Tag Archives | Australian Discovery Orchestra

Orchestra Musicians Never Fail To Amaze Me

Kevin_PurcellI had the great pleasure last weekend of working with an essentially ‘scratch’ orchestra comprised predominantly of musicians teaching instrumental music in Schools in Melbourne and regional areas; including some musicians from the ADO roster, all of whom gave so generously of their time.

The ADO, through Managing Director, Janine Hanrahan, and Artistic Administrator, Briony Buys, was asked to curate this concert for the inaugural Independent Schools Victoria (ISV) Arts Learning Festival. I was delighted to return to Melbourne to work with the orchestra on a program of music specifically composed for Children.

We really need to celebrate the capacity of orchestra musicians who live in Australia: their willingness to tackle difficult music – with far too little rehearsal time; an undaunted enthusiasm for the task of finding their musical way through a barrage of notes, rhythms, dynamics and endlessly shifting tempi and, ultimately, their conviction that they can “pull it off” when the moment really counts – the concert!

We underestimate and under-appreciate orchestra musicians generally.  I believe this is true in most places in the world with very few exceptions. What is asked of them – in terms of the minutely exacting technical and artistic expectations  – is a continuing feat of human dexterity and skill-level that belies any general understanding of what they individually and collectively accomplish in the process of making music. Continue Reading →

Changing The Orchestral Experience

Janine HanrahanAs we move ever closer to our opening event in this our second full season of the ADO, I have been reflecting on what it is that makes the ADO a unique orchestral experience – certainly in Australia and, quite possibly, the world.

There is no question that orchestra organizations in Europe, the U.K., have noticed what we are doing and have responded enthusiastically to our activities and future plans.  I’ll have more to say about this sometime in the next month.

On the banner of our ADO Briefing ® newsletter which we curate weekly, the subtitle is The Australian Discovery Orchestra – When We Play, The World Listens.  This is both a fact: when the orchestra performs our online audience is listening from all around the world, but it is also a statement of aspiration and long-term intent.

If indeed we can continue to broaden our online audience capture then we, as an innovation-led orchestra organization, are successfully demonstrating the remarkable talents of the musicians on our roster and, simultaneously, showing to the world what fantastic Australian music sounds like! Continue Reading →

Are We There Yet?

Janine HanrahanI thought it was a good time to reflect on the first half of our 2016-17 Season.  But, it’s over I hear you say?  No, actually, we’re only half-way through.  But I can understand the assumption that we have concluded our current season projects.

Our season starts in May each year and concludes in April-May the following year.  Odd? Perhaps, but there is a reason why we do this.  In Australia, the coming of Spring heralds the Spring Racing Carnival, the ALF Football Final series (like the American championship division finals and World Series), Melbourne Spring Fashion Week, The Melbourne Festival and the list goes on and on….

As a daring, highly-innovative and niche orchestra enterprise, we don’t want during this time to compete with all this noise – and, in reality, we can’t – so we don’t. Then, the long Australian Summer is upon us which takes us through to early February, followed by the mad scramble of people gearing up once more for School or work.  Suddenly, it’s April and wouldn’t you know it, we’re gearing up to start another ADO season.  But, wait, there’s more.  Like the eponymous free steak-knife bonus, the ADO has been busily planning during the Spring-Summer hiatus the second-half its previous calendar year season of projects.  Oh, what are they? Read on. Continue Reading →

We’ve Changed Our Newsletter Format

Janine HanrahanWe’ve decided after weighing up many, many options out there to abandon doing traditional newsletters (sorry about that AWeber, MailChimp etc).  One of the simple reasons is that by either occasionally visiting the ADO website or following us on Facebook will keep you up-to-date with everything going on with the Australian Discovery Orchestra.

But the Newsletter was also intended to be informative about other really interesting news related to classical music and the innovative work of many orchestras around the world (for example, check out our new listing under the Watch tab about the UK’s Multi-Story Orchestra).

In the end, we decided to incorporate all these intentions into a paper.li pro paper.  Paper.li gives us access to an ever-expanding universe of articles, blog posts, and rich media content extracted & analyzed from over 25 million articles. We think that should probably cover everyone’s interest!  We curate our daily newspaper (it’s not auto-generated) focusing only on music and theatre related news and articles.  Some of these get exported to our Facebook page as well.

As the saying goes, that’s all the news fit to print!



12 Weeks Today Until Our Season Opening Concert

Janine HanrahanToday, I begin writing to successful auditionees who have obtained a chair in the 2016-17 ADO season.  It has been a privilege to take part in watching well over 100 video auditions submitted from all around Australia and quite a few from Australian musicians currently living overseas.

Doing auditions via video submission comprising the entire audition process is yet to be commonly adopted.  The reasons for this are generally self-evident: there is no substitute for listening to a live performance whether it be a set of orchestral excerpts in this case, or a performance of complete work.  The ever improving technology of smart phones and tablets nonetheless has made this proposition viable and, for the ADO at least, a successful means to identify orchestral musicians from all over the country to whom we can offer performance opportunities.

To those players who have not been successful on this occasion, I would strongly urge you to continue to pursue your interest in performing with us and continue to work hard on your instrument.  Whereas the selection process for a place in any orchestra (and especially so for non-string players) ranges from generally competitive even in community and civic-style orchestras, to nearly downright impossible at the upper echelons of full-time professional ensembles, it is my firm belief that a strong orchestral eco-system in Australia will only be maintained by the sector developing far more aggressive innovation strategies to combat the undeniable phenomenon of dwindling audiences. Continue Reading →