Many years ago I worked for a conductor who used to say, “You always need to be coming or going in a phrase. Never just stand still.” His spirit of musicianship glowed in this ensemble of musicians from the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, both individually and collectively. The music was alive, it ebbed and flowed, it spoke, it laughed, it cried.

Magnificent Seven Musicians from the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra in Magnificent Seven. Photo © Virtuosi Tasmania

The outstandingly beautiful tone and virtuosity from Lucy Carrig-Jones on violin, the liveliness of the inner voice work from violist Anna Roach and cellist Martin Penicka’s ensemble skills and responsiveness all contributed to a cohesiveness that created space for individuality. Double bass player Stuart Thomson brought an awareness of harmonic structure that shaped the performance and guided the listener. Clarinettist Andrew Seymour’s phrasing was sublime, while bassoonist Tahnee van Herk both shone and supported with unique character.

The horn was enormously important in this concert, and Greg Stevens elicited from me a silent and joyful “wow” with his every utterance. From the discombobulating effect of...