Melbourne Symphony Orchestra returns to the stage with a celebratory line-up of live concerts this December

AAR-MSO-Performance-of-a-LifetimeCelebrating its return to the stage, the magic and majesty of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra will once again inspire, entertain and unite audiences in a celebratory line-up of live concerts to be held at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in December.

MSO Managing Director Sophie Galaise acknowledged the challenges of the past 18 months and welcomed the return of live performances to Melbourne.

“We are so thrilled to be able to welcome audiences back to the Myer Music Bowl to celebrate the enormous efforts of our front-line workers, performing artists and cherished audiences who, together have made incredible efforts and sacrifices to get us back on stage,” said Galaise.

Acknowledging the extraordinary performances given by frontline workers over the past 18 months, 1,000 tickets across the five performances will be donated to essential workers who have given so tirelessly of themselves and gone above and beyond to support Victorians during the pandemic.

“It would be remiss of the MSO and our audiences to join in post-lockdown celebrations without sharing the benefits with the true heroes of the pandemic, our frontline workers and community champions,” said Galaise.

On Monday 13 & Tuesday 14 December, an all-star line-up of performers from across Melbourne’s live music, arts companies and theatre shows will join with the MSO for Performance of a Lifetime: LIVE – a heartfelt celebration of live entertainment’s triumphant return, as well as the resilience, tenacity, and community spirit of Melburnians.

“The MSO was amongst the first cultural organisations in Australia to lead the push to get vaccinated with our Performance of a Lifetime campaign, which was viewed by more than 11 million people in Australia and around the globe,” said Galaise.

“We are delighted to return to the stage with our cultural partners and to form a united front of musicians and performers, to celebrate the incredible efforts of vaccinated Victorians as they answered the call to play their role in the pandemic recovery.”

Hosted by the hugely popular Double J radio presenter, Zan Rowe, and conducted by MSO’s Benjamin Northey, Performance of a Lifetime: LIVE offers a stunning evening of show tunes, soul tunes and rock-n-roll that will feature the stars of MSO’s industry leading Performance of a Lifetime vaccination campaign, alongside a diverse program of exceptional guest performers.

Stars of the campaign Rhonda Burchmore OAM, Deborah Cheetham AO, Virginia Gay, Ali McGregor, Meow Meow and artists from The Australian Ballet will be joined by some of the biggest names in Melbourne theatre including Lucy Durack, Josh Piterman (The Phantom of the Opera), Alinta Chidzey & Des Flanagan (Moulin Rouge! The Musical), Jemma Rix & Courtney Monsma (Frozen The Musical) and Gillian Cosgriff (Harry Potter & the Cursed Child).

Contemporary music stars including hip hop, indie artist Kaiit, ARIA Award nominee Mo’Ju, and singer songwriter Liz Stringer will each make their debut with the MSO alongside Tim Rogers, Kate Ceberano, Kylie Auldist & Lance Ferguson (The Bamboos), Emma Donovan, Paul Grabowsky AO, Lior and Felix Riebl premiering brand new solo material.

Performers from across Melbourne’s major arts companies such as The Australian Ballet, Melbourne Theatre Company, Opera Australia, Orchestra Victoria and Victorian Opera are represented in the industry-wide line-up.

Classical music lovers will also return to Melbourne’s favourite outdoor venue on Monday 6 & Tuesday 7 December for Classical Hits at the Bowl, featuring a specially selected repertoire from the more than 80 shows the MSO had to cancel across 2021.

Under the baton of hometown hero, Benjamin Northey, the Classical Hits at the Bowl will feature an exclusive performance by 14-year-old violin sensation and MSO Young Artist in Association, Christian Li performing the first movement of Tchaikovsky’s magnificent Violin Concerto.

The MSO will perform some of the most popular repertoire of all time by Holst (The Planets), Elgar (Enigma Variations) and Beethoven (Symphony No.6), culminating in Ravel’s Boléro.

Also appearing at the Bowl on Wednesday 8 December is the rescheduled screening of the James Bond hit film Skyfall in Concert with MSO’s live performance of Thomas Newman’s award-winning score, conducted by Nicholas Buc.

December also marks the return to Hamer Hall for the MSO’s 2021 program with the perennial favourite, Handel’s Messiah. Conducted by Graham Abbott and featuring Samantha Clarke (soprano), Sally-Anne Russell (alto), Samuel Sakker (tenor), Pelham Andrews (bass) and the MSO Chorus, this truly will be a Hallelujah moment on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 December.

Classical Hits at the Bowl is presented by MSO Principal Partner, Emirates. Performance of a Lifetime: LIVE is presented by MSO Premier Partner, Ryman Healthcare. All ticket-holders must show proof of vaccination upon entry, with attendance in line with any other government restrictions. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Performance of a Lifetime – courtesy of MSO

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Upcoming Events:

Classical Hits at the Bowl
Sidney Myer Music Bowl: Monday 6 & Tuesday 7 December – 7.30pm (gates: 6.00pm)
Tickets on sale Monday 8 November – 3.00pm

Skyfall in Concert
Sidney Myer Music Bowl: Wednesday 8 December – 7.30pm (gates: 6.00pm)
Tickets on sale now

Handel’s Messiah
Hamer Hall – Arts Centre Melbourne: Saturday 11 December – 7.00pm | Sunday 12 December – 5.00pm
Tickets on sale now

Performance of a Lifetime: LIVE
Sidney Myer Music Bowl: Monday 13 & Tuesday 14 December – 7.30pm (gates: 6.00pm)
Tickets on sale Monday 8 November – 3.00pm