The 2023 Marathon TOGETHER allows the community to experience the electric outpouring of musical creativity from all over Melbourne during one extraordinary day.

Seven concerts, individually crafted by Artistic Director, Wilma Smith, celebrate the Marathon’s ten-year history by featuring beloved works from past Marathons. These great works from the past are paired with great works of the present – stylistically and culturally diverse offerings played by the very best of Melbourne’s chamber ensembles.

This bold new Marathon will captivate music lovers from its opening notes to its closing chords of the evening.

Please note that the 2023 Marathon will not be broadcast live on 3MBS. All four concerts in Elisabeth Murdoch Hall will be digitally streamed through Australian Digital Concert Hall.


Concert 1: Sublime
Elisabeth Murdoch Hall & online, 11am
– 12.15pm (AEDT)
A natural sense of adventure drives Collide so it’s fitting that this virtuosic trio of saxophone, cello and piano opens this brand new 3MBS Marathon. After a mesmerising encounter with the expressive guzheng (Chinese zither) of Mindy Meng Wang, enter the temple of Schubert’s incomparable String Quintet – to many, the greatest work of chamber music ever written – performed by five extraordinary musicians coming together especially for this concert.

Lili Boulange arr. Mary Osborne – D’un matin de printemps
Katia Beaugeais – Terra Australis Incognita
Collide: Joseph Lallo saxophone, Yelian He cello, Yasmin Rowe piano
Unknown – Traditional piece
Structured improvisation – Waterfall
Mindy Meng Wang guzheng (Chinese zither)
Franz Schubert – String Quintet in C Major D.956
Tair Khisambeev violin, Kyla Matsuura-Miller violin, Katie Yap viola, Elina Faskhi cello, Richard Narroway cello

Concert 2: Unbounded
Primrose Potter Salon, 12:30pm-1:15pm

Chamber music royalty, Slava and Sharon Grigoryan may call Adelaide home but they are Melbournians of old and are welcomed back to open the second concert in the 2023 Marathon. From Bach’s arrangement of Marcello, travel forward to a selection of Bach’s Goldberg Variations as Bach never heard them alongside Joe Chindamo’s homage to Haydn – performed by Joe and his musical match, Zoë Black, fellow free spirit and one-of-a-kind violinist.

Alessandro Marcello arr. Johann Sebastian Bach – Oboe Concerto BWV 974
Slava Grigoryan guitar, Sharon Grigoryan cello
Bach/Chindamo/Black – New Goldberg Variations, a selection
Joe Chindamo – Variations on a Theme by Joseph Haydn
Zoë Black violin, Joe Chindamo OAM piano

Concert 3: Spirit
Elisabeth Murdoch Hall & online, 2pm – 3:15pm

In the hands of David Griffiths with Artamidae Quartet, Mozart’s iconic Clarinet Quintet will scale expressive heights leading naturally to the communicative power of the human voice as magnificently displayed by the Consort of Melbourne. Finally, bouzouki virtuoso, Pantelis Krestas, and his band will captivate and inspire with the spirit of Greek Melbourne.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Clarinet Quintet in A Major K.581
David Griffiths clarinet; Artamidae Quartet: Fiona Qiu violin, Donica Tran violin, Harry Swainston viola, Nadia Barrow cello
Songs of Heart and Soul
Cecilia McDowall – Alma redemptoris mater
Raffaella Aleotti – Surge, propera amica mea
Ego flos campi
Dan Walker – Dusk
Johann Sebastian Bach – Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf
The Consort of Melbourne: Katherine Norman soprano, Kristy Biber soprano, Jenny George alto, Hannah Pietsch alto, Robin Parkin tenor, Timothy Reynolds tenor, Lucien Fischer baritone, Steven Hodgson bass (Director)
Greek Classical music including works by Mikis Theodorakis, Manos Hatzidakis and originals by Pantelis Krestas
Pantelis Krestas bouzouki, Notis Karidakis bouzouki, Judd Harley guitar, Adrian Sheriff trombone, Jonathan Dimond bass, David Parkes percussion

Concert 4: Visionary
Primrose Potter Salon, 3:30pm-4:15pm

Deborah Cheetham AO and Stefan Cassomenos ignite their joint creative chemistry especially for this concert with a set of songs including one of Deborah’s own. Wilma Smith joins them for Strauss’s poignantly beautiful Morgen. They pave the way for a Marathon highlight, a performance of Beethoven’s epic last piano sonata Op. 111 by Melbourne’s own international Beethoven master, Paavali Jumppanen. He calls Op. 111 “one of the true wonders of life”.

