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Canberra Today 24°/26° | Tuesday, November 30, 2021 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Harvey-Martin returns to the podium

Rowan Harvey-Martin. Photo: Peter Hislop

A new youth orchestra will burst on to the scene in December under the baton of well-respected conductor and violinist, Rowan Harvey-Martin.

Plans are for the fledgling orchestra to play in different performance spaces, collaborating with talented soloists up and down the east coast next year.

The coming performance by the ACT Youth Orchestra will bring to life the classic fairy tales of “Hansel and Gretel,” “Cinderella” and “Sleeping Beauty” through the music of Humperdinck, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky.

Highlights will be “Evening Prayer” from “Hansel and Gretel,” the caricature waltz from “Cinderella” and the of the wedding of Prince Desire and Aurora in “Sleeping Beauty,” all performed with dancers from Dance Development Centre.

Harvey-Martin’s familiar upbeat style of conducting is aimed at inspiring players to become more involved in the pieces they are learning.

Canberra music-lovers were alarmed when, in June,  Harvey-Martin was dismissed without clear reason by Music For Canberra’s then-CEO Helen Roben just days before she was due to conduct the Canberra Youth Orchestra in its winter recital, quite possibly because of her intention to start a new orchestra.

Ms Roben has since left MFC.

The new ACT Youth Orchestra welcomes interest from any orchestral youth players from grade 7 up or equivalent who are keen to play different instruments and learn lesser-known, challenging repertoire in a friendly, relaxed way. Inquiries to

ACT Youth Orchestra, National Portrait Gallery, 7pm, Wednesday, December 8, book here 

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Helen Musa

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