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Mindfulness, wellbeing and the restorative powers of music.

Music’s ability to lift us from despair or deep pain, or at least express our response to spiritual and physical wellness, are neither new nor new age, as 12th-century composer and healer Hildegard von Bingen well understood.

English violinist Hugo Ticciati, who will direct this program of meditative but emotionally charged music in his Australian debut, experienced these qualities and “the interconnectedness of everything” as he sought ways to alleviate physical pain so severe it would force him to stop playing.

Exploring such responses to life-changing upheavals, Latvian composer Pēteris Vasks' neo-spiritual Lonely Angel was written as a meditation on Mother Earth and redemption. Beethoven’s String Quartet in A minor, a hymn of thanksgiving that begins as a slow prayer before becoming jubilant and ecstatic, emerged from Beethoven’s recovery from a serious illness.

An even greater blow to Beethoven, the realisation of inevitable early deafness, saw his utter despair and futility expressed in the unsent letter of farewell known as the Heiligenstadt Testament. Australian Brett Dean’s Testament draws inspiration from this writing, capturing the fluctuations of hesitancy and passion, and the search for clarity, for healing, in this “wretched despair”.

Details correct at time of publication

  • Tavener
    Mother of God, Here I Stand (arr. strings)
    Company for string orchestra
    On the Nature of Daylight – Australian Premiere
    Half-Wolf Dances Mad in Moonlight – Australian Premiere
    Lonely Angel: Meditation for violin and string orchestra
    Testament (arr. strings)
    Vos flores rosarum (arr. strings)
    String Quartet in A minor: III. Holy song of thanksgiving of a convalescent to the Deity, in the Lydian mode. Molto adagio – Andante (arr. strings) of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra & Choir
  • Guest Director and Violin
    Hugo Ticciati
    Australian Chamber Orchestra