Dancing on Tiptoes (Rachel Bruerville)

[blockquote author=”Rachel Bruerville, composer”]

A huge thank you to our CSO for their commitment to Australian music. It is a joy to be able to watch and listen to this video recording from afar in these challenging times!


Rachel BRUERVILLE Dancing on Tiptoes (2017)

CSO Chamber Orchestra
Pip Thompson, Tim Wickham First violin
Dan Russell, Lucy Macourt, Claire Phillips Second violin
Lucy Carrigy-Ryan Viola
Patrick Suthers, Samuel Payne Cello
David Flynn Double Bass

Originally commissioned by The Hush Foundation, this piece featured in the CSO’s 2020 Australian Series, presented by Singapore Airlines in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery.

This performance was recorded in the Larry Sitsky Recital Room and produced by the ANU School of Music.  


Dancing on Tiptoes was commissioned by the Hush Foundation for Hush Vol. 18, Collective Wisdom., recorded by the Australian Chamber Orchestra Collective and released on the ABC Classics label.

The piece was inspired by the experiences of teenagers in mental health wards around Australia, particularly a remark from an insightful young person at Adelaide’s Women’s and Children’s Hospital: ‘It’s like dancing on tiptoes, but knowing you’re never going to fall…’

The piece is a simple, moderate dance in changing, irregular time signatures. Writing for Loudmouth, Gwen Bennett described the melody as happy and sunny, ‘a mellifluous theme that fluctuates up and down…’

I hope this work helps bring a sense of calm and optimism to anyone who is struggling. Challenging the stigma surrounding mental illness is so important for creating a kinder, more understanding world. Music can certainly help create that world, and I applaud the great work of the Hush Foundation to that end.

© Rachel Bruerville, 2020


Rachel Bruerville is a composer, arranger, cellist, singer, and writer. She composes for the concert hall, the theatre, and other collaborative work. Her work has been performed by The Australian Chamber Orchestra Collective, St Peter’s Cathedral Choir (North Adelaide), The Endeavour Trio, Gondwana Voices, the National Youth Choir of Australia, Sydney Children’s Choir, and the Adelaide Wind Orchestra.

Career highlights include being commissioned by The Hush Foundation for the album Collective Wisdom; an APRA AMCOS / Australian Music Centre nomination for In Due Season, commissioned by the Adelaide Chamber Singers; and a Sydney Opera House premiere as part of the Gondwana World Choral Festival. Bruerville is currently Composer in Residence with the Young Adelaide Voices, supported by a 2019 Carclew Fellowship.

As a performer, Bruerville is a core member of the acclaimed Adelaide Chamber Singers. She has also appeared as a solo vocalist with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Paul Rissman, presenting new work for children in the Festival of Learning. Bruerville is also active as a freelance cellist around Adelaide.


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