Online videos featuring senior orchestral players share tips for success.

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra announced this week the launch of a new online video series of masterclasses designed to share the insights of the orchestra’s extremely well-credentialed and talented musicians. One new film will be released each week with the hope that the pioneering series will help aspiring young musicians prepare for careers within Australia’s many professional orchestras.

The first video, released on the orcherstra’s youtube channel earlier this week, features the SSO’s Concertmaster Andrew Haveron coaching 23 year-old violinist Nicholas Waters, who is currently a member of the orchestra’s prestigious fellowship scheme. It is hoped the reach of the online films will stretch beyond Australian shores and not only be of value to young musicians all over the world, but also be a showcase of Australia’s musical prowess to an international audience.

The first instalment takes a detailed look at an excerpt from Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances: a piece regularly used in orchestral auditions. The orchestral audition process, not just in Australia but throughout the world is notoriously competitive, with sometimes many hundereds of applicants vying for a single vacancy. Haveron feels the video masterclasses will give much-needed advice to instrumentalists who are beginning their careers, hoping to find a place within an orchestra. “Having professional advice on preparing for an audition is critical for any up-and-coming musician, but this isn’t always possible, especially for students based in rural areas,” says Haveron.  “This series gives anyone the chance to learn from an elite musician regardless of where they live.”

A new video will be released each week featuring SSO musicians from every section of the orchestra. So far confirmed digital masterclasses will feature Principal Oboe Diana Doherty, Principal Viola Roger Benedict, Principal Bassoon Matthew Wilkie and Principal Double Bass Kees Boersma.

This initiative is the latest addition to the SSO’s award-winning education strategy, much of which is aimed at giving rural communities access to the orchestra’s resources. One such example is the Playerlink program which allows promising musicians in rural areas to receive mentoring from members of the orchestra.

Full details of the digital masterclasses can be found on the SSO Website, or by subscribing to the SSO Youtube channel.

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