Orchestra Victoria

Through the Looking Glass

2023 Chamber Music Series

23 OV Chamber Music Series2 DD018

Join the musicians of Orchestra Victoria as we unlock a technicolour world of transformation and tantalising subversion. Enter Through the Looking Glass, concert two of the orchestra’s 2023 Chamber Music Series, showcasing a triptych of works that trace a journey through the evolution of classical music. 

Marrying Beethoven’s Wind Octet in E-flat with Caroline Shaw’s Entr’acte for strings and British composer-conductor Samuel Coldrige-Taylor’s nine-part Nonet, this concert serves as a stunning showcase of musical transformations through the ages, led by the string and wind sections of our world-class orchestra.

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  • Southbank

    Saturday 22 April, 7.30pm

    Hanson Dyer Hall
    The Ian Potter Southbank Centre
    The University of Melbourne

  • Duration

    Approximately 90min with no interval

  • Ticket Price Range

    $30-$35, plus booking fees


Ludwig Van Beethoven: Wind Octet in E-flat, Op. 103
Caroline Shaw: Entr’acte
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Nonet, Op. 2 ‘Gradus ad parnassum’

I love the way some music suddenly takes you to the other side of Alice’s looking glass, in a kind of absurd, subtle, technicolor transition.

Car­o­line Shaw

About the program:

We open with Beethoven’s Wind Octet in E-flat, Op. 103, a keystone of wind repertoire composed while Beethoven was studying under his contemporary, Joseph Haydn. While Haydn’s own repertoire makes no appearance in this concert, his influence is keenly felt: assisted by Haydn, LVB reworked much of the Octet into his Op. 4 String Quartet which was only published posthumously. 

If Beethoven, a true master, reminds us where we began, Caroline Shaw casts our eyes to the future. The New York-based composer’s Entr’acte presents a captivating work for strings written in 2011 after the composer experienced Haydn’s Op. 77 No. 2, performed by the Brentano Quartet (USA). A Grammy-winning singer in contemporary vocal group Roomful of Teeth (USA), in 2013 Shaw became the youngest-ever winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music. “Riffing on the classical form, but taking it further,” as the composer describes, Entr’acte is - in every way - a thrilling remodelling of classical tropes and their unfolding through the ages. 

The capstone of this concert rests in the hands of British composer and conductor, Samuel Colridge-Taylor and his Nonet Op. 2 ‘Gradus ad parnassum’. Combining into one the instrumentations of the two opening works, this curious marriage of strings and winds occurs in nine parts, a texture-rich adventure creating an emotional impact much greater than the sum of its parts.  

Performed in the stunning surrounds of Melbourne’s Hanson Dyer Hall, Ian Potter Southbank Centre, and featuring post-concert meet-and-greets with the musicians, our 2023 Chamber Music Series promises a profound, first-hand experience with history’s most captivating sounds and sights.

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23 OV Chamber Music Series2 DD018