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Virtual Side by Side Orchestra: Collaborative orchestra project goes online

MEDIA RELEASE | 24 April 2020

The ANU School of Music and the Canberra Symphony Orchestra (CSO) are set to take their Side by Side Orchestra joint initative online during COVID-19, ensuring professional development opportunities for students and an enhanced virtual performance for CSO and ANU music fans. ANU and CSO musicians will record their parts separately for a special Virtual Orchestra performance, with artistic guidance from CSO Chief Conductor and Artistic Director Dr Nicholas Milton AM. The performance will be made freely available online for our community to enjoy.

The Side by Side Orchestra brought School of Music staff and students together with CSO musicians for a number of successful performances over 2018-19. The ANU Orchestra was launched in 2020 due to a wave of interest in a new high quality training orchestra. The virtual Side by Side orchestra will allow ANU and CSO musicians the chance to play in this time of social distancing.

“It is so important to our musicians that we work together in this difficult time. We know how important music is in a time of crisis and this project will make music that is quite wonderful”, said Kim Cunio, Head of the ANU School of Music. “Sustaining high quality orchestral music in Canberra is a collaborative effort,” said CSO Chief Executive Rachel Thomas. “Finding ways to support both established and emerging musicians throughout this time is crucial.”

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