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Pr omptCor ner 2 01 3 : Edi t i onThr e e

Welcome Welcome to the latest edition of Prompt Corner. In this issue we reflect on the year that was 2012/13, launch a new matching gift campaign as part of our flourishing Local Heroes program, reveal our fifth birthday celebrations and more. This month we farewell Principal Partner, Audi Australia Pty Ltd. The company is now focussing its cultural partnership program on theatre, film and contemporary art. Audi’s five-year partnership has been integral to the Centre’s growth, particularly to the development of our expansive and diverse concert program that now offers the Victorian community many more opportunities to experience great music in the Centre’s exceptional spaces. We are very excited to report however, that Audi Centre Melbourne will come onboard as a new partner to continue the relationship. On behalf of our audiences and everyone at Melbourne Recital Centre, we thank Audi for its wonderful support.

Mary Vallentine AO Chief Executive Officer

Your responses to our first-ever philanthropy survey Development Director Sandra Robertson reports on a recent survey of the Centre’s audience. In September, we asked our audience members about their views on philanthropy. The answers were enlightening and reflect a community devoted to charitable causes of many kinds and people who place a high value on the arts and the Centre as part of that deep commitment to the community. Here are some of the survey results: • Over half of the 279 survey respondents agreed that ‘Philanthropy and donations are an important part of my life’. All but 1% donated to charitable causes, with the average person supporting 4.5 different charitable causes or organisations. • 47% of people prefer to donate online via a website. This was the most preferred method by far, a sign of how quickly times have changed. • Of 12 different types of causes suggested in the survey, nearly 50% of respondents were interested in supporting cultural organisations. This was second only to interest in supporting charities dealing with homelessness, poverty and disadvantage (61%). • About 90% of respondents agreed that Melbourne Recital Centre was worthy of support but only 57% were aware that philanthropy is needed by the Centre. • On the types of activities the Centre undertakes, 35% of respondents were most enthusiastic about supporting performance opportunities for Australian artists; 32% wanted to ensure that the best international musicians are presented at the Centre and 19% were most interested in ensuring access to the Centre for the disadvantaged. We are grateful to the people who took the time to share their views. These insights will help us as we develop new artistic, education and accessibility programs and guide the way we communicate with you about them.

The Centre’s most expansive year yet CEO Mary Vallentine AO reflects on the year that was 2012/13. In mid-October, Melbourne Recital Centre’s 2012/13 annual report was tabled in Parliament. The Centre delivered a modest surplus of just over $13,000 in a year where our presentations were some of the most ambitious since the Centre opened. It was a year when the Centre was the best place to hear a distinctive, varied music program, ranging from early music to Irish rock stars, concert pianists to cabaret artists. We presented large-scale concerts, commissioned new works and even built a temporary outdoor venue for The Garden Party. Over 60% of the year’s 484 public events were presented by the Centre itself, to complement the activities of the major music organisations that call the Centre home. This included over 65 concerts by 21 local ensembles in the Local Heroes series, the establishment of the new Salon: Solo and Spotlight series to provide even more performance opportunities for Australian musicians; continuing partnerships with ANAM and Orchestra Victoria for the Australian Voices and Mostly Mozart series; three masterclasses with Great Performers artists as well as education and outreach programs reaching over 13,000 children and young people. There was Jordi Savall’s Helpmann Awardwinning Great Performers concert with Andrew Lawrence-King and the Metropolis New Music Festival’s genre-crossing exploration of contemporary British music that featured two new commissions by Matthew Herbert and Mira Calix.

The Garden Party

Montblanc Masterclass with Jordi Savall

Local Heroes ensemble Ludovico’s Band in rehearsal

Two of the year’s most ambitious events illustrated the Centre’s commitment to providing quality music that suits the tastes of all Victorians.

Matthew Herbert at Metropolis New Music Festival

The Garden Party outdoor music festival transformed the vacant lot next door into an outdoor concert venue for a month-long festival of pop, rock, soul, electro and country music.

Fantine performing at The Garden Party on Australia Day

Nearly 140 Australian and international musicians entertained the over 6,000 people who attended, 1,000 of them visiting for free on Australia Day. The event generated a high level of awareness of the Centre with a new audience – approximately 42% of attendees were under the age of 30 and over 60% were new to the Centre. The visit in June by the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, its first to Australia, accompanied by Conductor Laureate Daniel Harding and soloists Christian Tetzlaff and Alisa Weilerstein was an important event on Melbourne’s music calendar.

Musicians from the Mahler Chamber Orchestra

American cellist Alisa Weilerstein

The orchestra’s unforgettable performances of Beethoven, Shostakovich and Dvořák still have audiences talking. The musicians’ generosity in providing master classes, open rehearsals and informal exchange with Melbourne artists and music students was a hallmark. Signature events like these are at the heart of the Centre’s mission: presenting unforgettable experiences for everyone in Melbourne’s best place to hear. All this was made possible by private sector support through ticket sales, sponsorship and philanthropy. We are proud that this support from individuals and businesses is dedicated solely to providing a vibrant and diverse artistic program. This partnership between musicians and patrons reminds us that Melbourne Recital Centre belongs to us all. It is a privilege to work to extend its positive impact into every area of our community life. To learn more about Melbourne Recital Centre’s year in review and to view the 2012/13 Annual Report, please visit

Violinist Christian Tetzlaff in his Montblanc masterclass

Melbourne Recital Centre turns five Board Member Julie Kantor on the Centre’s 5th birthday celebrations. Can it really be five years ago that we opened this Centre dedicated to the best in music? Over 1,500 public events have been presented since, but it seems like just yesterday we listened to the haunting sounds of Peter Sculthorpe’s Song of the Yarra that first brought to life the miraculous acoustic of Elisabeth Murdoch Hall. There is much to celebrate as the Centre embarks on its 5th birthday year in 2014, cementing itself as Melbourne’s home for music that belongs to and has something to offer everyone.

