With Sydney a week into a new lockdown musicians and arts organisers from Melbourne, a city that knows all about COVID-19 havoc, are giving their NSW colleagues a hand up.

Standing With Sydney

Melbourne Digital Concert Hall are staging a series of livestreamed concerts from The Concourse Theatre Concert Hall in Chatswood, on Sydney’s North Shore, and as former Musica Viva Australia CEO Mary Jo Capps says in her introduction to the second one, MDCH’s co-directors cellist Chris Howlett and marketer Adele Schonhardt have raised $1.4 million for artists who’ve had “the rug pulled from under them”.

The first concert, on Friday, July 2, featured celebrated pianist Gerard Willems, pianist and conductor Roland Peelman, soprano Maija Kovalevska, early music ensemble The Marais Project and counter tenor Russell Harcourt.

The second of the series was, as Capps pointed out, a concert of diverse halves with the unusual pairing of Australian Andrew Blanch’s classical guitar with American Emily Granger’s harp opening with a recital which comprised arrangements of well-known works, a couple of...