Immortal Diamond | Concert Program

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IMMORTAL DIAMOND 5 OCTOBER, 8PM / Arts Centre Melbourne, Hamer Hall Running time: approximately 1 hour, no interval.

Benjamin Northey

Paul Grabowsky AO



Benjamin Northey is currently the Principal Resident Conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Chief Conductor of the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.

It is difficult to describe Paul Grabowsky’s career easily. He has been a director of some of Australia's most prominent arts festivals, the composer of nearly thirty feature film scores, and several works of music theatre, the founder and leader for nineteen years of the Australian Art Orchestra, an executive at the ABC, and currently heads up Monash University Performing Arts Centres.

Internationally, he has conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, Hong Kong Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia and the Southbank Sinfonia of London. He has conducted L’elisir d’amore, The Tales of Hoffmann and La sonnambula for SOSA and Turandot, Don Giovanni, Carmen and Cosi fan tutte for Opera Australia. Limelight Magazine named him Australian Artist of the Year in 2018. In 2022, he conducts the Christchurch and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras and all six Australian state symphony orchestras. © Patrick Togher Artists’ Management 2022

Whether as composer, teacher, television personality, mentor or advocate for the role of artistic expression as a defining attribute of contemporary life, for him this is all informed by his work as a pianist, and composer, particularly in the field of jazz, where, according to him, ‘the piano never lies’. His musical journeys have resulted in collaborations with musicians from many countries, not least with the First Nations peoples of Australia, and those journeys continue. Among his many awards are eight ARIA Awards, the Melbourne Prize for Music and an H.C. Coombs Fellowship. In recognition of his achievements he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2014.

Lisa Gerrard

Warren Trevelyan-Jones

Over a career that takes in almost two decades with Dead Can Dance, awardwinning movie soundtracks and a series of acclaimed solo and collaborative albums, Lisa Gerrard has established herself as one of Australia’s most ground-breaking and in-demand artists. Singer and composer, Lisa brings a vision that is both precise and all-embracing to everything she does.

MSO Chorus Master Warren TrevelyanJones is the Head of Music at St James’, King Street in Sydney and is regarded as one of the leading choral conductors and choir trainers in Australia. Warren has had an extensive singing career as a soloist and ensemble singer in Europe, including nine years in the Choir of Westminster Abbey, and regular work with the Gabrieli Consort, Collegium Vocale (Ghent), the Taverner Consort, The Kings Consort, Dunedin Consort, The Sixteen and the Tallis Scholars. Warren is also Director of the Parsons Affayre, Founder and Co-Director of The Consort of Melbourne and, in 2001 with Dr Michael Noone, founded the Gramophone award-winning group Ensemble Plus Ultra. Warren is also a qualified music therapist.


It is a musical journey that began in the early 1980s when she and fellow Australian Brendan Perry formed Dead Can Dance, one of the world’s most original bands whose proud boast is that they never fitted into any neatly manufactured genre or predefined pigeonhole. With Lisa’s otherworldly voice counter-poised by Brendon’s mellifluous tones, from the outset, they thought nothing of setting discordant electric guitars and dark, rolling bass lines against cellos, trombones and timpani. In recent years Lisa has also become a much sought-after composer of soundtracks. In many ways this has been a logical progression. Much of the work of Dead Can Dance had a cinematic quality that led to the group’s music being used in the cult movie Baraka, TV commercials and even a car chase scene in Miami Vice. Among the many films and documentaries she has scored or contributed to are Gladiator, Insider, Whale Rider, Black Hawk Down, Heat, Ali, King Arthur, Tears Of The Sun, The Mist, Salem’s Lot, A Thousand Roads, Ashes & Snow, Layer Cake, El Nino de la Luna, Balibo, Henry Poole Is Here, Solo, Playing For Charlie & Ichi.

chorus director

The Choir of St James', Sydney

The Choir of St John's, Camberwell

Director Warren Trevelyan-Jones

Director Warren Trevelyan-Jones

Ines Paxton

Marjorie Butcher

Brooke Shelley

Monika Harris

Stephanie Dillon

Mei Wah Chan

Alex Siegers

Alex Ritter

Luke Iredale

Anish Nair

Ian McCahon

Christopher Watson

Callum Knox

Paul MacDonald

Philip Murray

Thomas Drent


(born 1958)

Immortal Diamond The composer writes: I first heard Lisa Gerrard’s voice on a Dead Can Dance recording in 1988. I remember being fascinated by it, as she was the first singer I’d heard outside of the specific idiom who employed the vocal technique of South East European folk music, something I loved very much. We became friends and collaborators in 2017 when she joined me in a duet performance at Ukaria in the Adelaide hills. It was apparent from the first few notes we improvised together that we had a special rapport. Lisa is a deeply intuitive musician, with a strong bend towards the spiritual. She is also a frequent collaborator on film scores, particularly those of Hans Zimmer, so the idea of an orchestral collaboration seemed a natural fit.

In Immortal Diamond, I have made five environments for Lisa to range freely through. The music charts a course from the numinous to the earthbound and back again, inspired by (but not quoting) Gerard Manley Hopkins’ ecstatic words, with its ‘cloud-puffballs’ that ‘chevy’, its ‘treadmire toil’ and its ‘yestertempest’s creases’. It is tidal, advancing and receding, leaving just Lisa and myself as the thread that joins the sections together. Lisa’s words are her own, a kind of musical glossolalia; the choir sings without text throughout. Immortal Diamond was largely composed during the dark winters of lockdowns and can perhaps be understood as a secular requiem for those who passed, and a prayer for better days ahead. © Paul Grabowsky

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