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Sydney Chamber Choir: Behold – the Sea!

6 October 2018 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm AEST

Tickets: $25 – $60


  • Sydney Chamber Choir
  • Jonathan Grieves-smith – Conductor
  • Christopher Pidcock – Cello
  • Heather Lloyd – Viola


  • Gregorian Chant De profundis
  • James MacMillan The Gallant Weaver
  • James MacMillan Three Strathclyde Motets
  • Jaakko Mäntyjärvi Canticum Calamitatis Maritimae
  • Peter Sculthorpe The Stars Turn
  • Josquin des Prez De profundis
  • Richard Rodney Bennett Sea Change (Australian premiere)
  • Cecilia McDowell Night Flight (Australian premiere)
  • Dan Walker New Work (World premiere)

Sydney Chamber Choir embarks on Behold – the Sea!, a choral voyage through maritime disaster, epic adventure and revelation, island magic and a reverence for sea coasts and depths, in a panoramic concert devised by one of the world’s leading choral conductors, Jonathan Grieves-Smith.

The concert includes Cecilia McDowall’s choral homage to Harriet Quimby, the first woman to fly across the English Channel in 1912, just a day after the sinking of the Titanic, and Peter Sculthorpe’s song tribute to James Cook’s commanding voyage to follow the transit of Venus, The stars turn.

Alice Eather, the young Maningrida teacher and activist who took her life last year, is remembered in a new work by well-known composer and singer Dan Walker, based on her poem Yúya Karrabúra (Fire in Burning) and its moving plea for reconciliation and against mining the coasts of Arnhem Land.

The work was commissioned by the Choir’s former President, and fellow chorister with Walker, Ed Suttle, whose son, Dave, worked closely with Alice Eather.

The concert also draws on James MacMillan’s wonderful Strathclyde Motets, a Scottish region renowned for shipbuilding, as well as premiering in Australia Nicolas Campion’s classic psalm, De profundis. From the depths to the stars, this expansive program ends in peace with the last farewell to the departed, In paradisum by the Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds.

Jonathan Grieves-Smith is artistic director of professional choir Hallelujah Junction and of the Hamer Singers, and is acclaimed for his 17-years of outstanding leadership of the MSO Chorus.

“When I was asked again to conduct these exemplary SCC singers, I’d been thinking of the sea, tales of disaster, success, romance and death, its allure to something instinctive in our psyche, the wild and untamed, our search for a god, the cry from somewhere deep inside to somewhere far beyond,” he says. “This is that concert.”



6 October 2018
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
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Sydney Conservatorium of Music: Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney
Conservatorium Road
Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia
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