‘Cross Sections’ creates cultural fusion in sound




Shortly touring to Asia, the Sydney Chamber Choir (SCC) presents Cross Sections, a programme that integrates the Western choral tradition with the exotic sounds of the Chinese Guzheng (Chinese harp) and Erhu (a traditional bowed string instrument).

Featuring Guest artists Nicholas Ng playing Erhu  and Jingjing Lu playing Guzheng,  Conductor and Musical Director of the SCC Paul Stanhope  has designed a musical journey which, like our contemporary culinary tradition, presents a refreshing fusion of aesthetics.

“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 combination of music by ancient masters Josquin, Tallis and Hildegard with newer works by Australian composers Clare Maclean and Paul Stanhope highlights the contrasts in style and draws together themes that remain universal across vast differences in time and space. As well, there are Chinese folk songs, music from the Torres Strait, pieces from pioneering Australian composer Percy Grainger and contemporary composers Stephen Leek and Ross Edwards.

The visionary and eccentric Percy Grainger saw Australia as being part of Asia and arranged the Chinese Folksong Beautiful Fresh Flower for piano. The choir will peform an unusual arrangement of this song in Mandarin, by Chinese-born Australian composer, Julian Yu, which integrates traditional Chinese instruments, the Erhu and Guzheng.

Guest musician for Cross Sections Dr Nicholas Ng who will play the Erdu, is a composer, performer and Research Fellow at Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.  Jingjing Lu is a highly accomplished and sought after guzheng player, who has been playing the guzheng since she was 6 years old. The concert also features two talented 11 year old pianists tackling the intricate works of Percy Grainger.

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

The Sydney Chamber Choir was founded in 1975, and is considered one of Australia’s leading choral ensembles. It specialises in the interpretation of Renaissance and Baroque works and is a champion of contemporary Australian choral music, commissioning and premiering works by established and emerging Australian composers. Paul Stanhope took up his appointment as Musical
Director of Sydney Chamber Choir in 2006.

Tickets: A Reserve $55.00 – $65.00/ B Reserve  $38.00 – $48.00/ C Reserve $18.00 – $28.00  Booking fees may apply

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