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Melbourne Recital Centre | 2020-21: Year in review

Melbourne Recital Centre | 2020-21: Year in review

On Thursday 7 October, Music Victoria will celebrate our state’s music industry at the Music Victoria Industry Awards, in what has been an exceptionally challenging year for our community. We wanted to take a moment to celebrate the Centre's achievements over the last year and recognise the highlights from our program – where we took the notion of pivoting to a whole new level. 

🎼 Late last year also saw the first iteration of our digital program Live from Melbourne Recital Centre, featuring virtuosic and revitalising performances by Melbourne’s leading musicians including Ensemble Liaison, Allara, Gelareh Pour & Brian O’Dwyer, Andrea Keller and Five Below and Jessie Lloyd. Live from Melbourne Recital Centre brought the Centre to audiences far and wide, showing the breadth of our programming and gave our community to celebrate the diversity of the local live music community.

📽️ Summer brought activations within the precinct, including a collaboration with University of Melbourne with the launch of Screen on the Green, a cinema-style screen with relaxed seating in Linear Park showcasing a range of performances from our Live from Melbourne Recital Centre digital series and more.

🎙️ November 2020 saw Paul Kelly and Paul Graboswky's Please Leave Your Light On performance of torch songs streamed live for our audiences from Elisabeth Murdoch Hall. Please Leave Your Light On reworked songs from Kelly’s vast catalogue for the intimate combination of voice and piano. With an extensive trove of musical ingenuity, jazz royalty Paul Grabowsky injected new life into the original songs without ever losing sight of Kelly’s creative vision. The new arrangements revealed another side of this adored music, and perhaps another side of Paul Kelly too. Grabowsky told The Age, ‘You get to hear Paul in a way that maybe people have never quite heard him …. People can hear every single word and in his songs the words are gold.’

🎶We presented two Signature Events in tandem this year, J.S. Bach: Music for Reflection and J.S. Bach: Music for Celebration. Curated by Rachael Beesley and performed by a handpicked selection of Melbourne’s best chamber musicians, these concerts showcased the evocative music of Johann Sebastian Bach and contemporary works that echo the composer’s affecting compositions, and are representative of these tumultuous times.

🙌 Our partnership with Melbourne Digital Concert Hall in June was much anticipated, uniting to deliver our Great Performers series to online audiences. One of our most beloved series, the partnership brought a suite of awe-inspiring musicians into the living rooms of audiences far and wide, launched with the efforts of Australian pianist Ian Munro, in a celebration of music. 

Sweet Summer Suite DJs

🎧Presented in partnership with Crown Ruler, Sweet Summer Suite welcomed an eclectic mix of some of Melbourne’s best DJs to the stage, invigorating Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights weekly during Summer and beyond in the precinct. This series was a gift to Melbournians, free to enjoy as they returned to their beloved city.

💥 In May we showcased the very best in Australian artists, with a powerful performance from Indigenous singer, songwriter and activist Ziggy Ramo, and the return of indie rock stalwarts Augie March.

🥁 Our Music Play Families Festival returned this time in April with a season of Ants by Polyglot Theatre, which was the recipient of the 2021 Betty Amsden Commission.

🎼 Providing a platform and opportunity for Australian female composers to explore their creative freedom and artistic development, the Merlyn Myer Music Commission was awarded to Nat Bartsch, for presentation in November 2021.

Baker Boy, Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, March 2021

💥March saw Baker Boy bring an electric crowd to their feet with multiple standing ovations in Elisabeth Murdoch Hall. Being the first public performance back in the space, the event felt palpable.

🌠 One of our greatest achievements this year has been the Local Artist Appeal. Through the generosity of our community, we’ve raised over $860,000 in donations towards our ambitious $1million goal, as we look to sustainably support local artists.

It’s been an incredible year, and we’re not done yet!

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