A Melbourne classical music patron has thrown his support behind the two-month-old Melbourne Digital Concert Hall venture, bankrolling a series of online concerts in June.

MDCH organisers said the donation by Michael Aquilina was a “lifeline” for struggling musicians and their families, and would underpin a series of live-streamed recitals featuring Melbourne’s finest symphony players.

Melbourne music patron ​Michael Aquilina

Melbourne music patron ​Michael AquilinaCredit:Albert Comper / MDCH

“It broke my heart to learn that some of Australia’s finest musicians were facing financial hardship,” Aquilina said. “And also the fact that they would be deprived of the opportunity to engage and play together as a result of the coronavirus.”

The MDCH has raised more than $200,000 for artists since it was launched, with concerts performed under careful social distancing at the closed Athenaeum Theatre, and audiences paying $20 for a ticket which goes straight to the performers (plus a booking fee funding technical support for the broadcast).

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