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Sample the delights of Bizet’s Carmen before experiencing one of the ‘brightest stars in the heady firmament of pianists from Melbourne’ (Herald Sun), Kristian Chong – joining the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra for Saint-Saëns’ flashy Piano Concerto No.2.In 1868, just 17 short days stood between the conception and the premiere of the Piano Concerto No.2 at the Salle Pleyel in Paris – with the first outing, featuring Saint-Saëns at the piano, being understandably disastrous. Yet despite this awful start, the delightfully progressive three movement work went on to great acclaim.Just one theme devised during an improvised piano practice session proved to be the key to Elgar’s Enigma Variations. Described by the British composer, as ‘nothing much’, upon encouragement from his wife, he proceeded to create a 14 movement work from it, becoming one of Elgar’s greatest musical masterpieces. Hear the MSO reveal its enigmatic secrets, alongside Elgar’s heartfelt adagio, Sospiri.