19 February 2015

Sidney Myer Free Concerts

A few times every year, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) holds free open-air concerts at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. These concerts were first started in 1929 by Sidney Myer, a businessman and philanthropist (and violinist).

The concerts are always well attended by thousands of people, and the world-class MSO always puts on a magnificent show with a fantastic selection of music. The gates usually open at 4pm, allowing people to arrive early, have picnic and a few drinks on the grass, and to get settled on their blankets or fold-out chairs before the concert starts at 7pm. But get there at least an hour early, because the grass fills up quick.

And there are plenty of stalls to buy food and drink all around the perimeter of the Music Bowl complex. The place has atmosphere.

Last Saturday the MSO played Tchaikovsky, Ravel, Richard Strauss and Gershwin. Yesterday they played the Brahms Hungarian Dances, Liszt and Bartók. On Saturday, Tchaikovsky and Dvořák will be on the agenda.

Here are a couple of videos from last Saturday. I didn't really have a steady hand, so beware if you get motion sickness.

[Below] George Gershwin – Porgy and Bess (including 'Summertime')

[Below] A video from the beginning of the concert. I was lying back on a blanket, listening to the music and watching the sky. There were some cool birds flying around up there. Skip to 2:35 min if you want to get an idea of how many people were there.

Check out the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra website for more information.

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