Concert Program

Obscura 1 | Of Ice and Stars

Thursday 9 May 2024 6pm
Odeon Theatre, nipaluna / Hobart

From the Obscura Series

Curated and performed by
Genevieve Lacey.
Genevieve Lacey

The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra acknowledges the traditional owners and continuing custodians of lutruwita / Tasmania. We pay respect to the Aboriginal community today, and to its Elders past and present. We recognise a history of truth, which acknowledges the impacts of colonisation upon Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and stand for a future that profoundly respects their stories, culture, language and history.

About the concert


Veltheim The Beginning of the World (5 min)

Veltheim A Playford Maze (11 min)

Thorvaldsdottir Illumine (8 min)

Veltheim Illuminations: O ignis spiritus (9 min)

Davies Crystalline (5 min)

Finsterer The Philosopher’s Dream (12 min) – World Premiere


A ‘movement’ is part of a longer work (a bit like the act of a play). Symphonies typically have four movements, concertos have three. There’s usually a contrast between adjacent movements – a fast movement is usually followed by a slow one, for instance. People traditionally clap at the end of the final movement in each work.

Find out more here.

Genevieve Lacey

Genevieve Lacey

Concert 101: Learn about the works being performed

For the enjoyment of all in the concert hall, please only watch Concert 101 before or after the performance. 

From The Curator

Genevieve Lacey


"I'll play six different recorders in this concert.

All but one are handmade, wooden, exquisite instruments.

The smallest — the garklein — is so tiny my fingers can barely cover the holes.

Also up in the stratospheres is the sopranino, Vivaldi’s concerto instrument, which sounds like a tiny, trilling bird, used here for a couple of intense moments in Mary Finsterer’s ‘The Philosopher’s Dream’. Erkki’s Hildegard arrangement has me purely in the ether, on garklein and descant, playing abstracted bird calls, which is something recorders have done for centuries.

For Playford and Sellinger, I’m playing mainly two beautiful versions of instruments that look more like a recorder of the size most people know, both Australian made, one of mulga wood, by brilliant instrument maker Jo Saunders

Most of Mary’s piece ‘The Philosopher’s Dream’  is played on a tenor, which sounds like a breathy, haunted human voice. In her piece I also briefly play a bass, which is more than a metre long, and has a warm, beautifully mellow sound. 

Each recorder has its own character and voice, and playing the suite of instruments gives me great scope in terms of colour and range. 

The serene listening experience invites contemplation of the natural world, in all its wonder and fragility.

Of Ice and Stars’ alludes to the internal and external galaxies of the human imagination."

– From the curator, Genevieve Lacey

About the music

The Beginning of the World – A Planetry Prelude and Sellinger’s Round

For Descant Recorder, 14 Solo Strings and Continuo

Composed by Erkki Veltheim

5 minutes


Composed in 2023 by Erkki Veltheim using materials from Johannes Kepler’s ‘Harmonices Mundi’ published in 1619, and the folk tune Sellinger’s Round.

Commissioned by the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra in consultation with Genevieve Lacey.

Premiered by Genevieve Lacey and the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra at the Melbourne Recital Centre, 22 June 2023


The names of movements in symphonies often follow traditional conventions that give insight into the character, tempo, and sometimes the form of each section.

These terms not only instruct performers on the tempo and mood of each movement but also guide listeners through the emotional and narrative arc of the symphony. For example, ‘Allegro’ refers to tempo and ‘molto’ translates to very, so: very fast!

An American Classic

A Playford Maze – A montage from The Dancing Master

For Descant Recorder, Strings and Continuo

Composed by Erkki Veltheim

11 minutes

Composed in 2023 using materials from John Playford’s ‘The English Dancing Master’/’The Dancing Master’, published in various editions between 1651 and 1728

Commissioned by the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra in consultation with Genevieve Lacey.

Premiered by Genevieve Lacey and the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra at the Melbourne Recital Centre, 22 June 2023

An American Classic


For 3 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos and 1 double bass (2016)

Composed by Anna Thorvaldsdottir

8 minutes

The inspiration for Illumine is based on the notion of dawn and the relationship between light and darkness – in particular the ignition of the first beams of light and the subtle rhythms that appear through the pulsating dance of light emerging.

An American Classic

Illuminations: O ignis spiritus

For Recorder Soloist, 17 Solo Strings, and Electronics

Composed by Erkki Veltheim, based on the sequence ‘O ignis spiritus’ by Hildegard von Bingen

9 minutes

Composed in 2023 using materials from John Playford’s ‘The English Dancing Master’/’The Dancing Master’, published in various editions between 1651 and 1728

Commissioned by the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra in consultation with Genevieve Lacey.

Premiered by Genevieve Lacey and the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra at the Melbourne Recital Centre, 22 June 2023

An American Classic


For string orchestra

Composed by Olivia Bettina Davies

Commissioned by the Hush Foundation

Premiered by the Australian Chamber Orchestra in 2018

5 minutes

Composed in 2023 using materials from John Playford’s ‘The English Dancing Master’/’The Dancing Master’, published in various editions between 1651 and 1728

Commissioned by the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra in consultation with Genevieve Lacey.

Premiered by Genevieve Lacey and the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra at the Melbourne Recital Centre, 22 June 2023

An American Classic

The Philosopher's Dream

For Recorder Solo and String Orchestra with Electronics 2024

Composed by Mary Finsterer

World premiere performance

12 minutes

"The Philosopher's Dream, a concerto for solo recorder and string orchestra with an electro-acoustic soundscape, is inspired by a scene in my opera Antarctica, sharing the same title.   As the music unfolds, the elaborately ornamented solo recorder emerges as a conduit for the philosopher's introspective journey. Infused with echoes of early Baroque madrigal art, the ornamentation weaves a luminous veil of dreaming and wonderment.

