The Australian Youth Orchestra promises to bring a rich program of compelling musical works to the Melbourne Recital Centre this July Season. Leading Australian composer Nigel Westlake will take the podium on July 10 & 11 to direct the AYO in an exhilarating concert, showcasing a selection of his eclectic symphonic works. The program explores some intriguing musical ideas and features a partnership with ARIA-nominated singer songwriter Lior as well as a solo appearance by renowned Australian oboist, Diana Doherty.
The concert will open with Westlake’s Flying Dream, a short orchestral fantasy inspired by the soundtrack he composed for the feature film Paper Planes. Westlake was commissioned to write this concert opener for the BBC Proms with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and the piece retains the distinctive feel of excitement and anticipation that is always present at the beginning of a Proms concert. This composition has been reworked once again for the AYO, and will be sure to set our concert off to a flying start.
Westlake’s Oboe Concerto Spirit of the Wild is a familiar work for oboist Diana Doherty, who partnered with Westlake earlier this year; performing the concerto to outstanding acclaim. Doherty is something of a pioneer within the field of Australian classical music, having actively performed and recorded works by the likes of Graeme Koehne, Carl Vine and Ross Edwards. Doherty will work closely with AYO musicians in the week preceding the concert before featuring alongside them as a soloist in Westlake’s captivating Spirit of the Wild.
As this sensational concert reaches its final crescendo, the AYO will welcome Australian singer Lior to the stage. In this special collaboration, Lior and Westlake took inspiration from a collection of ancient Hebrew and Arabic scriptures, all written on the unifying theme of compassion, and created the masterfully crafted Compassion. In a modern-day world that harbours such a diverse array of cultures, this work celebrates the vast similarities that can be found across humanity as a whole. The talented musicians of the Australian Youth Orchestra provide a warm accompaniment, sympathetic to Lior’s exposed, soulful vocals.