Deborah Cheetham – Long Time Living Here
Lili Boulanger / lyrics: Francis Jammes – Un poète disait
Au pied de mon lit
Richard Strauss / lyrics: John Henry Mackay – Morgen
Richard Strauss / lyrics: Hermann von Glimm – Zueignung
Deborah Cheetham AO soprano, Stefan Cassomenos piano, Wilma Smith violin (Morgen)
Beethoven Piano Sonata No.32 in C minor, Op.111
Paavali Jumppanen piano

Concert 5: Miraculous
Elisabeth Murdoch Hall & online, 5pm-6:15pm

Opening with Arcadia Winds playing Ravel and the engaging Animalia by Australian composer, Natalie Williams, the concert then segues to the different and exquisitely expressive sound world of Melbourne veena master, Hari Sivanesan, and his Indian classical trio. No chamber music party is complete without the masterpiece written by the 16-year-old Felix Mendelssohn and this marathon performance of his famous Octet by the formidable, combined forces of Flinders and Penny Quartets promises virtuosity and fireworks galore.

Maurice Ravel – Sonatine
Natalie Williams – Animalia
Arcadia Winds: Kiran Phatak flute, Rachel Bullen oboe, Justin Beere clarinet, Rachel Shaw horn, Matthew Kneale bassoon
Muthuswami Dikshitar – Maha Ganapathim Manasa Smarami (Trans: My mind meditates on Ganesha, the Great)
Hari Sivanesan veena, Thabo Mohanakumar mridangam, Bala Shastri ganjira/ghatam
Felix Mendelssohn – String Octet in Eb Major Op. 20
Flinders Quartet: Thibaud Pavlovic-Hobba violin, Wilma Smith violin, Helen Ireland viola, Zoe Knighton cello
Penny Quartet: Madeleine Jevons violin, Amanda Chen violin, Anthony Chataway viola, Jack Ward cello

Concert 6: Invention, In Memory
Primrose Potter Salon, 6:30pm-7:15pm

Plexus is a hub of fizzing creativity, inspiring legions of composers. They’ve chosen to play a sensational piece by Brisbane’s Richard Grantham, commissioned for them by Melbourne’s Lyrebird Society. Quercus, another creative trio passionate about encouraging repertoire for their special combination of horn, violin and piano perform the prototype, the utterly masterful Horn Trio by Brahms, written in memory of his mother.

Richard Grantham – The Lyrebird in my Piano
Plexus: Monica Curro violin, Philip Arkinstall clarinet, Stefan Cassomenos piano
Johannes Brahms – Horn Trio Op. 40
Quercus: Carla Blackwood horn, Elizabeth Sellars violin, Rhodri Clarke piano

Concert 7: Celebrate
Elisabeth Murdoch Hall & online, 8pm-9:15pm

Firebird Trio brings to life the Spanish-flavoured fantasia by Cassado, a work full of bravura and colour with spicy harmonies and catchy rhythms. Melbourne Chamber Orchestra directed by Sophie Rowell presents a fabulous program of luscious string music and an incredible day of celebration is wrapped up with Ensemble Anja & Zlatna in a program of Balkan folk songs guaranteed to finish the TOGETHER Marathon with a smile.

Gaspar Cassado – Piano Trio in C (1926)
Firebird Trio: Curt Thompson violin, Josephine Vains cello, Rhodri Clarke piano
Margaret Sutherland – Concerto for Strings
Antonin Dvorák – Serenade for Strings in E Major Op. 22
Melbourne Chamber Orchestra directed by Sophie Rowell
Dance Me ’til the End of Night!
Trad. Serbian – Ruse Kose
Trad. Macedonian – Belo Lice
Trad. Serbian – Vranjanski Čoček
Romani Russian – Androverdan
Ensemble Anja & Zlatna: Aleksandra (Anja) Acker Artistic Director and voice, Kirsty Morphett voice, Donald Nicholson harpsichords, synthesisers, Ryan Williams recorders, Andrew Tanner acoustic bass, balalaika, Jew’s harp, Tim Nikolsky guitars, acoustic bass, balalaika

2023 Marathon design by Ethan Johnson