Melbourne Symphony Orchestra announces new opportunities for emerging musicians

Melbourne-Symphony-Orchestra-MSO-AcademyMSO Managing Director, Sophie Galaise has announced the launch of two new initiatives that will create a diverse talent pipeline for Australian orchestral music.

In addition to its current suite of young and emerging talent development programs, the MSO has established the MSO Academy for young instrumentalists and a new collaborative development partnership with Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM).

Galaise said the new initiatives and industry collaborations will offer fresh pathways and exciting professional development opportunities for the future stars of the MSO and the broader Australian orchestral music sector.

“As a cultural pillar of Australian orchestral music, the MSO recognises its essential role in developing the next generation of instrumentalists and composers,” said Galaise.

“The new MSO Academy and our partnership with ANAM will ensure diversity, depth and excellence for future orchestras, ensembles and arts organisations”.

The MSO Academyhas been established to provide young instrumentalists with a vital final bridge to a successful professional career. Each year, aspiring young musicians will be selected through a two-step audition process and interview.

Academy members will receive a stipend, perform with the MSO, undertake chamber music projects and receive mentoring from established MSO musicians.

Director of Programming John Nolan said he was extremely pleased with the high level of interest to date. “We have already received interest from all over Australia and across the ditch in New Zealand,” he said.

“This confirms just how vital the MSO Academy program will be for the MSO and the sector more broadly. There is clearly a huge appetite from emerging musicians to join industry-leading development programs. The future is bright.”

Platinum Patron and MSO Co-Deputy Chair, Di Jameson has pledged a multi-year donation to support the launch and development of the MSO Academy over the next three years. The MSO is grateful to Ms Jameson for this generous lead gift.

Jameson said the MSO Academy is a welcome addition to the organisation’s suite of artist development programs. “The MSO Academy will provide a much-needed link for aspiring young musicians to make the transition to a successful professional career,” said Ms Jameson.

“As a long-standing supporter of the MSO and lover of classical music, it’s particularly satisfying for me to provide launch funding for an initiative that will have genuine positive impacts on the next generation of musicians and future audiences”.

President of the MSO Players Committee, Ann Blackburn applauded the new initiative. “The MSO Academy program will be essential in assuring a bright future for our Australian orchestras.”

“The MSO musicians are really looking forward to working with and mentoring the Academy participants. Fostering the development of young musicians is of great importance to us all, and we welcome the fresh vibrancy and energy that these younger players will bring,” said Blackburn.”

The inaugural 2022 pilot program will take place over six months from May to October 2022. Auditions for the 2023 MSO Academy intake will be held later in 2022, with the full academy program being delivered from early 2023.

A new three-year partnership with the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) also aims to provide professional pathways for Australia’s most accomplished pre-professional musicians.

The collaboration will see ANAM musicians participate in masterclasses with MSO’s guest artists as part of MSO’s Music and Ideas program, join repertoire reading sessions, and perform alongside the MSO in an annual main-stage performance.

Collaborative performances taking place in 2022 include a triple bill of Stravinsky’s great Russian ballets The Firebird, Petruska (1947) and The Rite of Spring, to be performed in August under the direction of the MSO’s Jaime Martín.

ANAM Artistic Director Paavali Jumppanen said the new partnership is a wonderful opportunity for the Academy’s musicians. “For our musicians to be able to learn from and perform alongside the MSO is simply a thrilling opportunity.

“ANAM educates the next generation of the country’s leading musicians and for them to share the stage with those currently representing the cutting edge of orchestral culture sets up an exchange laden with tremendous potential,” said Jumppanen.

“Apart from the genuine pathways demonstrated by this new cooperation program the sheer inspiration for the emerging musicians dreaming of one day playing in some of the world’s great orchestral ensembles will carry far,” said Jumppanen.

These new initiatives build on MSO’s long history of successful artist development initiatives, including First Nations emerging musicians programs the Ensemble Dutala Residency and First Voices, the Cybec 21st Century Australian Composers’ Program, the Cybec Young Composer in Residence and Cybec Assistant Conductor Chair and the Snare Drum Award, all of which offer practical, professional and hands-on training opportunities for emerging Australian musical talent.

Expressions of Interest are now open to apply to the MSO Academy 2022 pilot program and close Friday 25 March. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (supplied)