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The serenade is neither a suite nor a symphony, but has a long and proud history: just look at Mozart’s ‘Haffner’ Serenade or Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.

In the late 19th century, the serenade was the vehicle for some exquisite, expressive writing by some of the biggest names of the era. Elgar and Hugo Wolf all wrote serenades that remain among their best-loved works, filling these relatively brief pieces with beautiful, tuneful music that highlights the expressive and emotive way that string musicians were performing at the time.

Another composer who knew his way around a tune was American Victor Herbert, whose serenade shows you why no less a judge than Dvorák thought he had promise beyond the Tin Pan Alley songs he became famous for.

This program also features an arrangement of Schumann’s Fantasiestücke, Op.73, commissioned by the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra from Australian composer Shauna Beesley, and here in its world premiere performance. Originally for clarinet and piano, this enlarged arrangement highlights the superb playing of our co-artistic director and clarinet soloist Nicole van Bruggen against a lush, enchanting torrent of strings. Schumann’s title suggests uninhibited imagination, and that is precisely what you will hear.

Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra is a force to be reckoned with.

Limelight, 2020

Other programs in the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra series:

Sounds of Vienna – Wednesday 15 June
Tempestuous Skies – Tuesday 23 August
Subscribe to all three


Visitor Safety Information

Before you arrive at City Recital Hall, familiarise yourself with our new venue protocols here.

Please do not attend this event if you are feeling unwell. If you have tickets and are no longer able to attend:

  • View our updated Terms & Conditions 
  • Visit www.health.gov.au for the latest advice and information about COVID-19
  • Contact the Coronavirus Information Line 1800 020 080 for any health enquiries


Details correct at the time of publication.

  • Elgar
    Serenade for Strings
    Holst
    St Paul's Suite
    Schumann 
    Fantasiestücke, Op.73 for clarinet and strings (arr. Shauna Beesley) (world premiere) 
    Wolf
    Italian Serenade
    Herbert 
    Serenade for Strings in F major, Op.12
  • Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra

    Rachael Beesley
    Director
    Nicole van Bruggen
    Clarinet