Warm your soul this winter with the wonder of live music at Melbourne Recital Centre’s Season Three

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Warm your soul this winter with the wonder of live music at Melbourne Recital Centre’s Season Three

Words by Joanne Brookfield

What better way to have your soul stirred than through live music? Fortunately, Melbourne Recital Centre exists so we can transcend our everyday troubles and, just like all those little crotchets and quavers invisibly dancing through the air around us, feel like we’re floating through an aural plane.

Understanding that music has the power to transform us, when putting together the Season Three program, the good people at Recital Centre decided to curate a series of music experiences that heal, mesmerise and create moments of wonder and reflection.

Inspired by Guling Orchid season, where the cold weather begins to ease, Season Three is a showcase of visionary and exploratory artists from classical music virtuosos and chamber music stars to spellbinding choirs, new music legends and so much more. Too much for one article, but here are ten top acts to get you started.

Michelle Nicolle Quartet – Bach Project



They weren’t called ‘bangers’ back in his day, but Johann Sebastian Bach knew how to knock out a hit. The German composer is responsible for some of the most famous pieces of classical musical ever written, which have endured in popularity since the 1700s. Reimagining the improvisational spirit of Bach is the Michelle Nicolle Quartet, a jazz ensemble who have been playing together for more than two decades. On July 4, they are taking his music “on a journey to create a completely new sonic outcome while keeping the songs themselves unchanged”.

Book here

Mindy Meng Wang – WHEN


Cheat notes for next time you’re at a pub trivia night and they ask “what is a guzheng?” Correct answer is a traditional Chinese instrument. It’s a plucked zither, with modern ones having anywhere between 21 and 26 strings, although the origins date back to ancient times. Classically trained, Chinese born and now Melbourne-based musician Mindy Meng Wang is pioneering a new sonic direction for the guzheng.

As Melbourne Recital Centre’s 2023 Artist in Residence, Mindy is presenting WHEN, a poignant and emotional audio-visual meditation on family, memories, and life in times of great change, which was inspired by the pandemic. She’ll be joined by musicians Anita Quayle and Daniel Jenatsch on July 7 and you can book here.

Quartz – Langsamer


Kathryn Taylor, Karla Hanna, Merewyn Bramble and Zoe Wallace – known collectively as Quartz, an acclaimed Melbourne string quartet – will be pulling on the heartstrings when they perform on July 11, presenting two emotional works. The first, Anton Webern’s Langsamer Satz (Slow Movement), which was written when the composer was madly in love, and has been referred to as ‘pure and exalted love music’. The second piece is Beethoven’s “utterly transcendental” string quartet Op.127. Prepare for all the feels.

Book tickets here.



If original improvised music is more your thing, then don’t miss Morgana. This trailblazing, hard-hitting jazz quintet – featuring Fiona Burnett, Lisa Young, Annette Yates, Sonja Horbelt and Mina Yu – are reforming for a performance celebrating their back catalogue alongside new works to their song list. Expect to hear a diverse range of tunes, influenced by everything from swing; modern and modal jazz; Indian vocal percussion, Konnakol; Celtic melodies; Baroque expressions; and/or funky backbeat grooves on July 15.

Book here.

Rose Riebl – Do Not Move Stones


Offering more original music as part of the season is pianist and post-classical composer Rose Riebl. Hot on the heels of sold-out shows in cities across Australia, the UK, Europe and Iceland, this performance on July 22 will feature original compositions from her debut album Do Not Move Stones. Joined by a cello trio, she’s promising an evening of cinematic, minimalist and transcendent instrumental works.

Book here.

YO CiTY: Iaki Vallejo – Arisen Colours


Latin American rhythms, jazz melodies, and folk music have all influenced Iaki Vallejo’s distinctive style. The Colombian born singer-songwriter, who is now based in Melbourne, will be live onstage on July 27, accompanied by pianist Martin Pang. Her soulful voice will breathe new life into timeless classics including the iconic Balada Para un Loco by the legendary composer Astor Piazzolla, creating a harmonious fusion of emotion and melody not to be missed.

Book here.

Bic Runga – The Beautiful Collision Tour: Celebrating 20 Years

It’s twenty years since Bic Runga released her sophomore album Beautiful Collision, and on August 18 she’s heading to the Recital Centre to celebrate. As one of Aotearoa/New Zealand’s most awarded and iconic artists, Runga’s debut album Drive spawned the international hit Sway, which made it’s way onto the American Pie soundtrack, making her a star at only 19 years of age.

“Beautiful Collision was my favourite album to make, and still means a lot to me after twenty years. I hope that if these songs hold a special place for anyone, that they will enjoy celebrating the anniversary of this album with me as a complete concert performance,” she says.

Book here.

Eliza Hull & Liz Martin – Into the Space Between the Notes


Award-winning musician, writer and disability advocate within the music space, Eliza Hull, is teaming up with Liz Martin, who began playing gorgeous acoustic folk in the ’90s, before an encounter with club culture brought her together with Paul Mac. This dynamic duo are playing at the Primrose Potter Salon on August 26 for a unique and intimate performance, taking you Into the Space Between the Notes.

Book here.

Bhairavi Raman – Relaxed Performance

Trained in both Carnatic (South Indian Classical) and Western Classical music, Bhairavi Raman uses her violin to express her lived experience navigating two different cultures. Unafraid to push boundaries, she has produced acclaimed works in close partnership with local and international artists across disciplines including poetry, spoken word, movement, dance and theatre. On September 20 she will be performing as part of the Relaxed Performance series, which are sessions specifically suited for audiences with sensory sensitivities, using altered lighting, more in-depth musical explanations and accompanying access resources.

Book here.

Duo Kirsanova-Lewis – On the Pavements Grey


What happens when you share a love of contemporary chamber music and the history of Latvian folk song tradition? You start a duo, which is precisely what pianist Georgina Lewis and violinist Sophia Kirsanova have done. For their Recital Centre performance on September 27,  Kirsanova-Lewis (who are also Featured Artists in the Musica Viva 2023 touring program) will be celebrating the diversity of minimalist music and its depths of emotion. Get in quick, though, their debut concert at the Melbourne Recital Hall last year sold out.

Book here.

Melbourne Recital Centre’s Season Three runs from July to September and there are more shows still to be announced, so for all the performance details and booking links, head here

This article was made in partnership with Melbourne Recital Centre.