CROSS SECTIONS at The Concourse

Sydney Chamber Choir10

Ahead of their upcoming tour of Asia, Sydney Chamber Choir (SCC) is presenting Cross Sections, a rich program that integrates the Western choral tradition with the exotic sounds of the Chinese Guzheng (Chinese harp) and Erhu (a traditional bowed string instrument).

Founded in 1975, Sydney Chamber Choir has forged a reputation as one of Australia’s leading choral ensembles. It is especially renowned for its interpretations of Renaissance and Baroque works and as a champion of contemporary Australian choral music, having commissioned and premiered works by many established and emerging Australian composers.

Presented at the new Concourse in Chatswood, SCC Musical Director Paul Stanhope has designed a musical journey that, like our contemporary culinary tradition, presents a fascinating fusion of influences to create a refreshingly spicy dish of sonic delight.

“In a multicultural society like Australia, we have a fascinating array of possibilities to explore many rich and unusual musical intersections,” says Paul. “These intersections are the foundation for our program which begins with an emphasis on the continuity between ancient Europe and modern Australia then moves to explore links between Asia, the Torres Strait and contemporary visions of the landscape.”

The pairing of music by ancient masters Josquin, Tallis and Hildegard with newer work by celebrated Australian composers Clare Maclean and Paul Stanhope not only highlights a stylistic contrast, but also draws together themes that remain universal across the vast differences in time.

As the program flows the diversity of Chinese folk songs, music from the Torres Strait, pieces from pioneering Australian composer Percy Grainger and contemporary composers Stephen Leek and Ross Edwards are stirred into an engaging musical melting pot!

Grainger, who ahead of his time saw Australia as being part of Asia, arranged the Chinese Folksong Beautiful Fresh Flower for piano. Chinese-born Australian composer, Julian Yu will complete new arrangements of Grainger’s piece for Choir with the unusual addition of traditional Chinese instruments – the Erhu and Guzheng – providing an opportunity for the choir to perform in Mandarin.

Guest musicians for Cross Sections include Dr Nicholas Ng, a composer, performer and Research Fellow at Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, who will play the Erdu; and highly accomplished and sought after guzheng player, Jingjing Lu who has been playing the guzheng since she was 6 years old.

The concert also features two prodigious 11 year old pianists tackling the intricate works of Percy Grainger.

Following the performance at The Concourse on 21 September, Sydney Chamber Choir will be performing Cross Sections throughout Hong Kong and Taiwan in their first-ever Asian tour. The tour includes a performance at the Taiwanese National Concert Hall as well as series of concerts and workshops around Taipei.

CROSS SECTIONS will be performed at the Concourse, Chatswood on Saturday September 21 at 6pm. Bookings-