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Backstage with Jessica Cottis

Jessica Cottis (Image: Martin Ollman)

Saturday 1 May 2021

Larry Sitsky Recital Room, ANU, 3.30pm – 6.30pm

Online registrations have closed – limited tickets available at the door.

The process of staging an orchestral concert begins months before the lights come up on the Llewellyn Hall stage. It begins with a seed, an idea pushed and pulled into something that speaks to our context and our shared experience…

Go behind the scenes of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra in an afternoon with Jessica Cottis, Chief Conductor and Artistic Director.

Explore her creative process in an armchair conversation about the art of orchestral programming before she gives an open conducting masterclass for students of the ANU School of Music.

The Art of Programming

Saturday 1 May, 3.30pm – 4.30pm
Larry Sitsky Recital Room, ANU School of Music

The classical music canon is vast and growing every year, as contemporary composers add their voices to the centuries-old tradition. How does one choose just a few pieces from that vast collection for a concert? What links them? How do you craft a musical journey for musicians and audiences?

Explore how a CSO season comes together with Jessica Cottis. In conversation with Robyn Holmes, Cottis will deconstruct and demystify the art of orchestral programming. Audience participation encouraged – bring your questions on the day or email them to

Followed by complimentary afternoon tea

Conducting Masterclass

Saturday 1 May, 5pm – 6.30pm
Larry Sitsky Recital Room, ANU School of Music

Observe Jessica Cottis as she mentors ANU School of Music students in an open conducting masterclass. Participating students will conduct pianists Susanne Powell and Anthony Smith, who will perform an arrangement of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony.


Presented in collaboration with


Orchestral Programming
Online booking closed
Conducting Masterclass
Online booking closed
Longing and Desire
Llewellyn Two
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