Skip to main content


Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Jaime Martín conductor
Christopher Moore viola


Berlioz Harold in Italy
Tchaikovsky Manfred Symphony

About this performance

The prose of Lord Byron provides the artistic inspiration behind two large-scale symphonic poems by Berlioz and Tchaikovsky. MSO Principal Viola Christopher Moore assumes the instrumental role of Harold, a character who wanders through a tableau of Berlioz’s creation.

  • After the success of his startling Symphonie Fantastique, Berlioz was approached by the virtuoso violinist Paganini. Having recently acquired a Stradivarius viola, Paganini was looking for repertoire for the instrument. Harold in Italy was the result – a symphonic poem inspired by Lord Byron’s Childe Harold and Berlioz’s own travels in Italy.
  • Fifty years later, a composer suggested to Tchaikovsky that he write a symphonic work based on another of Byron’s poems, Manfred. Tchaikovsky became absorbed in the work during a trip to the Swiss Alps, dividing the work into four scenes with rich orchestral colour and dramatic nuance.

Duration: approx. 125 minutes including interval

Enhance your experience

Want to learn more about the music being performed? Arrive early for an informative and entertaining pre-concert talk with writer and producer Megan Steller and MSO Librarian Luke Speedy-Hutton.

Friday 19 August at 6.45pm
Hamer Hall Stalls Foyer

COVIDSafe Information

The MSO and the venues in which we perform will operate under government health and safety guidelines in place at the time of the event. We recommend ticket holders follow the Victorian Government’s “How to stay safe & well” advice:

  • Stay home if you have any COVID-19 symptoms
  • Wash your hands
  • Keep your distance – stay 1.5 metres away from people you don’t live with where possible
  • Wear a face mask

Learn more about Arts Centre Melbourne's COVIDSafe and Wellbeing plan

Stay tuned. Sign up.