ANU in conversation with leading Australian Composers

Media are invited to a panel discussion and Q&A with eminent Australian composers at The Australian National University (ANU) on Thursday 5 October about the movements they composed for “The Diggers’ Requiem”.

”The Diggers’ Requiem”, a 90-minute symphony, was commissioned for the April centenary of WWI and will have its Australian premiere in Canberra on Saturday.

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 symphony, Chris Latham.

“It’s an incredibly rare opportunity to get five of Australia’s leading composers together in one place, let alone have them talking about this awe-inspiring new work that is inherently Australian,” said Dr Natalie Williams, of the ANU School of Music (SoM).

“Composers usually write a symphony on their own but we had nine eminent Australians each telling a musical story of WWI battles like Fromelles, Amiens and Villers Bretonneaux to celebrate and remember the sacrifices of our diggers.”

A new element to Ross Edwards’ piece, Lux Aeterna, which represents the final battles of Bellenglise and Montbrehain will be 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, Kim Cuneo. During the performance of this piece on Saturday, SoM students will be dotted around the concert hall ringing hand bells during that part of the performance.


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.

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