, ACO Principal Cello Timo-Veikko Valve, violinists Natalie Chee, Grace Clifford and Dene Olding, and cellists Julian Smiles, Richard Narroway and Clancy Newman.  Watch the 2022 season video (right).

The March concert is currently sold out, so book early if you want to enjoy any of the later concerts.

Flinders Quartet 2022 season announced

In 2022, the Flinders Quartet completes their recording project of the works for string quartet by Margaret Sutherland in partnership with ABC Classic, undertakes their first national tour for Musica Viva Australia with Karin Schaupp (guitar), records for broadcast no less than four new works by emerging and established composers, continue their celebrated Composer Development Program, continues their role as Artistic Patrons of John Noble’s Quartet Program, and commissions seven new works to be played alongside our beloved Beethoven, Brahms and Haydn. 

Constantly evolving, they have begun work on a new online string quartet hub, FQ Digital. It will be a one-stop portal for you to enjoy online content, interviews, exploration into the music, curated listening and viewing, and more. With a variety of free and paid content, an FQ Digital subscription will give you broad access like never before. Who needs Netflix?!

Australian Cultural Fund removes service fee on donations

In response to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and our commitment to artists and the sector, Creative Partnerships Australia is pleased to announce that from 9am AEDT, 1 December 2021 the service fee on new donations to the Australian Cultural Fund has been removed.

By eliminating the fee, 100% of donations raised by artists on the ACF will go directly to their creative project or initiative, supporting the arts and cultural sector during this time of recovery.

To help relieve the impact of the pandemic on the Australian arts community, the ACF supported campaigns such as the National Assistance Program for the Arts and Theatre Network Australia’s 1000X1000 Crisis Cash for Artists which saw the service fee waived for these COVID-19 response initiatives. We are now excited to be able to extend this initiative across the board for all artists using the ACF platform.

Viva Edge – new in 2022

Viva Edge is Musica Viva Australia’s newest chamber music concert series located at The Edge in Federation Square, Melbourne. It replaces the old Melbourne Morning Masters season with lunchtime concerts.

Enjoy The Edge’s acoustics and architecture in an inviting and informal setting, with convenient transport options close at hand.

ACO 2022

2022 is a transformative new era for the ACO. We return to you, our beloved audiences, right across Australia with a National Concert Season that knows no boundaries. We present our acclaimed immersive film series, ACO StudioCasts, where you’ll be completely swept away by Richard and the Orchestra.

The ACO has always blazed its own trail. 2022 is no exception. Flights are booked, hotel rooms are reserved, freight cases are ready. We hope you’ll join us.

The ACO has three Melbourne season options, on Mondays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Musica Viva launches 2022 season

Any concert season tells a story, and the one Musica Viva Australia tells in 2022 is simple, if boldly told: it is a tale of creativity during adversity; of partnerships that span the country and the world; of resilience, communal experience and the sheer, astonishing joy of live performance.

Continuo is launched

Formed by a bunch of Melburnians who are passionate about chamber music, the Continuo Community aims to provide a one-stop-shop for Victorians wanting to find out what’s on and where, who’s who and what they’re doing, and what’s new in the chamber music scene in Victoria.

For those who join the community, there will be opportunities to support chamber music in a myriad of ways, from finance to friendship, advice and assistance.