Australian Miniseries: A Little Waltz for Kirsten (Ross Edwards)

A Little Waltz for Kirsten

Ross Edwards AM Composer
Kirsten Williams CSO Concertmaster

Ross Edwards’ uplifting Little Waltz for Kirsten was composed for CSO Concertmaster Kirsten Williams. Edwards has composed extensively for the violin, including a concerto.

Williams, who has premiered a number of the composer’s works, says “I love how Ross has written this beautiful piece for me and from my first read through of it I knew he had captured the essence of my playing perfectly. Within the ebb and flow of the waltz, it has a dream-like essence, the feeling of a gentle wooing of a love so pure, interspersed with a section of gallantry, fervour and utter charm.

“I have played and worked with Ross for many years. I remember recording a violin solo for something he had written a score for, in a tiny recording booth somewhere in Sydney. He is a most humble and gentle man, and his music has always resonated with me. His ability to bring through echoes of ancient knowledge, sacred rhythms and his own connections with the sounds and rhythms of Australian nature and environment is profound.”

A Little Waltz for Kirsten was premiered online on 10 July 2020.

Ross Edwards AM (Image: David Roche)

One of Australia’s best known and most performed composers, Ross Edwards has created a distinctive sound world aligned with principles of deep ecology while seeking to reconnect music with elemental forces and restore its traditional association with ritual and dance. His music, universal in that it is concerned with age-old mysteries surrounding humanity, is at the same time deeply connected to its roots in Australia, whose cultural diversity it celebrates, and from whose natural environment it draws inspiration, especially birdsong and the mysterious patterns and drones of insects.  As a composer living and working on the Pacific Rim he is conscious of the exciting potential of this vast region.

Ross Edwards has composed prolifically in most musical genres. Some of his works for the concert hall allow for special lighting, movement and costume, notably his Fourth Symphony Star Chant and Frog and Star Cycle, a concerto for saxophonist Amy Dickson, percussionist Colin Currie and the Sydney Symphony. His Dawn Mantras greeted the new millennium in a global telecast from the sails of the Sydney Opera House to universal acclaim. Recent works include Dances of Life and Death for the Sydney Conservatorium Wind Symphony; Singing the Love, for The Choir of King’s College Cambridge and Vespers for Mother Earth, a large scale work for the Judith Neilson Institute.

Kirsten Williams playing violin
Kirsten Williams, Concertmaster (Image: Martin Ollman)

Kirsten Williams studied violin with Alice Waten at the Sydney Conservatorium and Igor Ozim at the Bern Konservatorium. She has been a member of the Opera House Orchestra at Covent Garden and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields; Associate Leader of the Australian Chamber Orchestra; and Associate Concertmaster of the Sydney Symphony. Williams has also perfomed widely as a soloist, chamber musician and guest orchestra leader. Williams has also been a mentor and tutor of Sydney Youth Orchestra and Australian Youth Orchestra (AYO).

Williams has a passion for music and healing. She has recorded two CDs for the Australian Bush Flower Essences and, in 2014, was named Volunteer of the Year for playing music in the Westmead Children’s Hospital Intensive Care Unit. In 2014, she became patron of the Goulburn Strings Project, a music education initiative for students in low socio-economic, regional areas.

Williams is Concertmaster of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra and Head of Strings at the Hume Conservatorium. In 2020, she will be a distinguished artist in residence at the Australian National University.


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