The Centre as a development site in 2008

On Saturday 8 February, the Centre will throw open its doors for a free, participatory community celebration that is part Open Day and part Open Jam. Members of the public are invited to bring their instruments and join in a day long jam session of Bach, jazz and choral music with the many professional musicians who call the Centre home. The day concludes with The Big Sing, where everyone is invited to join a 1200 voice choir in Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, featuring the acclaimed Choir of Hope and Inspiration. On Thursday 6 February, the Centre will host its first Gala Dinner on stage in Elisabeth Murdoch Hall in support of the 5th Birthday Celebration and the Elisabeth Murdoch Creative Development Fund. As the Committee Chair, it is my great pleasure to invite you to join us for an evening of delicious food, fine wine, great music and enticing auction packages, all from the unique, intimate perspective of the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall stage. For more information about these events please contact Sandra Robertson by phone on (03) 9207 2641 or email:

The Centre’s Open Day in February, 2009

The Centre launches Local Heroes matching gift campaign

The Centre and a generous benefactor work together to enhance support for Australian musicians. Performance is at the heart of a musician’s art and Melbourne Recital Centre’s Local Heroes program provides Australian artists with essential performance opportunities that foster excellence and build audiences for the diverse music heard in the Centre’s inspiring spaces. The Local Heroes series is a year-long festival of chamber music that showcases a vibrant selection of Baroque and classical delights alongside contemporary works and art song by a selection of talented local ensembles. Earlier this month, the Centre launched a new fundraising campaign with the aim to expand the Local Heroes series from 21 ensembles in 2013 to 27 in 2014, enabling more gifted Australian musicians to perform in the Best Place to Hear. We are delighted to announce that a generous benefactor has offered to match dollar-for-dollar the first $20,000 in Local Heroes donations received before 31 December 2013. The series is an inspiring example of the Centre’s mission in action – to provide a dynamic and engaging place for musicians and music lovers alike, where everyone can engage with diverse artists and experience unique performances that are enriched by the acoustics of our world-class venues. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation towards the Local Heroes program please visit or email

Coming up in 2014 From interactive concerts for kids and virtuosic violin recitals to intimate blues and jazz, here’s a taste of what is coming up at Melbourne Recital Centre in 2014. MusicPlay Children’s Festival 16– 18 January 2014 The Centre’s summer holiday music festival returns with a colourful combination of interactive concerts, workshops, free activities and events for young music lovers. From the classic stories of Peter & the Wolf and Hansel & Gretel featuring projected animation and a live orchestra, to innovative and immersive experiences that combine music, art and the imagination, the Centre comes alive with a world of music this January. Supported by City of Melbourne.

The Centre’s 5th Birthday Celebrations Saturday 8 February 2014 To celebrate five years of wonderful musicmaking and the wish of our Founding Patron, the late-Dame Elisabeth Murdoch AC DBE to be a living space for making and sharing great music, the Centre opens its doors for a free community celebration this February. Part Open Day and part Open Jam, join us for a fun-filled program of events and activities that celebrate the Centre’s passion for music and the arts including community choir extravaganza The Big Sing and the Bach Marathon as well as talks, venue tours, workshops, foyer installations and more. Supported by The Estate of Beverley Shelton & Martin Schönthal and Elisabeth Murdoch Creative Development Fund Donors.

Daniel Hope Tuesday 11 February 2014 One of the most celebrated British musicians of his generation, violinist Daniel Hope is a communicator and virtuoso musician passionately interested in the music of other cultures and other times. In this special Great Performers recital, Hope has devised an evening of music inspired by 19th century Hungarian violinist, composer and educator Joseph Joachim, one of the greatest musical catalysts and collaborators of his era. Expect full-throated lyricism, virtuoso fire and visionary musicianship to satisfy every red-blooded Romantic. Supported by The Langham Melbourne and ABC Classic FM.

Madeleine Peyroux Tuesday 4 & Wednesday 5 March 2014 Compared to the likes of Billie Holiday and Bessie Smith for her intimately arranged covers of classic blues and jazz, American singersongwriter Madeleine Peyroux performs the music of Ray Charles in her new chart-topping release The Blue Room live. Reinterpreting Charles’ provocative 1962 album Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music, Peyroux presents an intimate evening of insightful and distinctive genre-blending music inspired by the works of a Motown music icon.

Jordi Savall: Jerusalem Tuesday 22 & Wednesday 23 April 2014 Viola da gamba virtuoso Jordi Savall returns to with his ensemble Hespèrion XXI for a musical journey that traverses 3,000 years of sublime music from Jerusalem. Savall has visited the holy city of Jerusalem numerous times over the course of his four-decade career. He is an expert in historical performance practice, reanimating musical traditions from the Baroque era and earlier with spirit and vigor. Jerusalem is a heartfelt and transporting performance featuring a large ensemble of musicians from across the globe and a celebration of our differences, similarities, of tradition and of the future.

As 2013 comes to a close To our patrons, donors and partners who have helped us nurture musical talent, showcase diverse music and share the music with people of all ages and backgrounds, thank you for your generous support of the Centre in 2013. It has been a truly great year of music-making and performance. From all of us at Melbourne Recital Centre, we wish you all the best for the holiday season and for 2014. May your days be filled with wonderful music until we see each other again.

Prompt Corner 2013: Edition Three  

An online publication by Melbourne Recital Centre's Marketing & Development teams which reflects on key news items, events and initiatives.