Art of the Symphony

Art of the Symphony

Presented by Melbourne Chamber Orchestra


From the ancient Greek for ‘sounded harmoniously’, the words ‘sinfonia’ and ‘symphony’ have been used for centuries.

Leonora Duarte, a Flemish composer who died before Bach was born, used it to describe her haunting works for viol ensemble. Johann Stamitz was a visionary, writing some of the first works that are recognisably modern symphonies. Haydn wrote over 100 symphonies building on Stamitz’s innovations.

Fast-forward to Britten’s youthfully delightful Simple Symphony, and finally to our commission of Australian composer Caerwen Martin, whose music reflecting on the sinfonias of Duarte brings us full circle.

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Sophie Rowell director
Melbourne Chamber Orchestra


Johann Stamitz
Symphony in F Op. 24, No. 3

Benjamin Britten
Simple Symphony

Leonora Duarte

Caerwen Martin
Embracing DuarteMCO premiere commission

Josef Haydn
Symphony No. 49 in F minor Passion