Melbourne Symphony and other Australian arts groups reconfigure seasons, earn income from digital concert hall

Posted on: November 11, 2020

“ ‘It’s sort of like going home,’ says Freya Franzen,” a violinist in the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Melbourne Ensemble, writes Nick Miller in Tuesday’s (11/10) The Age (Melbourne, Australia). “In two weeks’ time she will step onto the stage [of Melbourne’s] Hamer Hall. It will be a symbolic moment: live music returns to Melbourne’s arts heart…. There won’t be an audience…. The event is billed as a ‘celebration of classical artistry’—to be streamed digitally, with all box office proceeds going to the performers—featuring Melbourne Symphony Orchestra players and others…. The program is being presented by the wildly successful Melbourne Digital Concert Hall, a COVID-era invention that defied the pandemic to keep classical music alive, and [has] paid … $770,000 to artists from nearly 200 performances this year, plus almost $150,000 to support staff.… This week the Arts Centre kicks off … setting up its Sidney Myer Music Bowl for a big summer arts festival.… The bowl will look very different…. The grassy amphitheater will be divided into physically distanced platforms, where small groups can gather. The Victorian government yesterday announced a $17.2 million package to help build outdoor COVID-safe venues across the city and state.”