‘A work of both outstanding musical quality and extraordinary cultural significance.’ – Limelight
In 2014, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra joined with composer Nigel Westlake and singer/songwriter Lior to present Compassion
– and it proved a huge hit, winning awards and becoming an instant audience favourite. In 2024, the Orchestra reunites with Westlake and Lior for their rich new collaboration with language activist Lou Bennett.
Ngapa William Cooper is a tribute to the life of Yorta Yorta activist William Cooper, an Aboriginal activist who played a pivotal role in establishing equal rights for Aboriginal Australians and led the Australian Aborigine’s League protest against the events of Kristallnacht in Nazi Germany.
Sung in English and Yorta Yorta language, this powerful story combines Westlake’s signature rich musical palette with moving vocals from Lior and Bennett to celebrate Cooper’s legacy of resistance, solidarity and empathy.
This performance will also feature Nigel Westlake’s Trumpet Concerto Psyche, written for the Orchestra’s Associate Principal Trumpet Brent Grapes.
ARVO PÄRT Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten
NIGEL WESTLAKE Psyche, Concerto for Trumpet and Chamber Orchestra
NIGEL WESTLAKE, LIOR, LOU BENNETT, SARAH GORY Ngapa William Cooper
NIGEL WESTLAKE conductor
LOU BENNETT vocals
BRENT GRAPES trumpet
MUSICIANS OF THE SYDNEY SYMPHONY