Melbourne Recital Centre kicks off autumn with a red hot March lineup

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Melbourne Recital Centre kicks off autumn with a red hot March lineup

Melbourne Recital Centre
Words by Joshua Jennings

This March, Melbourne Recital Centre is staging an eclectic lineup featuring your favourite local and international acts and artists, old, new, and future.

As an award-winning live music destination, renowned for two acoustically blissful performance spaces, the plush Melbourne Recital Centre occasions a good time before the shows even start. Pair that with the hundreds-strong roster of local and international performers it houses every year (storied in all genres of music), and it’s easy to see why this jewel in Melbourne’s live music landscape attracted more than 150,00 visitors to its events in 2022/2023.

Now in its 15th birthday year, Melbourne Recital Centre is slated to showcase artists in a diverse mix of genres including punk, jazz, and dance/electro.

Michael Rother and Friends Play the Music of NEU!

  • When: March 1
  • Where: Elisabeth Murdoch Hall
  • Tickets here

Michael Rother is a one-time Kraftwerk member and founder member of Krautrock pioneers NEU! and Harmonia.

A regularly cited inspiration for bands and artists including Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Brian Eno, DEVO, and Primal Scream, Roth’s 1970s German krautronica has been a fertile inspiration source for a who’s who of post-punk disciples.

Rother is performing in Melbourne alongside long-time collaborators Hans Bierman (La Düsseldorf), Franz Bargmann (ex-Camera), and Vittoria Maccabruni, to celebrate the 50-year legacy of NEU! Krautrock, post-punk, and avant-garde purists can expect a whirlwind of indulgence as Rother chaperones them through the NEU! canon.

Arooj Aftab

  • When: March 8
  • Where: Elisabeth Murdoch Hall
  • Tickets here

Grammy Award-winning singer/composer/producer Arooj Aftab pulls a lot of inspiration from minimalism and poetry in her ambient and dreamy oeuvre.

At the Melbourne Recital Centre, Aftab is performing her third album Vulture Prince. The album, which she dedicates to her late younger brother Maher, is a delicate mix of jazz, Hindustani classical, folk, and reggae. Barack Obama included its single, Mohabbat, on his official 2021 Summer Playlist.

At the 2022 Grammy Awards, Brooklyn-based Aftab became the first Pakistani woman ever to win a Grammy, when Mohabbat was awarded Best Global Music Performance.

Aftab will also be supported by Chinese-Australian composer and performer Mindy Meng Wang, who performs a traditional Chinese instrument, the guzheng.

Lydia Lunch and Joseph Keckler

  • When: March 15 & 16
  • Where: Primrose Potter Salon
  • Tickets here

Punk poet Lydia Lunch is a familiar face in Australia. This time around, the New York no-wave pioneer is touching down to perform with singer/writer/composer Joseph Keckler. Keckler, whose penchant for absurdist operatic monologues and freaked-out ballads, has been described as the light to Lunch’s shade.

As a collaborative venture, Lunch and Keckler will be debuting Tales of Lust and Madness in Australia.

Dekmantel Opening Concert

  • When: March 28
  • Where: Elisabeth Murdoch Hall
  • Tickets here

Dekmantel, one of the globe’s largest and most revered techno festivals and music companies, is staging a four-day music festival in Melbourne this March, starting things off at the Recital Centre.

The Elisabeth Murdoch Hall will play host to four acts, Laraaji, E Fishpool, Priori, and Yu Su, in what is shaping up to be a transcendent live electronic music experience that will combine everything from field recordings to samples to otherworldly dance ambience.

Meshell Ndegeocello

  • When: March 26
  • Where: Elisabeth Murdoch Hall
  • Tickets here

Grammy Award-winner Meshell Ndegeocello is revisiting Elisabeth Murdoch Hall this March. With three decades and 13 albums to curate a setlist from, the 11-time Grammy-nominated artist will be performing a mix of hip-hop, soul, rock, and R&B favourites, alongside her most recent jazz-inspired album, the Omnichord Real Book, which is flush with free-jazz beats, fat funk bass, quiet virtuosic fingerpicking, and smoky vocal arrangements.

Ryuichi Sakomoto | OPUS

  • When: March 22
  • Where: Elisabeth Murdoch Hall
  • Tickets here

Before giant Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto passed away from cancer last year, he gifted fans a swan song performance in an NHK recording studio in Japan in 2022, populated just by himself, piano, and a small film crew.

OPUS, directed and produced by his family, is a profound film that captures Sakamoto’s performance of 20 iconic compositions from his legendary career.

It’s screening for three nights at Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, with tickets still available for Friday March 22 only. 

Vikingur Olafsson and Consortium

When: March 25

Where: Elisabeth Murdoch Hall

Tickets here

Icelandic pianist Vikingur Olafsson’s world tour stops at the Recital Centre in March to mark the release of his latest recording, Goldberg Variations (Bach). Olafsson’s piano is his lighting rod to perform Bach with all the virtuosity, complexity, and nuance necessary for a mesmerising chapter in classical music history.

For the full calendar of exciting concerts happening at Melbourne Recital Centre in March, head here.

This article was made in partnership with Melbourne Recital Centre.