The Netherlands-based Australian composer Kate Moore will be the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra’s composer-in-residence for 2019, the orchestra has revealed as part of its 2019 season announcement. Something of a coup for the ensemble, it will be the first Australian orchestra to feature the acclaimed composer in such a significant way. The WSO will premiere two of Moore’s works, including a new Piano Concerto commissioned by the orchestra.

Kate Moore. Photo © Marco Giugliarelli for the Civitella Ranieri Foundation

“I could not be more delighted that one of Australia’s emerging composer superstars Kate Moore, has agreed to be our 2019 Composer-in-Residence,” WSO Chief Conductor Dr Nicholas Milton AM said in his Artistic Director’s Message.

Winner of the Matthijs Vermeulen Prize in 2017, the most important award in Dutch music composition, and Gallop House resident this year, Moore has had works performed by ensembles including ASKO|Schönberg, the Bang On A Can All-Stars and Icebreaker. Her works have also been performed in venues such as the Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall and Sydney Opera House, and at major festivals including the Holland Festival, ISCM World Music Days and the New York-based MATA. Her album Dances and Canons, released in 2014 on ECM New Series, was Grammy and Edison nominated.

The WSO will give the Australian premiere of Moore’s Lux Aeterna: VIVID in its second concert of the year, Eternity. Conducted by Michelle Leonard, Moore’s work explores the vividness of life at the time of revelation and is based on the revelation of Saint John and the vision of Saint Lucy, Saint Francis and Saint Clare. Meanwhile, rising star Benett Tsai, 14 years old, kicks things off with the Dvořák Cello Concerto, having earned a Special Commendation for his rendition at this year’s ABC Young Performers Awards Semi-Finals.


Willoughby Symphony Orchestra. Photo supplied 

Moore’s Piano Concerto will receive its world premiere in June, performed by pianist Vivian Choi. Inspired by the figure of Beatrice from Dante’s The Divine Comedy, it will be paired with another world premiere – the winning work by the recipient of the 2019 Willoughby Symphony/Fine Music 102.5 FM Young Composer Award. The concert opens with Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin and concludes with Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, with Fabian Russell to conduct.

The WSO’s 2019 Gala season opener will be conducted by Milton. With favourites by Johann Strauss, Mozart, Ravel and Lehár performed with the Willoughby Symphony Choir and soloists from Pacific Opera, it’s a crowd-pleasing start to the season.

Other crowd-pleasers this year include Elgar’s Enigma Variations, the centrepiece of a program that includes Gershwin’s An American in Paris and Henri Tomasi’s Trumpet Concerto, performed by Rainer Saville. Milton conducts.

It’s followed by Bravura in September, which will see Milton lead the WSO in Brahms’ final symphony. Pianist Tony Lee performs Liszt’s Second Piano Concerto, while Kodály’s Galanta Dances gets things going.

The year comes to a titanic finish with Mahler One, again conducted by Milton. It’s preceded by Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, and violinist Alexandre Da Costa joins the orchestra for the evergreen Bruch Concerto.

Full season details