Why 'Concert Champion'?

When Director of Development, Zoë Cobden-Jewitt, was considering the work of Musica Viva Australia in late 2020 and how it might be even better supported, it was clear that – even in those early days of Covid – something new would have to be conceived. 

Thus the idea of the Concert Champions program was born (alongside the Ensemble Patrons program) – with a simple but tangible premise: giving the Company’s loyal and generous donors the chance to support an individual concert, in their city, in the amount of $5,000 (tax deductible). 

Since then, MVA has been delighted and humbled by the success of the program, with donors from around the country stepping up to make their gift, and ‘bring a concert to life’ in cities around Australia. Robert Larbalestier, a Concert Champion in WA said recently of his contribution, “Life has been good to me in so many ways. I have enjoyed a successful professional career in an area where I have enjoyed helping people. I believe society has given me a lot and I’m in the time of life where I should give back. Sponsoring the arts, supporting charity and encouraging my peers to do likewise by showing leadership I think is how to do this. [Being a] Concert Champion is really showing that giving is in the realm of most professionals my age. Not just for the millionaires. I enjoy helping people in whatever way I can.”

Many of MVA’s donors have commented on their joy at supporting something that feels tangible, and also being able to choose one (or sometimes more!) concerts and ensembles that really speak to them directly – from string quartets to solo pianists, there is something for everyone! 

Underpinning the Art 

Like many industries globally, the arts have had a very challenging few years and the sector is working hard to rebuild towards a vibrant cultural future. Furthermore, as Musica Viva Australia looks towards its 80th anniversary in 2025, creating philanthropic programs that underpin the Company’s artistic and concert programs has never been more important. As Director of Development, Zoë Cobden-Jewitt says “It has been humbling, and indeed a privilege, to work not only with MVA’s donors to ‘match’ them and their personal passions with the incredible tours but also with my State Manager colleagues around the country to do the same. We remain indebted to this group of donors whose generosity and connection to our work means that together, we can keep delivering national tours featuring the finest artists for audiences of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy across Australia. Thank you!”

How can you become a Concert Champion? 

If you are interested in becoming a Concert Champion in your city, please don’t hesitate to contact Zoë, or your local State Manager – she or they would be delighted to hear from you and to tell you more about this crucial program. Igor Zambelli one of our Concert Champion from Victoria gave us his experience “Fireworks were happening on stage at the Melbourne Recital Centre during a wet and rainy evening when Musica Viva’s Paul Kildea organised a concert with three superstars (flute, viola and harp) delivered several inspiring pieces. This unusual lineup thrilled the audience with superb artistry. How lucky are we to enjoy such a performance.” 

Thank you 

MVA would like to take this opportunity to thank all our current Concert Champions (and all donors!) for their generosity towards this, and so many, of Musica Viva Australia’s programs. Every gift truly makes a difference. 

For more information, contact Zoë Cobden-Jewitt or visit our website.



Concert Champion Igor Zambelli with Timothy Ridout, Annleen Lenaerts and Adam Walker – Melbourne, May 2023

Concert Champion Igor Zambelli with Timothy Ridout, Annleen Lenaerts and Adam Walker – Melbourne, May 2023