An Australian War Requiem

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An Australian War Requiem

August 2014 marks the centenary of the outbreak of World War One– the ‘war to end all wars’ – a conflict which saw Australia first fight under its own flag, lose 60,000 to death and more than a hundred thousand to injury, and which helped define our fledgling sense of nationhood.

To honour this important anniversary and that of the Gallipoli campaign, the Sydney University Graduate Choir has commissioned composer and Music Director Christopher Bowen OAM to write an Australian War Requiem.
The composition, together with the libretto by Pamela Traynor, is inspired by letters between soldiers at the front and their mothers at home, interspersed by sections from the Stabat Mater hymn, and depicted through three tableaux:
1: The Horror of War, 2: Sons and Mothers, 3: Reflections on Loss.

Scored for large choir, children’s choir, soloists and symphony orchestra, it will be premiered at the Sydney Town Hall on August 10th 2014. We are delighted to announce that we have engaged Ayse Goknur Shanal, Celeste Lazarenko, Andrew Goodwin, Adrian Tamburini and Christopher Richardson as soloists.

The score, recently completed by the composer, reveals a powerful text together with emotionally charged music so appropriate to the sentiments expressed in the text; those soloists who have already had the opportunity to sing parts of the work were greatly moved; this will be a most profound and memorable experience for participants and audience alike.

The Sydney University Graduate Choir and Orchestra will be joined by guest choristers from across NSW and a children’s choir from a number of Sydney schools.

This event is being generously supported by the Australian War Memorial; City of Sydney; Federal Republic of Germany through their Consulate General in Sydney; Kingdom of Belgium through their Embassy in Australia; Republic of Turkey through their Consulate General in Sydney, and Abdul Constructions; Returned & Services League of Australia; University of Sydney; Westfield Sydney.

Event Snapshot


  • On Sunday 10 August from 15.00 to 17.00


Sydney Town Hall, 483 George Street (cnr Druitt Street) Sydney 2000 Venue details


Section A – Adult $55, Conc $45
Section B – Adult $45, Conc $35
Section C – Adult $35, Conc $25
Child (15yrs & under) $25
Seymour Centre: 9351 7940
Ticketmaster: 1300 723 038

More Info:

Sydney University Graduate Choir
Rosalie O’Neale
0407 250 443

How to get to this event:

Town Hall Railway Station, Sydney Explorer Bus Stop 24, George Street Bus Services.

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Sydney Town Hall, 483 George Street (cnr Druitt Street) Sydney 2000


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