This year, we celebrate ten years of virtuosic music-making and the acknowledgement of a diverse range of composers’ works that has become the 3MBS Marathon. The station is proud to continue this tradition that showcases musical legacies past and present.

The 3MBS Marathon Supporter Program is a special way that you can help 3MBS stage the Marathon.

In its 10th year, the 3MBS Marathon travels to Russia for the very first time celebrating the musical world of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.  From chamber to concerto, from ballet to song the 3MBS Marathon showcases this great composer and so many incredible Melbourne artists in one extraordinary day. 

We have five levels of giving this year:

Pathétique ($5,000 +)

Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74 was his last composition and is forever associated with the tragedy of his sudden death. Called the ‘Passionate Symphony’ by the composer, it was mistranslated into French after his death, earning the title by which it became henceforth known, Pathétique (meaning ‘evoking pity’). The symphony is usually sombre, particularly in its finale that, both in tempo and dynamics, fades away. It premiered in St Petersburg on the 28 October 1893, nine days before his death.

1812 Overture ($2,500 +)

One of Tchaikovsky’s most recognisable concert overtures, replete with canon fire, bells and brass fanfare in the finale, this work premiered on 20 August 1882 to commemorate Russia’s defeat of Napoleon’s army in 1812. The piece is drenched in proud nationalist sentiment, Russian folk songs are heard alongside the Imperial anthem, God Save The Tsar! and French national anthem, La Marseillaise. One of his most recorded works, it was even parodied by English composer Malcolm Arnold in A Grand, Grand Overture which features 4 rifles, three Hoover vacuum cleaners (two uprights in B♭ and one horizontal with detachable sucker in C) and an electric floor polisher in E♭, and was dedicated to US President Herbert Hoover.   

Eugene Onegin ($1,000 +)

Of Tchaikovsky’s eleven operas, Eugene Onegin is most performed. The libretto was mostly constructed by the composer himself, based on Alexander Pushkin’s verse novel. Named after the main protagonist, the story concerns a selfish hero who lives to regret his blasé rejection of a young woman’s love and his careless incitement of a fatal duel with his best friend. First performed in Moscow in 1879 by students of the Moscow Conservatory, its reception outside Russia was initially slow, where it was performed in Czech, German and English translation. It was only from the 1970s that the original Russian was performed in the West. The most famous aria from the opera is Tetyana’s Letter Scene in Act One, as she spends the night pouring her love for Onegin in a letter.    

Nedezhda von Meck ($500 +)

The widow of an engineer and important businessman, one of the founders of the Russian Empire railways, Nadezhda con Meck became an influential patron of the arts. Her artistic relationship with Tchaikovsky, supporting him financially for thirteen years, allowed the composer to devote himself full-time to composition on the premise that they were never to meet in person. Tchaikovsky, as a sign of appreciation, dedicated his Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36 to her. Claiming bankruptcy, she abruptly ended her patronage in October 1890. She died of tuberculosis in the south of France, two months after the composer’s death. She also gave financial support to several other musicians, including Nikolai Rubinstein and Claude Debussy, who was a music tutor to her daughters.

Capriccio Italien ($100 +)

The Capriccio Italien, Op. 45 is a fantasy for orchestra and was composed in 1880. The work was inspired by a holiday Tchaikovsky took to Rome with his brother, Modest, following the composer’s disastrous marriage to Antonina Miliukova. While in Rome during carnival, he wrote to his patron Nadezhda von Meck – “I have already completed the sketches for an Italian fantasia on folk tunes for which I believe a good fortune may be predicted. It will be effective, thanks to the delightful tunes which I have succeeded in assembling partly from anthologies, partly from my own ears in the streets.” The piece itself is appropriately a light, buoyant work characterized by brilliant orchestration and catchy, Italianate melodies.

All donations $100 and above will be acknowledged in the published program and online.

Thank you for supporting the 2022 3MBS Tchaikovsky Marathon.

$5,000 + Pathétique
Lyndsey & Peter Hawkins
Anonymous (1)

$2,500 + 1812 Overture
Lady Primrose Potter AC
3MBS Board of Directors

$1,000 + Eugene Onegin
Anthony Adair & Karen McLeod Adair
Luisa Banks & Eugene Antczak
Anne Bellew
Elise Callander
Andrew & Bronwen Cavallo
Robert Gibbs & Tony Wildman
Marjorie Hall
Adrian McEniery & Anne Frankenberg
Anne Neil
Tam Vu & Dr Cherilyn Tillman
Dr Julie Waters & John Waters
Dr Victor Wayne & Dr Karen Wayne OAM
Voi Williams AOM

$500 + Nadezhda von Meck
Rosemary Ashby
Catherine Cabena
Bryan Lawrence
Holly Reid
Colin Simson 
Kiera Stevens
Anonymous (2)

$100 + Capriccio Italien
Doug Beecroft & Davydd Shaw
Sarah Barzel & David Zerman
Elizabeth Brookes
John Cleghorn
Edward & Alison Davies
Merrowyn M Deacon
Margaret Flood
Elisabeth Giddy
Joan Ikin
Susan & Michael Porter
Ken Ramshaw
John Scully
John E Smith
Thorolf & Tina Thoresen
3MBS Music Library & Friends
Anonymous (3)