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Newsletter No 3: 2014 Season

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From the President: Daniel Kirkham

Welcome to our December Audience newsletter!

Our December concerts mark a milestone in our orchestra's growth — the first time we will have presented one of our regular concerts twice at the same suburban venue.

We have chosen to do this for two reasons. The first is that recent concerts have been close to fully sold. Secondly, we recognise there are many people who would prefer an afternoon concert, or simply to have a choice about which time to attend during their busy weekends. So this December is a bit of an experiment. We encourage you to make sure your friends know there is an opportunity to hear the orchestra on a Sunday afternoon, and to book their seats. The program features Andrew Kawai in the Vaughan Williams Oboe Concerto and The Planets by Holst. If the concert on Sunday December 7th is successful, we will look at doing the same again next year.

Speaking of next year, we are close to finalising our 2015 season, and some details are in this newsletter. We are certainly looking to perform some exhilarating and entertaining music for you, our audience.

Daniel Kirkham
President, ZMSO Inc.

Launching our Restored Celeste

Our fully restored celeste will be launched at our concerts on 6th and 7th December. We have talked about it in earlier newsletters but people have asked us to explain what a celeste is.

The celeste was first invented by Auguste Mustel in France in 1886. Ours was owned by Alberto Zelman Jnr after whom the ZMSO is named. Dating back to around 1890, our celeste is an historic early example made by Mustel.


The hammers, dampers, metal bars above the lower register resonating box.
The celeste can probably best be described as a mechanised xylophone. It has two ranks of tuned metal bars on top of wooden resonating boxes. These bars are struck by a hammer similar to a piano hammer but with a flexible wire shaft and operated by a keyboard. There are felt dampers. Also like a piano, a pedal lifts the dampers to sustain the bell-like sound. The span of the celeste is four octaves.

The celeste will be launched when we play the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker ballet by Tchaikovsky. Having seen the instrument in Paris, he was one of the first composers to show its potential within a symphony orchestra.

We again thank the Kew and Kew East Community Bank® Branches of the Bendigo Bank for providing a generous grant to make this restoration possible. And we thank Rod Reynolds and also Hunter’s Pianoworks for the painstaking and detailed work they have put into restoring the celeste to better than new.

This Community Enterprise Foundation™ $9,900 grant was given to us as part of the Bank’s charter to return 50% of its profits to the community. Please contact George Prodromidis, Manager of Kew East branch, 661A High St Kew, 9859 7699 for all your banking needs and mention Zelman Symphony — you and Zelman Symphony will both benefit.

Final 2014 Concert Details

Saturday 6 December, 8.00 pm and

Sunday 7 December, 2.30 pm, Eldon Hogan Performing Arts Centre, Xavier College.

  • Vaughan Williams - Concerto for Oboe & Strings with Andrew Kawai, runner up in the 2013 ABC Young Performer of the Year Award.
  • Britten - Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes
  • Holst - The Planets

Bookings via our website or call 9853 1962.

Season Preview - 2015

Final details will be announced early in 2015.

Sunday 22 March: Daylesford: 2.00 pm
Saturday 28 March: Xavier: 8.00 pm

Sunday 31 May: Hawthorn Arts Centre: 2.00 pm
Boroondara Eisteddfod Piano Concerto Award Final

Sunday 26 July: Melbourne Town Hall: 2.30 pm
Verdi Requiem with Star Chorale

Saturday 19 September: Xavier: 8.00 pm

Sunday 22 November: Free 1 hr concert, Deakin Edge, Federation Square: 2.00 pm

Saturday 5 December: Xavier: 8.00pm

Repertoire and Soloists

We are finalising the repertoire and soloists for 2015 and it promises to be an exciting season. As Mark says in his ''Message from the Artistic Director'', he is taking us into uncharted territory for a community orchestra like ours. 2015 will see us playing works such as:

  • Stravinsky – Petrushka
  • Tchaikovsky – Suite from The Nutcracker
  • The premiere of a new work by George Dreyfus
  • Haydn – Trumpet Concerto with soloist Geoffrey Payne, Principal Trumpet, MSO
  • The Melbourne premiere of a new flute concerto by Elena Kats-Chernin. Our soloist will be Sally Walker who has played with some of the world's major orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchester and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

Message from the Artistic Director

Welcome to our final concert and newsletter for 2014!

