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Thursday 7 April, 2022
Atrium, National Museum of Australia, Acton, 6.30pm

Jessica Cottis Conductor
CSO Chamber Ensemble

Richard Meale AM, MBE

Connor D’Netto
String Quartet No. 2 in E minor

Christopher Sainsbury
World premiere, new CSO commission

Brenda Gifford
Mungala (Clouds)

Nardi Simpson
Of Stars and Birds

Jakub Jankowski
World premiere, CSO commission

Adult $54–60
Concession $49–55
Under 30 $30
Student rush $15

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Millennia before telescopes and space travel, we gazed up at the night sky with great awe and curiosity. Early stargazers followed the trajectories of celestial objects, weaving this intricate knowledge into systems of navigation and telling time. For generations, stars and planets have also held deep symbolic significance in storytelling, philosophy and community life.

The striking majesty of the night sky is reflected in Richard Meale’s Coruscations, meaning sudden flashes of light or a display of brilliance. Meale borrows from French composer Pierre Boulez to construct a dynamic soundscape underpinned by a rigorous harmonic logic. Connor D’Netto’s String Quartet No. 2 is similarly mathematical, mirroring the poetic rhythm and rationality of the heavens.

Astronomy has an important place in the traditions of hundreds of Aboriginal peoples, deeply embedded in stories of the Dreaming. Nardi Simpson’s Of Stars and Birds is inspired by the Yuwaalaraay story of a constellation that resembles two cockatoos roosting in the branches of a tree, which many now call the Southern Cross. Brenda Gifford draws us deeper into the rich connection between Earth and sky with Mungala, meaning ‘clouds’ in the Dhurga language of the Yuin people.

The night sky has long been a map of identity, a means of knowing and wayfinding. Our perspective shifts and broadens as we gaze upwards and outwards. This program includes two new responses to the ancient canvas above us, from composers Christopher Sainsbury and Jakub Jankowski.

Cultural Partner: National Museum of Australia

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Part of the CSO’s 2022 Australian Series

Classical music is a living, breathing art form, just as potent and expressive today as in centuries past. We invite you to hear and see differently, to engage with diverse voices and to wrestle with the complexity and beauty of modern existence – through music.

Also in this series:

Australian Series: Collective Memory (28 July 2022)
Australian Series: Hearing the Land (1 September 2022)

All CSO events are delivered in line with ACT Government COVID-safe requirements. Read more