ACO Performs at the magnificent Melbourne Hebrew Congregation

The Australian Chamber Orchestra has dazzled audiences all over the world with its energy and exuberance. On Tuesday, 25 February 2014, “the finest string ensemble on the planet” (The Telegraph, UK) brings its stirring interpretations of some of the most memorable works in the string repertoire to the splendid Melbourne Hebrew Congregation (MHC), South Yarra.

The ACO’s performance at the MHC is made possible through the generous support of Lead Patrons Gandel Foundation and The Pratt Foundation, and Patrons Mr Marc Besen AO and Mrs Eva Besen AO, Eddie and Helen Kutner and Family and The Sam and Minnie Smorgon Family. The ACO also acknowledges the invaluable contribution and support of MHC President and ACO Donor Dr Victor Wayne, and MHC staff.

Gandel Foundation’s generous support will also enable the ACO to present a private duet performance for the residents of the Emmy Monash Aged Care Facility, on the morning of the concert itself.  And later in the year, the support of our Patrons will make it possible for talented young Jewish musicians to engage in an intimate workshop with some of the ACO’s world class musicians.


Helena Rathbone Lead Violin

Timo-Veikko Valve Cello

Julian Thompson Cello

VIVALDI Concerto for Two Cellos

BLOCH From Jewish Life

WEILL (arr. Grandage) Tango-Habanera, “Youkali”

MOZART Violin Concerto No.4: Andante cantabile, Rondeau

ELGAR Serenade for Strings

The concert opens with Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Cellos, featuring ACO Principal Cellist Timo-Veikko Valve sparring with fellow ACO Cellist Julian Thompson. The two players’ contrasting styles should ensure that this Baroque work’s beautiful melodies unfold in all their heart-tugging glory.

Valve, playing the ACO’s Guarneri filius Andreae cello (owned by ACO Patron, Peter Weiss), then takes centre stage in Bloch’s emotionally charged From Jewish Life. This triptych of pieces – titled “Prayer”, “Supplication” and “Jewish Song” – was written in 1924 as part of the composer’s “Jewish Cycle”. In the ornate surrounds of the Melbourne Synagogue, this work’s intense melancholy and introspection will hold even more meaning.

Jewish composer Kurt Weill was one of the leading lights of Weimar Germany’s creative hothouse in the 1930s, before he fled to the United States in the face of Nazi persecution. The ACO performed his Tango-Habanera, “Youkali”, composed in 1934 for the play Marie Galante, in its 2013 concerts of Weimar Cabaret music with the inimitable Barry Humphries, and is thrilled to have the opportunity to play it again, as arranged by Australian composer Iain Grandage.

Lead violin Helena Rathbone stars in Mozart’s enchanting and virtuosic Violin Concerto No.4, written when Mozart was still a teenager, before the concert concludes with a Romantic flourish and Elgar’s ever-popular Serenade for Strings.


Tuesday, 25 February, 2014, 7pm

Melbourne Hebrew Congregation, Corner Toorak Road and Arnold Street, South Yarra