The outstanding event of the last concert in 2017 by the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, under Nicholas Milton, was the performance of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto by the 23-year-old Australian violinist Harry Bennetts. Bennetts is the winner of the Australian National Academy of Music Concerto Competition and was selected as an academist by the Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the only graduate of ANAM to be so selected. Both his technique and musicianship in the Tchaikovsky Concerto were well-nigh perfect. His tone was always firm and sweet and never rough or coarse. The audience could not wait until the end of the concerto and gave him a standing ovation at the end of the first movement (which is admittedly long enough to reveal the qualities, or lack of them, of any player). The audience clearly thought he had a great future, a view I share. I was especially grateful for some fine woodwind playing in the slow movement.

The concert began with a rather noisy performance of the Overture to  Ruslan and Lyudmila by Glinka. The playing of the first violins in rapid passages was by no means unanimous.

The other major work on the programme was the Second Symphony of Sibelius, a...