George Marshall-Hall took up duties as Chair of Music at the University of Melbourne in 1891.
The following year, Marshall-Hall conducted Beethoven's Fifth Symphony at a concert organised by George Allen of Allen and Co. in the Melbourne Town Hall. Many of the players in the orchestra had previously been members of the Centennial and Victorian Orchestras.
Following the success of that first concert on 21 September 1892, further performances under Marshall-Hall's baton took place. It was not until the performance of 13 April 1898 that 'Marshall-Hall Orchestra' was branded across the top of the musical program. Playing music that was largely new to the colony, the Marshall-Hall Orchestra consistently drew large audiences over a twenty year period (Radic 1982:17). The steady following that the Marshall-Hall Orchestra gained was lauded by critics as an important step in the development of an artistic and musical scene within Melbourne. (Radic 1977:131)
The orchestra was plagued by organisational, financial, and union problems; these ultimately lead to its demise in 1912. (Radic 1982:17)
Radic, Maureen Therese. 1977. "Some Aspects of Musical Associations in Melbourne 1888-1915." Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Melbourne.
Radic, Therese. 1982. "G.W.L. Marshall-Hall: Portrait of a Lost Crusader." Nedlands: University of Western Australia Press.