CSO 2022: Australian voices

In 2022, we continue to develop and shape the rich canon of Australian music. We present no fewer than 20 Australian works across our season, including Richard Meale, Margaret Sutherland, Deborah Cheetham and Malcolm Williamson – and a bold new composition for the mainstage by Leah Curtis. 

Headshot of Christopher Sainsbury holding a guitar outside
Christopher Sainsbury, composer
Christopher Sainsbury

World premiere, CSO commission

The night sky has long been a map of identity, a means of knowing and wayfinding. Our perspective shifts and broadens as we gaze upwards and outwards…composer Christopher Sainsbury responds to the ancient canvas above us in a new commission.

Hear it live 
Australian Series – Stargazers, 7 April 2022

NARDI SIMPSON

Of Stars and Birds

Nardi Simpson’s Of Stars and Birds is inspired by the Yuwaalaraay story of a constellation that resembles two cockatoos roosting in the branches of a tree, which many now call the Southern Cross.

Hear it live 
Australian Series – Stargazers, 7 April 2022

Connor D'Netto sitting outside in a garden. There are buildings out of focus in the background.
Connor D'Netto, composer (Image: Ray Roberts Photography)
CONNOR D’NETTO

String Quartet No. 2 in E minor

Connor D’Netto’s String Quartet No. 2 mirrors the poetic rhythm and rationality of the heavens.

Hear it live 
Australian Series – Stargazers, 7 April 2022

RICHARD MEALE AM, MBE

Lumen

Penned at the turn of the twenty-first century, Richard Meale’s Lumen is a modern nod to enlightened thought: melodic, haunting and yet somehow bathed in hopeful sunlight.

Hear it live 
Llewellyn Two – Miracles in the Age of Reason, 18 / 19 May 2022

Coruscations

The striking majesty of the night sky is reflected in Richard Meale’s Coruscations, meaning sudden flashes of light or a display of brilliance. Meale borrows from French composer Pierre Boulez to construct a dynamic soundscape underpinned by a rigorous harmonic logic.

Hear it live 
Australian Series – Stargazers, 7 April 2022

Portrait of Brenda Gifford sitting in front of an upright piano
Brenda Gifford, composer (Image: Marissa Mcdowell)
Brenda Gifford

Mungala (Clouds)

Brenda Gifford draws us deeper into the rich connection between Earth and sky with Mungala, meaning ‘clouds’ in the Dhurga language of the Yuin people.

Hear it live 
Australian Series – Stargazers, 7 April 2022

Bardju / Footprints arr. Jessica Wells

For Gifford, music and culture are one. Part of her larger Gambambarawaraga cycle, Bardju (Footprints) explores individual and collective footprints, including the composer’s own journey as a Yuin woman and her connection to country. Gifford says the work also represents ‘the need to tread lightly on the earth and treat her with respect.’

Hear it live 
Australian Series – Collective Memory, 28 July 2022

Headshot of Jakub Jankowski. There are trees out of focus in the background.
Jakub Jankowski, composer (Image: Zuzanna Juszczyńska)
JAKUB JANKOWSKI

World premiere, CSO commission

The night sky has long been a map of identity, a means of knowing and wayfinding. Our perspective shifts and broadens as we gaze upwards and outwards…composer Jakub Jankowski responds to the ancient canvas above us in a new commission.

Hear it live 
Australian Series – Stargazers, 7 April 2022

MARGARET SUTHERLAND AO, OBE

Concerto for Violin and Orchestra

One of the most influential Australian voices of the twentieth century, Margaret Sutherland’s violin concerto is an ingenious blend of lyrical Romanticism and the modernist, post-Stravinsky sound world she inhabited.

