Youth Music
Youth Music

Young musicians from all over Victoria gather for a week of inspiration & HIP music-making!

The Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra’s popular Young Mannheim Symphonists program has been brought to a triumphant conclusion for 2022, where 31 young musicians gathered for a week of intensive music-making in Melbourne.

A celebratory final concert showcased the skills of these aspiring young artists who interpreted orchestral works by Mozart, Beethoven and Emilie Mayer.
Applications for the 2023 instalment of this important national music education program are now open!

Held during the Spring school holidays at Camberwell Grammar School, the Young Mannheim Symphonists 2022 Victorian Intensive was a hive of activity. Students aged 12–21 attended from all parts of the state from Bunyip to Bairnsdale, Bayswater to Balwyn, as well as from regional NSW.

The full list of localities and some quotes from thrilled VIC Intensive participants follow over: 

The VIC Intensive was directed from the violin by Rachael Beesley, who was joined by other professional musicians from the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra as tutors, all specialists in historically informed performance (HIP) on period instruments. 

After four days of workshops, tutorials and orchestral rehearsals, the Young Mannheim Symphonists presented a stunning orchestral concert. The students performed standing, and utilised historical instruments such as classical bows, natural trumpets, natural horns and period timpani to bring renewed vigour and life to repertoire from the Classical and Romantic periods.

Director Rachael Beesley said: “It is extremely rewarding to support the next generation of musicians by exploring core symphonic repertoire and works by the female composer Emilie Mayer with these curiously-minded young musicians.” 

“Sharing our passion and knowledge of Classical and Romantic repertoire from an historically informed perspective, resulted in committed and energetic performances. The students, and the audience of all ages, enjoyed the inspiring delivery of the final concert in this unique music intensive.”

The VIC Intensive was the fourth and final instalment of this year’s national Young Mannheim Symphonists program. Young Mannheim Symphonists was founded in 2014 by the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra’s founding artistic director, the late, legendary Richard Gill AO, together with current co-artistic directors, Rachael Beesley and Nicole van Bruggen. 

Nicole van Bruggen explained why this program has a unique role in the country’s youth orchestra landscape:

“What makes the Young Mannheim Symphonists a unique youth orchestra program, is that we offer the students in a very compact week, a lot more than just rehearsals and a concert. We give the students engaging workshops in all manner of areas, specifically around historically informed performance; including introductions to period instruments, mental and physical wellbeing for musicians and rehearsal techniques. We have guest speakers and tutors from all over Australia, and we invite specialists in their fields to inspire the students. We approach the music in an historically informed performance style, not because we would always wish the students to perform this way, but because we want them to come away from this program understanding that there are a myriad of ways to interpret the music of the past.”

Applications for the 2023 instalment of the Young Mannheim Symphonists, including Intensives in Victoria and New South Wales, and a National Academy in Brisbane, have just opened.

For all 2023 program details, please go to

More information about 2022 and past Young Mannheim Symphonists programs:

Participant quotes:

“Being able to explore music beyond following the score to a T, has really opened my eyes to how people can play music and express emotions through it.”

“This was such a special opportunity to play these particular pieces with such passionate and mature musicians.”

“There is so much positive I could say about my experience but one thing I must say is: This program was really fun.” 

Participants in the intensive included those from: Melbourne, Newport, Eltham, Deepdeene, Balwyn, Doncaster, East Donvale, Hawthorn, Camberwell, Surrey Hills, Malvern, Glen Iris, Ashwood, Mt Waverley, Glen Waverley, Bayswater, Carnegie, Rowville, Clematis, Bunyip, Drouin, Bairnsdale; and – from NSW – Bellingen.

Students were from Melbourne High School, Camberwell Grammar School, Canterbury Girls Secondary College, Genazzano FCJ College, Williamstown High School, Ruyton Girls School, Carey Baptist Grammar School, Scotch College, Methodist Ladies College, Strathcona Girls Grammar School, Kilvington Grammar School, Chairo Christian School Pakenham, Lauriston Girls’ School,  Wesley College, the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School, the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music – The University of Melbourne; and, in NSW, Coffs Harbour Senior College.

Photos by Ken Nakanishi/Hikari Photography

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