We are very excited to be playing this program. It's simply great music from beginning to end.

As Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the ever-evolving Zelman Symphony, I chose the works for this concert not just because they are wonderful pieces of music which we all want to play, but also because of their difficulties. We are very conscious that the orchestra is on a path of growth. In 2015 we are planning very challenging programs of wonderful music throughout the year. The bar is continually being raised and, within the next few years, I would like the orchestra to have no limits in terms of programming. The orchestra has never played the Rite of Spring, Ein Heldenleben, An Alpine Symphony, La Mer, Daphnis et Chloé – to name just a few of the great challenges of the orchestral repertoire. These are truly wonderful works that are in our future. Next year we will have some of Australia's great musicians joining us as soloists and we will be giving the Melbourne (perhaps the world premiere) of a major new work by a major composer. It will be a wonderful year to be a part of the Zelman Symphony and its audience. I'm excited!

In closing I would like to publicly thank the members of the committee of the ZMSO. They are the most hard-working committee I have encountered in any area of my life. Their dedication is remarkable. These last five years have been a time of growth and change in the orchestra and the committee have supported this wonderfully and sensitively throughout.

Mark Shiell,
Artistic Director & Principal Conductor, ZMSO Inc

Player Profile: Carol Galea

Carol's love of music was awakened in childhood as she fell asleep each night to the sound of her father playing on his beloved Bechstein grand. She started playing piano at seven and took up the flute when she entered high school. She was lucky to join the Balwyn Youth Concert Band when the well-known musician Graeme Lyall was ably conducting it.

After high school, Carol joined the Australian Army Band Corps. After an exhausting (and most unmusical!) stint in Basic Training, she was posted to Brisbane, becoming the first girl in the First Military District Band. The novelty of a girl in the band was regularly highlighted with solos in concerts and odd bizarre piccolo and tuba duets. Three years later, Carol transferred to the Melbourne band, spending another three years participating in fabulous concerts, Military Tattoos and an exciting tour by Hercules aircraft around Central Australia raising funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Orchestral music beckoned and Carol left the army to gain her Bachelor of Music Performance at the VCA and then her Graduate Diploma of Education. A highlight of this time was an exciting performance of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring conducted by Hiroyuki Iwaki (joined by our own Mark Shiell on alto flute).

Carol has taught at Eltham High and Xavier College for many years. She loves sharing her passion for the flute with her students, several of whom have gone on to study music at the VCA or the Melbourne Conservatorium.

Carol joined Zelman Symphony in 2003. She was thrilled to be invited to play two concertos with the orchestra and also a specially commissioned composition for solo flute and orchestra written by Melbourne composer Edward Fairly. She has served on the orchestra's committee and as its librarian.

Carol loves bush walking and lives with her two gorgeous, tall and hungry teenage sons. Her dad's much loved piano now occupies pride of place in her lounge room.

Michael Bakrnčev says "Thanks"

We were delighted to receive a long letter of thanks from Michael Bakrnčev, the Zelman Symphony Melbourne University Emerging Composer for 2014. This is an extract:

"You're probably all sitting at rehearsal in Kew at the moment, after an already long and tiring day, and yet, here you are — remaining committed still, to rehearsing and actively participating in the creative process that is making music. I still stand firmly and quite humbly by my statement that music is the finest ornament of the human experience — and that was sincerely and genuinely true not only at the world premiere performance of my piece at Xavier College, but also during the rehearsal process, and of course, finally at Federation Square.
"It became clear to me quite quickly that the Zelman Symphony is the best community orchestra in Australia (I have only worked with 3 up until now) but I feel it would be a challenge to try and disprove that.
"It was a tremendous joy for me to have worked with you all..."

The orchestra certainly enjoyed working with Michael and wishes him well for the future.

Friends of Zelman

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Page last modified on December 19, 2014, at 02:28 PM