Last night’s Open Rehearsal with new MSO Chief Conductor Jaime Martínwas the first event of the 2022 season. After two years of live music deprivation for Melbourne audiences, the air in the sparsely-filled auditorium fairly crackled with anticipation. In her introduction, Concert Master Sophie Rowell wisely included a request to the audience to hold their applause until the end of the rehearsal: the collective urge to clap after every ‘set’ was palpable.

Jaime Martín

The audience let loose when a black-clad Martín strolled onto the stage. Amidst a sea of performers dressed in rehearsal civvies, he was easy to keep in focus. He opened with a notional vote of support for applause during rehearsal – “it should happen more often” – before reminding the audience that this was the largest he and the MSO had played for since February 2021 in the midst of the pandemic. It was a reminder – if such was needed – of the privilege of being present at a live classical performance.

The focus of the rehearsal was...