From time to time I have enjoyed the concerts of the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, a mainstay of musical life in this city. It originated in 1996 when Jeffrey Crellin, recently retired as Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Principal Oboist after 40-plus years, founded the Australian Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra. In 2006, violinist William Hennessy became Artistic Director of its successor, the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra. Hennessy stepped down from that role last year and the MCO will be appointing a new AD later this year.

In the meantime, the MCO is being led by guest directors. Two of these led the concert on Thursday evening in the Melbourne Recital Hall – that splendid violinist Zoe Black and the pianist-composer Stefan Cassomenos.

Melbourne Chamber Orchestra

“Classical Vienna” was the banner and drawcard of the MCO’s first orchestral concert in its 2022 season. The band itself was pure Classical – a core ensemble of a dozen string players and pairs of oboes and French horns, beautifully matched – all standing, with Black leading from the front desk of violins. The...