Enter your username and password

Forgotten your username or password?

Your Shopping Cart

There are no items in your shopping cart.


Arafura dances (quintets: harp, 2 violins, viola, cello)

by Ross Edwards (1995)

Also known as: Concerto for guitar and string orchestra

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

Performance by Karin Schaupp, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Richard Mills from the CD White ghost dancing

This sample is of the Guitar with string orchestra version of this work

Selected products featuring this work — Display all products (7 more)



This item may be available to purchase from the Australian Music Centre.
Please contact our Sales Department to confirm pricing and availability.


Concerto / John Williams, guitar.

Version: This product features the Guitar with string orchestra version of this work

Library shelf no. CD 2534 [Not for loan]

Display all products featuring this work (7 more)  

Work Overview

Arafura Dances is in three movements: a lyrical and expressive adagio framed by two pulsating maninyas (Australian dance/chants) in which references to a variety of Australasian and Pacific musical cultures are woven into a fabric of insect rhythms and drones. Edwards, clearly under the spell of Darwin and coastal Arnhem Land as he composed, refers to the turquoise Arafura Sea as a constant backdrop. Other influences include flora and fauna of the region and the colourful Macassan sailing boats in Darwin's Maritime Museum. Edwards also mentions Ian Morris's photograph "of a gloriously flowering Red Bud Mallee against a deep blue sky", an image he likes to think is "somehow inlaid in the music".

Originally composed as a Guitar Concerto for John Williams, who gave the first performance with the Darwin Symphony in 1995, Ross Edwards arranged the work for string quartet especially for performance at the 2006 Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville, where it was performed for the first time by Marshall McGuire (who also transcribed the guitar part for harp) and the Goldner String Quartet.

Work Details

Year: 1995

Instrumentation: Harp, 2 violins, viola, cello

Difficulty: Advanced

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for/to
2005 Classical Music Awards - Orchestral Work of the Year Winner Ross Edwards


Performances of this work

15 May 2015: at Celebrating Marshall McGuire’s Birthday (Salon - Melbourne Recital Centre). Featuring Flinders Quartet, Marshall McGuire.

15 Feb 2015: at Marshall McGuire and Friends (Sydney Opera House - Utzon Room). Featuring Flinders Quartet, Marshall McGuire.

27 Jun 2011: at English Chamber Orchestra & John Williams (Guildhall Old Library). Featuring Paul Watkins, English Chamber Orchestra, John Williams.

7 Jul 95: The lawns of the Darwin Casino.. Featuring John Williams, Martin Jarvis, Darwin Symphony Orchestra.

User reviews

Be the first to share your thoughts, opinions and insights about this work.

To post a comment please login.