This Symphony Hour series concert primarily consisted of two breakthrough works; the pieces that brought their composers’ names before the public. One was Shaker Loopsby the American composer John Adams, originally scored for string septet but expanded for a string orchestra in 1983 when the composer was 36. That is double the age of Dmitri Shostakovich when he composed his Symphony No. 1 in 1924-25.

The concert began with a piece by the young Australian composer (of Macedonian background) Michael Bakrnčev, part of the orchestra’s 50 Fanfares Project. Hustleis a four-and-a-half-minute piece for three percussionists, playing vibraphone, marimba and drums. Bakrnčev begins by setting repetitive rhythms against each other in the mallet instruments; the result is redolent of Balinese gamelan textures. The drums join in, pointing syncopated accents that could be jazzy but may also be folk-based. Either way, there is an urban flavour to the sound. The music increases in intensity to a point where it simply breaks off. I was left wanting more, although the succinct form of the piece is definitely the mark of...