Saint-Saëns, sans audience

Camille SAINT-SAËNS Symphony No 3 in C minor, op. 78 Organ Symphony
Dr Nicholas Milton AM Conductor
Dr Joseph Nolan Organ
Pip Thompson Concertmaster

Download concert program [PDF 5MB]
This program was produced for the original Llewellyn One: Organ Symphony concert, before it was cancelled due to COVID-19.

A message from the CEO

Thank you for being part of our virtual audience for Llewellyn One: Organ Symphony. CSO musicians and organist Dr Joseph Nolan, conducted by Dr Nicholas Milton AM, recorded the title work of this concert program without an audience, following the cancellation of large public gatherings due to COVID-19. This recording was produced in collaboration with the ANU School of Music and supported by PwC Australia.

I acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land where the orchestra recorded this performance, the Ngunnawal people. I acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of the Canberra region.

Music is such an integral part of our community, particularly when we face challenges. This recording is dedicated to the entire CSO family – musicians, staff, audiences, partners, donors and supporters. It’s our hope that you are encouraged and uplifted by the performance.

Above all, I thank our musicians for their dedication and generosity of spirit.

Rachel Thomas
CSO Chief Executive Officer

As a recent member of the CSO, I had so looked forward to the 2020 season, Dr Nicholas Milton’s last as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director. Instead, I had just one experience with Nick, playing in the monumental Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony in March to an eerily empty hall and recording devices.

After one full rehearsal, we had little choice but to record this work for our subscribers on the eve of the sudden, national shutdown for COVID- 19. Emotionally, it felt like we were heading off into the unknown, as though to war, with premonition that something really bad was happening to our world. Yet, our musical response was to energetically pull together, coaxed and guided by Nick into giving the only thing we could to our community: music.

With joy, trepidation and sorrow we gave it our best as we entered into the musical silence of 2020. After the recording session, Nick, like the rest of us, stood still on the podium and we bowed to an empty Llewellyn Hall. The silence reigned, and we were all the sadder for not being able to joyously send Nick off in the style he deserved. We are forever grateful for his musical contribution and dedication to the orchestra.

Stephanie Neeman, CSO Piano


CityNews: Symphony orchestra shines without an audience

“The CSO performed like it was any other concert. They gave a high-class rendition of this massive work. The brass and percussion had a lot to do, and they sounded out with accuracy through their distinctive playing. The volume that the CSO generated was astounding. Even on top of this massive sound, the woodwinds cut through in a dynamic performance.”


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