Into the unknown

"Unfinished, Unanswered and Unidentified" - music’s unanswered questions. Why didn’t Schubert finish his B minor Symphony? What is Charles Ives asking in his Unanswered Question? What is the theme from Elgar’s Enigma Variations based on?

13 March 2024


FACTS are scarce and mysterious. Schubert made no mention of the symphony during his short lifetime. It lay buried, like hidden treasure, in a cluttered study until the 1860s – more than 30 years after his death. The full score, clearly written in Schubert’s own hand, includes two movements: a wonderful melodic first movement and a heartbreaking second. And then, nine bars of a scherzo, followed by... nothing. The music stopped abruptly as if Schubert had been interrupted mid-thought.


Against a background of slow, quiet strings, a solo trumpet, in Charles Ives’ The Unanswered Question, poses ‘the perennial question of existence,’ to which a woodwind quartet vainly try to provide an answer, but growing more frustrated and more dissonant.


Elgar refused to explain The Enigma – “its ‘dark saying must be left unguessed. Through and over the whole set another and larger theme ‘goes’ but is not played..." But what is it?


When - Sunday, 14 April - 2.30pm, Central Coast Grammar School Performing Arts Centre, Arundel Road, Erina Heights.


Tickets can be purchased here.


If you would like assistance purchasing your ticket or would like to secure a mobility restricted seat please contact Symphony Central Coast Ian Esplin on 0416 229115/ or Jill Robinson 0407 410980/


Please note that we strongly suggest you pre purchase your tickets in advance as only limited tickets are available on the day of the event, if not sold out.


If you are intending to buy tickets at the Box Office on the day, please arrive early as latecomers cause delays and disruption to the performance.

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