The audience and ushers at this concert are forgiven for believing that I have strayed into the wrong venue. I am fielding no small number of concerned glances because I am the only person present without at least one child – and preferably several – in tow. I feel like rather an imposter reviewing the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s presentation Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge. In truth, the young people present should be writing about this. It had occurred to me to beg, borrow, steal, adopt or abduct a child to accompany me so I could canvass their views. However, needing to focus on the task at hand, I abandoned the idea, although as the target audience, their perspective is possibly more important than mine.

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge at the Sydney Opera House Joshua Reckless, Vanessa Downing and musicians from the Australian Chamber Orchestra in Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridgeat the Sydney Opera House. Photo © Daniel Boud

The Utzon Room of the Sydney Opera House is unrecognisable. The tapestry on the western wall has been curtained off and the...

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