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An afternoon of orchestral variety

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20 March 2012

Monash Academy Orchestra
Monash Academy Orchestra

One of Australia’s leading orchestral conductors and one of Melbourne’s favourite piano soloists will join the vibrant talent of the Monash Academy Orchestra (MAO) for their upcoming concert, Variations.

The concert is the MAO’s first under the dynamic leadership of new conductor Fabian Russell, and will feature special guest piano virtuoso Stefan Cassomenos.

The concert consists of three masterworks from the orchestral repertoire; all of which are cast as sets of variations on a famous melody, or a now-famous musical enigma.

Executive Director of the Monash University Academy of Performing Arts (MAPA), Dr Peter Tregear, said Variations would present a set of related musical journeys that are powerful, intriguing, and ravishingly beautiful.

“This is an orchestral concert on a grand romantic scale, highly attractive to performers and audience alike,” Dr Tregear said.

Mr Russell has recently finished a highly successful tenure as Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Melbourne Youth Orchestra, considered one of Australia’s leading pre-professional orchestral training ensembles. He has also been a frequent guest conductor with the Australian National Academy of Music.

“I am especially delighted to be welcoming Fabian Russell to Monash University. Mr Russell is without doubt Australia’s finest orchestral trainer, as well as a leading conductor in his own right,” Dr Tregear said.

“Mr Cassomenos is a charismatic performer with a large Melbourne following. His 2007 London debut was described by music critic John Amis as ‘alive, passionate and dramatic’.”

The Monash Academy Orchestra is operated by MAPA, an institution unique in Australian higher education that is dedicated to translating the best of university cultural life into public performances for the wider community.

Reflecting MAPA’s strong desire to make the orchestra’s performances as accessible as possible, tickets for Variations are free but must be pre-booked by visiting the MAPA website or calling the MAPA box office on +61 3 9905 1111.

Furthermore, a new partnership with Radio Monash, the student-run radio station of Monash University, will enable people from all over the world to hear the concert live via the internet. The audio and video links will be available on the Radio Monash website.

Variations will take place 2.30-4.30pm, Sunday 25 March at Robert Blackwood Hall, Monash University Clayton campus.