Melbourne Recital Centre Open For Bookings

Outfitted in hard hats designed by renowned milliner Richard Nylon and serenaded by New Zealand opera star Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Melbourne’s music and philanthropic communities gathered yesterday at the newly completed Salon of Melbourne Recital Centre.
The Hon Peter Batchelor MP, Minister for Energy and Resources and Minister for Community Development, officially opened Melbourne Recital Centre for business with the announcement to the music community that bookings for the two performance spaces – Elisabeth Murdoch Hall and the Salon – are now being taken.
“It is very satisfying for me to see something that I first encountered as the genesis of a major project, begin its transformation into a fully operational part of Victoria’s cultural infrastructure,” said Minister Batchelor. “Melbourne Recital Centre is going to add a new richness to Melbourne’s musical landscape and be of great benefit to our music industry.”
CEO Dr Jacques de Vos Malan said that the key features of Melbourne Recital Centre’s artistic vision, which was also announced today, would create new opportunities in Melbourne through an active engagement with the Asia-Pacific Region.
“Melbourne Recital Centre will have a significant impact on the production and enjoyment of music and be unique in Australia as we will present up to 250 events a year. About one-third we will program ourselves, under the new house brand, MRC Presents. These will be exciting and highly differentiated programming initiatives that complement - rather than compete with - those of key hirers.” 
Dr de Vos Malan also announced that Peter Sculthorpe will compose the first note to be played in Elisabeth Murdoch Hall in a new work commissioned for the opening in 2009 by The Harold Mitchell Foundation in memory of Clifford Hocking AM.

“It is fitting the Australia’s most distinguished composer, whose friend Percy Grainger’s music lines the walls of the Salon and who has long looked to the Asia-Pacific Region, provides the continuity between Melbourne’s music traditions and this exciting new venue,” said Dr de Vos Malan. “We are delighted that Peter Sculthorpe has accepted this commission and very much look forward to its world premiere in 2009.”
Melbourne Recital Centre is currently under construction at the corner of Sturt Street and Southbank Boulevard, Southbank. Comprising two wood-lined performance spaces, the 1000-seat Elisabeth Murdoch Hall and the 150-seat Salon, Melbourne Recital Centre is built to exceptional standards. A significant project of the Victorian Government, through Arts Victoria and Major Projects Victoria, Melbourne Recital Centre is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2009.  Program details for the 2009 season will be announced in July 2008.

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