The Elements


Saturday 19 June 2021, 2pm, Llewellyn Hall, ANU

Kirsten Williams Director, Violin

Grace WILLIAMS Sea Sketches
Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS OM The Lark Ascending
Kim CUNIO World premiere, CSO commission
Joseph HAYDN Symphony No. 59 ‘Fire’

The ancient Greeks believed all of matter was essentially comprised of earth, water, air and fire. These elements undergirded philosophy, science and medicine for over two millennia.

Directed by Concertmaster Kirsten Williams, the orchestra explores each element in this program: taking to the sky with Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending, before diving into the tempestuous waters of Welsh composer Grace Williams’ Sea Sketches and bristling with Haydn’s spirited Fire symphony.

The element of earth takes on new meaning and urgency with a commission from Kim Cunio that seeks to make musical sense of the quandary of climate change.

[blockquote author=”Kim Cunio, composer”]

In recent times, I’ve thought a lot about the societal shifts of COVID-19, wondering whether they will give us the moral courage and flexibility to adapt to the threat of climate change.

This work draws on sound and data from the British Antarctic Survey, which measures CO2 in the atmosphere through the drilling of ice cores. The orchestra will play over the sound of CO2 escaping one of these cores, with an intensity that grows alongside the earth’s temperature.

[/blockquote] [blockquote author=”Kirsten Williams, Concertmaster”]

“It’s an honour and a delight to be the Concertmaster of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra. There is a unique energy within this group of musicians that I felt from the word go, a freshness and an excitement before every program. From first rehearsal to the stage, the journey to every performance is one of joy, dedication and shared purpose.

We’re looking forward to sharing this season with our audiences – that reciprocal relationship is what brings each performance to completeness and makes the concert experience so special “



Image: Martin Ollman

Related Articles

Skip to content