Australia’s orchestral sector has been boosted by the birth of a new orchestra. The Geelong Symphony Orchestra gave its debut concert on 26 February in Deakin University’s Costa Hall. Under the baton of conductor and music director Joannes Roose, its program consisted of Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto with pianist Kristian Chong, Dvorak’s Ninth Symphony, and Nicolai’s Overture to the Merry Wives of Windsor.
“Be proud Geelong, stand up and take a bow, your new Symphony Orchestra is born,” the 60-member GSO wrote on its Facebook website.
Comprising 60 players the GSO, fills a keenly felt gap in Geelong’s cultural life and heralds a new era for Victoria’s second city, one in which it will be able to perform major symphonic repertoire under its own resources.
Geelong is also well served by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. This year the MSO’s Geelong Series comprises five concerts, also in Costa Hall. In addition there is the community-based Orchestra Geelong (formerly called the Geelong Community Orchestra), a 45-member ensemble that regularly gives concerts at Geelong College’s Keith Humble Centre for Music and the Performing Arts.