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CSO: Stargazers


CSO: Stargazers

  • Date: Thursday, 7 April 2022, 6:30pm
  • Venue: National Museum of Australia — Lawson Crescent, Acton Peninsula, Acton, ACT
  • Tickets: Adult: $54 - 60 | Concession: $49 - 55 | Under 30: $30 | Student rush: $15 — Tickets can be purchased online

Event Details

Millennia before telescopes and space travel, we gazed up at the night sky with great awe and curiosity. Early stargazers followed the trajectories of celestial objects, weaving this intricate knowledge into systems of navigation and telling time. For generations, stars and planets have also held deep symbolic significance in storytelling, philosophy and community life.

The striking majesty of the night sky is reflected in Richard Meale’s Coruscations, meaning sudden flashes of light or a display of brilliance. Meale borrows from French composer Pierre Boulez to construct a dynamic soundscape underpinned by a rigorous harmonic logic. Connor D’Netto’s String Quartet No. 2 is similarly mathematical, mirroring the poetic rhythm and rationality of the heavens.

Astronomy has an important place in the traditions of hundreds of First Nations peoples, deeply embedded in stories of the Dreaming. Nardi Simpson’s Of Stars and Birds is inspired by the Yuwaalaraay story of a constellation that resembles two cockatoos roosting in the branches of a tree, which many now call the Southern Cross. Brenda Gifford draws us deeper into the rich connection between Earth and sky with Mungala, meaning ‘clouds’ in the Dhurga language of the Yuin people.

The night sky has long been a map of identity, a means of knowing and wayfinding. Our perspective shifts and broadens as we gaze upwards and outwards. This program includes two new responses to the ancient canvas above us, from composers Christopher Sainsbury and Jakub Jankowski.


Richard Meale AM, MBE Coruscations
Connor D’Netto String Quartet No. 2 in E minor
Christopher Sainsbury In the beginning, fun (World premiere, new CSO commission)
Brenda Gifford Mungala (Clouds)
Nardi Simpson Of Stars and Birds
Jakub Jankowski To the Waters Above (World premiere, CSO commission)

Further information for this event is available online at the event's website

Featured Australian Works

Coruscations : for piano solo (1971) by Richard Meale
— performed by CSO Chamber Players
In the beginning, fun : chamber ensemble by Christopher Sainsbury — World premiere
— performed by CSO Chamber Players
Digital sheet music sample Mungala (Clouds) : for alto flute and percussion (2018) by Brenda Gifford
— performed by CSO Chamber Players
Digital sheet music sample Of Stars and Birds : for flute, Bb clarinet and vibraphone (2020) by Nardi Simpson
— performed by CSO Chamber Players
Digital sheet music sample String Quartet No. 3 : 'brittle constellations' (2019) by Connor D'Netto
— performed by CSO Chamber Players
To the Waters Above : chamber ensemble by Jakub Jankowski — World premiere
— performed by CSO Chamber Players

Featured artists

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