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Infinite Possibilities

Wednesday 23 / Thursday 24 November 2022

Jessica Cottis portrait overlaid with colourful, abstract instrument shapes

Llewellyn Hall, ANU School of Music, Acton, 7.30pm

Presented by Shell Australia

Jessica Cottis Conductor
Markiyan Melnychenko Violin
Canberra Symphony Orchestra

Leah Curtis
Infinite Possibilities
World premiere, CSO commission

Jean Sibelius
Violin Concerto in D minor, op. 4

Igor Stravinsky
Petrushka (1947 version)


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Student rush

Llewellyn Hall family packages available – call CSO Direct on 02 6262 6772 (weekdays 10am – 3pm).


This program opens with a new CSO commission by Leah Curtis, a Los Angeles-based composer with Canberra roots. Curtis is best known for her original film scores and soundtracks, collaborations she describes as ‘work of the head, the heart and the gut; work of instinct, of intellect and of curiosity…to create a memorable emotional journey.’

Then, we return to the seemingly infinite imagination of Igor Stravinsky. Following hot on the heels of the Firebird Suite, Petrushka narrates the escapades of three puppets (Petrushka the rascally ringleader), set in a traditional Shrovetide fairground. This is one of the composer’s most colourful, inventive and wide-ranging scores, steeped in the Russian folk tradition and yet suggestive of the emerging film medium in its musical ‘jump cuts’ and scene changes.

Like Stravinsky, Jean Sibelius draws extensively on folk traditions, his Violin Concerto described by the American critic Olin Downes as ‘bardic songs heard against a background of torches…in some wild Northern night.’ It’s a work of striking contrasts: hypnotic, darkened hues electrified by blinding lights.

The opening stillness reflects the calm of a Finnish lake; time stands still in the ambiguous harmony, both major and minor. There’s something inherently organic in Sibelius: he responds with an exceptional intensity to the natural world, even by Nordic standards, as though its changing moods and seasons inspire not only the content of his music but also its form.

Presented by Shell Australia

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When to arrive
Doors to Llewellyn Hall will open at 6.15pm. The pre-concert conversation will run from 6.30pm to 7pm (approx.), with the concert commencing at 7.30pmPlease allow sufficient time for parking.

Box Office
The Box Office in the ground floor Athenaeum will be open from 6pm for ticket purchase and collection. The Box Office is card only (no cash). 

FM radio assisted hearing units are available in Llewellyn Hall. To reserve a unit, call CSO Direct at least 24 hours in advance on 02 6262 6772 (weekdays 10am – 3pm). Hearing units can be collected from the Box Office in the ground floor Athenaeum. For information about wheelchair seating and other accessibility requirements, call CSO Direct or enquire directly with Llewellyn Hall.

Cloaking is not available at this time. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Free after-hours parking is available in front of the ANU School of Music, behind the ANU School of Art and in the Baldessin multi-storey carpark off Childers Street.

Atticus Coffee (Level 5, ANU School of Music) and the Athenaeum and Level 4 bars will be open pre-concert and at interval. The bars will accept card only (no cash).

Pre-concert conversation
Concertgoers are invited to attend a free, pre-concert talk from 6.30pm to 7pm (in Llewellyn Hall) with featured Australian composer Leah Curtis, facilitated by Robyn Holmes.

There will be a 20-minute interval from 8.15pm to 8.35pm (approx.).

Concert programs
Program notes and artist profiles for this concert are included in the eighth edition of rest, the CSO concert magazine. Complimentary copies will be available at the concert. Program notes are also available online.

Running order
6.00pm – Box Office opens
6.15pm – Doors to Llewellyn Hall open
6.30pm  Pre-concert conversation begins
7.00pm – Pre-concert conversation concludes (approx. timing)
7.30pm  Concert commences
8.15pm  Interval (approx. timing)
9.25pm – Concert concludes (approx. timing)




The CSO is working closely with Aspen Medical to deliver concert experiences in line with ACT Government requirements.  

If you are unwell or should be in isolation or quarantine, do not attend CSO concerts.

ACT Health strongly encourages the use of face masks in public indoor settings and wherever it is difficult to maintain physical distancing. Audience members are not required to wear masks in other sections but are welcome to do so. Seating will not be physically distanced.

While you will be seated next to other patrons, please practise physical distancing as much as possible as you move around the venue.

Practise good hand hygiene, including washing hands frequently with soap and water and covering coughs / sneezes with a tissue or your elbow.

For more information about CSO COVID-safe measures, visit We encourage patrons to stay up to date with ACT Government advice via

If you have any questions, please contact CSO Direct on 02 6262 6772 (10am – 3pm, weekdays).