Through its ethereal melodies and shimmering textures, the concerto seeks to evoke the vast expanse and breathtaking beauty of Antarctica. Enriched by the rich layers of the string orchestra and an electro-acoustic soundscape, it creates an otherworldly ambiance, beckoning listeners to embark on a transcendent musical odyssey. With the virtuosic recorder leading the way, the composition invites exploration into themes of introspection, dreams, aspirations and the profound splendour of the Antarctic landscape."

– Mary Finsterer, composer

Composed for and first performed by Genevieve Lacey and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. Commissioned by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.  


Genevieve Lacey

Curator and recorder sololist

Supported by Dr Peter Stanton

Genevieve Lacey

Musician and arts advocate Genevieve Lacey creates and performs multi-artform pieces that combine her skills as performer, composer, and curator. Works include Breathing Space (a permanent sound installation at the National Museum of Australia) Soliloquy (a re-invention of the solo recital), Consort of the Moon (a communal choral work), Pleasure Garden (a listening garden), and Recorder Queen (a semi-animated documentary).

 As a recorder virtuoso, Genevieve makes regular appearances as a soloist with Australian and international orchestras including the Australian Chamber Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Concerto Copenhagen, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, and the Melbourne, Tasmanian and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras. She has performed at the Lindau International Convention of Nobel Laureates, for Queen Elizabeth II in Westminster Abbey, as a concerto soloist in the Royal Albert Hall for BBC Proms, at the opening night of the London Jazz Festival and on a basketball court on Thursday Island with Australian indigenous ensemble The Black Arm Band.

An advocate for contemporary composition, Genevieve has commissioned and premiered works by a huge number of composers working in radically different ways. Genevieve currently serves on the board of A New Approach (ANA) and Chairs ANA's Advisory Group. She's a former Chair of the Australian Music Centre board (2016-21), artistic director and co-executive producer for Finding Our Voice (2021-23), inaugural Artistic Advisor for UKARIA Cultural Centre (2017-2023), and inaugural artistic director for Musica Viva's FutureMakers (2015-2023). Her curatorial expertise has been sought by LiveWorks (2020-22), Rising (2019-20), Adelaide Festival (2019), and Melbourne Recital Centre, where she was artist in residence (2018). Her work has won ARIA and AIR, Helpmann and Green Room awards, Churchill, Freedman and Australia Council Fellowships, the Melbourne Prize for Music (Outstanding Musician Award), Australian Women in Music Awards, Excellence in Classical Music, John Truscott Artists Award and the Sidney Myer Individual Performing Arts Award.

“The incomparable Genevieve Lacey”
– The Australian

 “Wit, sensuality, and mind-boggling flamboyance”
– The Guardian

 “Superlative musicianship, beguiling tone and masterful flexibility”
The Age

“The collaborations of recorder virtuoso Genevieve Lacey are invariably imaginative, creative and engaging, yet her most recent offering has raised the bar, even for Lacey, to stratospheric heights.”
– Limelight

Luke Dollman


Supported by Anonymous

Luke Dollman

Luke Dollman has conducted throughout Europe and Australasia, working with orchestras such as the London Philharmonic, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Helsinki Philharmonic, Monte Carlo Philharmonic, Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, Halle Staatskapelle, Lausanne Sinfonietta, and all professional orchestras in Australia and New Zealand. 

In the field of opera he has worked at the Finnish National Opera, Opera Australia, the State Opera of South Australia, and the Netherlands Opera.  

Luke is a graduate of the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and furthered his studies at the Aspen Festival of Music and Accademia Chigiana. He is Associate Professor in Conducting and Deputy Director at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, University of Adelaide.

Orchestra List

Genevieve Lacey Curator, Recorders

Luke Dollman Conductor

Nicholas van den Enden Lighting Operator

Bob Gardam Sound Engineer

June Tyzack Creative Director

Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra


Emma McGrath Concertmaster

Ji Won Kim Associate Concertmaster 

Lucy Carrig-Jones Principal Second

Jennifer Owen Principal First

Miranda Carson

Yue-Hong Cha

Tobias Chisnall

Frances Davies

Michael Johnston

Christine Lawson

Elinor Lea

Susanna Low

Christopher Nicholas

Rohana O'Malley


Caleb Wright Principal

Douglas Coghill 

Anna Larsen Roach

William Newbery

Ariel Postmus


Jonathan Békés Principal

Alexandra Békés

Nicholas McManus

Martin Penicka

Double Bass

Stuart Thomson Principal

Matthew McGrath

Adrian Whitehall

Chamber Organ

Neal Peres da Costa Guest Principal

Orgelbauwerkstatt Kirschner chamber organ courtesy of Van Diemen’s Band.

Theorbo/Baroque Guitar

Simon Martyn-Ellis Guest Principal


Did you know our Concertmaster plays a violin hand-crafted by one of the finest and most important luthiers (a string-instrument maker) of the nineteenth century, Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume (1798–1875).

He crafted 3000+ instruments in his time and we’re very proud to have a violin made in 1845 on loan from two of our generous Tasmanian patrons.

*Correct at time of publishing

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A 'movement' is a longer piece of music broken up into bite-size pieces. It makes it easier to perform and provides contrast within the work. Find out more here.


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In this thought-provoking performance words are sung, chanted, whispered, jumbled, worn and projected.

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Friday 15 Mar 2024 7:30pm

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