ANU in a rare conversation with Australia’s leading Composers on “Composing the Diggers’ Requiem”

Thursday, October 4, 2018 — Media are invited to a panel discussion and Q&A with Australia’s leading composers at The Australian National University (ANU) on Friday 5 October discussing about the movements they composed for “The Diggers’ Requiem”.

”The Diggers’ Requiem”, a 90-minute commemorative work, co-commissioned by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs and the Australian War Memorial to mark the centenary of the end of World War One, will have its Australian premiere in Canberra this Saturday Oct 6 in Llewellyn Hall.

Composers, Nigel Westlake, Elena Kats-Chernin, Andrew Schultz, Graeme Koehne, and Ross Edwards will be in discussion with MC Alex Sloan and Director of the Requiem, Chris Latham.

“It’s an incredibly rare opportunity to assemble five of Australia’s leading composers together in one place, and hear them discuss their own personal journeys in creating this awe-inspiring new work that speaks to Australia’s history” said Dr Natalie Williams, Composition Convenor at the ANU School of Music (SoM).

“Composers usually write works single-handedly, but this new piece is collaboratively composed, as they jointly tell through music and images the story of WWI battles like Fromelles, Amiens and Villers-Bretonneux in order to commemorate and remember the sacrifices of our Diggers on the Centenary of Australia’s last battle of WWI.”

A new element to Ross Edwards’ piece, Lux Aeterna, which represents the final battles of Bellenglise and Montbrehain will feature the pealing of 62,000 bells, one for each fallen Australian soldier of WWI.

The sequence of the bells was produced in the ANU recording studio by senior lecturer in composition at SoM, Dr Kim Cunio. Complementing the recording, SoM students will surround the concert hall audience ringing the ANU’s exceptional Whitechapel hand bells.

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WHAT: “Composing The Diggers’ Requiem”. Panel discussion and Q&A.

WHO: Composers, Nigel Westlake, Elena Kats-Chernin, Andrew Schultz, Graeme Koehne and Ross Edwards with MC Alex Sloan and Director, Chris Latham.

WHERE: Larry Sitsky Recital Room, ANU School of Music, Building 100, Acton. 

WHEN: Friday 5 October, 12 noon – 1.30pm.  

For media assistance, contact the ANU media hotline on 02 6125 7979.