Running a major symphony orchestra and nurturing young creative talent are expensive undertakings. The following Media release by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is an indication of just how important philanthropy is to the cultural life of our city. Cybec’s contribution has been invaluable, and this 20th Anniversary concert could be regarded as a tribute to former Board member and generous philanthropist, Roger Riordan, who was posthumously awarded an Honorary Life Member of the MSO, as well as a celebration of Australian musical creativity.
“To celebrate a milestone partnership and the 20th anniversary of the Cybec 21st Century Australian Composers program, Cybec Assistant Conductor Carlo Antonioli will lead the MSO in the Cybec Showcase: 20th Anniversary concert to be hosted by Principal Conductor in Residence Benjamin Northey, at The Edge, Federation Square on Saturday 28 January 2023.
“The free anniversary concert will feature the premieres of four exciting new compositions from Naomi Dodd, Joseph Franklin, Christopher Healey and Julia Potter, who participated in the 2022 Cybec 21st Century Australian Composers program. They have received mentorship from leading Australian composers including Brenton Broadstock, Stuart Greenbaum, Paul Stanhope and 2023 MSO Composer in Residence and Lead Mentor, Mary Finsterer.
Each year, one of the Cybec 21st Century Australian Composers program participants is appointed as the MSO Cybec Young Composer in Residence for the following year. The MSO recently announced Melissa Douglas as the 2023 Young Composer in Residence.
“The Showcase also marks a milestone for the philanthropic relationship between the MSO and The Cybec Foundation. Twenty years ago, a lasting bond was forged between the MSO and long-term MSO subscriber, computer science pioneer and founder of The Cybec Foundation, Roger Riordan AM (1934-2019).
“The ongoing partnership between the MSO and The Cybec Foundation has resulted in the development of Australia’s foremost artist development programs. The Cybec 21st Century Australian Composers Program, established in 2003, addresses the need for hands-on professional development opportunities and feeds into the Cybec Young Composer in Residence, alongside the Cybec Assistant Conductor program, both launched in 2018.
“The Cybec Composer programs have supported the commissioning and performance of more than 80 new orchestral works over the 20-year partnership. Alumni from the programs include Anne Cawrse, Natalie Williams, Lachlan Skipworth, Melody Eötvös and Alex Turley. All have progressed to widely diverse creative practices and the MSO has offered subsequent commissions to several graduates of the program. Works from Skipworth and Eötvös will feature in the 20th anniversary celebration concert.
“MSO Managing Director Sophie Galaise says the Foundation’s support has been integral to the Orchestra’s ongoing growth and development. “The Cybec Foundation’s continued support has enabled our nationally-recognised initiatives to become exemplars for artist development programs within the sector,” says Galaise. ‘This fruitful partnership has also contributed to the MSO’s reputation as one of the strongest advocates for Australian new music.’
“On reaching the 20-year milestone, Kay Attali from the Cybec Foundation reflected that ‘The late Roger Riordan, who founded the Cybec Foundation, recognised the value of creative exploration and diversity, even when the result was not his taste in music; a long-time MSO subscriber, Roger strongly believed in providing opportunities for promising young talent. Since Roger’s death in 2019, the Foundation is proud to have continued his legacy.’
“The Cybec Foundation is equally supportive of emerging conductors, first establishing the Patricia Riordan Associate Conductor Chair in 2012. The recipient of the Chair was a promising young music talent named Benjamin Northey.
“Now the MSO’s Principal Conductor in Residence, Ben says the initial opportunity was an extraordinary foundation for him to build his career on. ‘The position gave me the necessary exposure, professional development and conducting opportunities to propel my career to the next level. It enabled me to experience a wide range of conducting opportunities across many genres and formats as well as performance venues. I am delighted to be presenting the Showcase in this anniversary year.’
“Over the past 20 years, The Cybec Foundation has made significant contributions to the MSO. A former Board member and generous philanthropist, Roger Riordan was awarded an Honorary Life Member of the MSO. Sadly, he passed away in January 2019 and the honour was awarded posthumously.
“Don’t miss this chance to see the composing stars of the future, with guest appearances from program alumni.”
If you missed out on securing tickets to the SOLD OUT performance at The Edge venue, you can view it free on MSO.LIVE