Photograph by Keith Saunders
2020 is a very special year for us at the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs. We are celebrating the extraordinary milestone of a 100 years of singing together and enriching the lives of our audience and the entire cultural fabric of Sydney. We are also moving out of our home at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall for a period and in a sense, coming back to our roots at the Sydney Town Hall – a space where so many historic performances occurred with the choirs over its 100-year period.
So how do you celebrate 100 years of music making? You create something new – hence our ambitious project of 100 minutes of new music to celebrate our centenary. 100 for 100! An opportunity to explore our past, the present and our future as an artistic force in our city.
We have major works being presented by our choirs in Sydney and abroad from international names such as Brett Dean and Elena Kats-Chernin to emerging artists and even members of our own choirs.
In 2016 we made a commitment to the female voice in the compositional world with our contribution to the National Women Composers Development Program which continues this year under the watchful eye of Liza Lim.
In 2020 we launch a program that embraces the indigenous voice in choral music. Each concert this season will commence with a sung Acknowledgment of Country Tarimi nulay – Long time living here (Gadigal language) written by the acclaimed Deborah Cheetham and Matthew Doyle, alongside new works by Nardi Simpson and James Henry. This is the start of an ongoing cultural conversation with the First Nations people of Australia and one we know will enrich the lives of our singers and our understanding about how we can better shape the future of this country.
In an age where many people express despair at a lack of connection with each other, live music-making continues to be one of the most dynamic exchanges of energy we have as a society. Composers share their vision with performers who then communicate
directly with an audience in a relationship that is closely connected. People watch, listen and feel. They forge a connection that can profoundly change the way we look at the world.
In 2020, we will perform in Sydney, Melbourne, Bermagui, Birmingham, Tokyo, Berlin, Leipzig, Hannover and Hamburg. We cannot wait to share the music with you.
Brett Weymark – Artistic and Music Director