Death and Transfiguration

Melbourne Youth Orchestra - photo by Meredith O’SheaMelbourne Youth Orchestra returns to the Melbourne Recital Centre on Sunday 7 April with Death and Transfiguration – a moving program of works meditating on love, death and resurrection, punctuated by the highs and lows of human emotion and intensity.

“This concert spans the spectrum of human experiences from love, romance, death, transformation and remembrance some of the greatest music from 19th and 20th centuries,” said Brett Kelly, Music Director. “I’m thrilled to be presenting it with the wonderful young talents of the Melbourne Youth Orchestra.”

Richard Strauss’ master work Death and Transfiguration charts a man’s passage into death, from illness and reminiscence, to acceptance and transfiguration. It epitomises the tone poem, a form the composer pioneered in order to express dramatic concepts using large orchestral forces.

The full concert program includes work by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasy, and Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, which will showcase the technical brilliance of rising star, pianist Laurence Matheson.

“I can’t wait to perform this Romantic masterpiece with the wonderful and energetic Melbourne Youth Orchestra,” said Matheson.

Regularly broadcast on ABC Classic FM and 3MBS FM, Laurence has played concertos with Orchestra Victoria, the ANAM Orchestra, the Preston Symphony and the South Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

He has performed in the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, with Opera Australia and as soloist with the Australian Ballet, as well as in chamber projects with Paavali Jumppanen, Michael Houstoun, the Aurora Ensemble, Peter Hill, Anthony Marwood, Kathy Stott and Lisa Moore.

Over the past 25 years, MYO Music Director Brett Kelly has regularly conducted the Melbourne, Sydney, Tasmanian, Queensland, Adelaide and West Australian Symphony Orchestras, along with the Auckland Philharmonia (NZ), the Southern Sinfonia (Dunedin), the Victorian Opera and Chamber Made Opera.

Between 1989 and 2004 Brett was Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of The Academy of Melbourne, a chamber orchestra formed from among his colleagues in the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. One of Australia’s most active musicians, Brett is Principal Trombonist of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and has been Melbourne Youth Orchestras’ Music Director since 2018.

Melbourne Youth Orchestra (MYO) is recognised as one of Australia’s leading youth orchestras, with many members advancing to professional careers in music. In MYO, Victoria’s brightest young musicians come together to work with highly respected conductors and educators, and delve into advanced orchestral repertoire.

Death and Transfiguration
Elizabeth Murdoch Hall – Melbourne Recital Centre, Southbank Boulevard, Southbank
Performance: Sunday 7 April 2019 – 2.30pm

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Members of Melbourne Youth Orchestra – photo by Meredith O’Shea