Hear it live 
Llewellyn One – Redemption, 14 / 15 April 2022

Portrait of Deborah Cheetham
Deborah Cheetham AO, composer and soprano (Image: Kristina Kingston)
Deborah Cheetham Ao

Bungaree

Deborah Cheetham’s Bungaree invites us to a deeper understanding of our shared history. The piece was originally commissioned for the Flinders Quartet, named for European explorer Matthew Flinders; Cheetham’s piece is named for Bungaree of the Kurringai nation, who played a vital yet widely unrecognised role in Flinders’ voyages.

Hear it live
Australian Series – Collective Memory, 28 July 2022

Headshot of DOBBY
Rhyan Clapham a.k.a. DOBBY (Image: Cole Bennetts)
RHYAN CLAPHAM A.K.A. DOBBY

World premiere, new CSO commission

Rhyan Clapham a.k.a. DOBBY further explores the complex relationship between memory, history and power in a new work.

Hear it live 
Australian Series – Collective Memory, 28 July 2022

Portrait of Harry Sdraulig leaning against a wall
Harry Sdraulig, composer (Image: Mark Xiao)
Harry Sdraulig

Speak

In two distinct movements, Harry Sdraulig’s Speak explores the external and introspective domains of language.

Hear it live 
Australian Series – Collective Memory, 28 July 2022

Headshot of Yitzhak Yedid seated at a piano
Yitzhak Yedid, composer (Image: James Goss)
Yitzhak Yedid

Mother Tongue

Composed for two violas, Yitzhak Yedid’s Mother Tongue responds to the violence of linguicide (language killing), drawing particular inspiration from the reclamation of the Barngarla language.

Hear it live 
Australian Series – Collective Memory, 28 July 2022

Kirsten Milenko in a forest, looking away from the camera.
Kirsten Milenko, composer (Image: Clique Photography Sydney)
KIRSTEN MILENKO

Solace

In the wake of extreme weather events, the land is tenacious in its regenerative capacity, even (to an extent) in spite of the destruction wrought by human hubris. Kirsten Milenko reflects on these life cycles in Solace and poses a confronting question: do we perceive ourselves as guardians or owners of the natural world?

Hear it live 
Australian Series – Hearing the Land, 1 September 2022

ERIC AVERY

Mists 1

Eric Avery’s Mists 1 is a moving, personal perspective on place and healing.

Hear it live 
Australian Series – Hearing the Land, 1 September 2022

Michael Sollis
Michael Sollis, composer (Image: Keith Saunders)
MICHAEL SOLLIS

Mirage

We live on an ancient continent, ever shaped by powerful and extreme forces, a place of great biodiversity and beauty. Mirage by Michael Sollis is inspired by desert landscapes.

Hear it live 
Australian Series – Hearing the Land, 1 September 2022

Headshot of Natalie Williams
Natalie Williams, composer (Image: Megagraphics Photography)
NATALIE WILLIAMS

Songs of Silent Earth

The land speaks, but too often, we fail to hear. In Songs of Silent Earth, Natalie Williams challenges us to confront the consequences of a disharmonious relationship to the natural world.

Hear it live 
Australian Series – Hearing the Land, 1 September 2022

MALCOLM WILLIAMSON AO, CBE

Piano Concerto No. 2

Composed over just eight days in 1960, Malcolm Williamson described his Second Piano Concert as ‘an overtly Australian work aiming at spontaneity and vigour rather than profundity.’ Joyful, tuneful and exuberant, the concerto reflects the composer’s eclectic influences, from Igor Stravinsky and Béla Bartók to George Gershwin and Edward Elgar.

Hear it live 
Llewellyn Three – War and Peace, 14 / 15 September 2022

black and white portrait of Leah Curtis
Leah Curtis, composer (Image: Stephanie Neal)
LEAH CURTIS

World premiere, new CSO commission

A Los Angeles-based composer with Canberra roots, Leah Curtis is best known for her original film scores and soundtracks, collaborations she describes as ‘work of the head, the heart and the gut; work of instinct, of intellect and of curiosity…to create a memorable emotional journey.’

Hear it live 
Llewellyn Four – Infinite Possibilities, 23 / 24 November 2022

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