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Schultz’s Sound Lur and Serpent at Sydney Opera House

Sound Lur and Serpent is a work for brass and percussion composed by Andrew Schultz in 2014 for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s tour of China in late June and early July 2014. The orchestra, conducted by Chief Conductor, David Robertson, presented performances in Shanghai, Jinan, Beijing, Xi’an, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou with the new work by Schultz opening the concerts.

On 22, 23 and 24 July 2015, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra again present the work – this time under Vasily Petrenko, at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall, in a program with Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov. Click here for details of the concert, tickets and to read more about Sound Lur and Serpent.

ABC Classic FM will broadcast the concert on Saturday 25 July at 1pm (EAT). Click here for broadcast details or to listen online.

Read a lot more about the work and watch a performance from Beijing’s National Centre for Performing Arts by the SSO/Robertson by following this link to an earlier blog:


The Meaning of Water in Sydney

“But the new composition of The Meaning of Water by Andrew Schultz was I felt a masterpiece. It was like a water instrument with gurglings and churnings and words can’t describe it.”
[“7 Women – 7 Harps”, Live Journal,  27 June 2006]


Premiered by the extraordinary SHE – Seven Harp Ensemble (director, Alice Giles) at the American Harp Congress in San Francicso in 2006, The Meaning of Water has attracted frequent performances and broadcasts in Australia and the USA. SHE have recorded the work plus other new pieces (including pieces by Larry Sitsky and Martin Wesley Smith) on the Tall Poppies CD, “Bolmimerie” (TP204). SHE presents The Meaning of Water in their Sydney concert for Musica Viva on Tuesday 10 March 2015.

The Meaning of Water follows…seamlessly, with simple melodic fragments tossed around on rippling, surging figurations.”
[Malcolm Tattersall, Music Forum, Autumn 2011]

Tuesday 10 March 2015


Led by pre-eminent harpist Alice Giles, the heavenly sounds of S.H.E. open Musica Viva’s 2015 Sydney Coffee Concert Season. A rich and diverse program shows off the extraordinary talents of seven of Australia’s finest harpists in this graceful and spectacular ensemble.

Independent Theatre
269 Miller Street,
North Sydney

Morning tea from 10am
Concert from 11am for one hour

HANDEL Lentement and Bourrée, from Water Music Suite no 2 in D major, HWV349 (arr. I. Bauer)
SCHULTZ The Meaning of Water
DEBUSSY Pour invoquer Pan (arr. A. Giles) Claire de Lune (arr. C. Salzedo)
WESLEY-SMITH Alice in the Garden of Live Flowers
SITSKY Fantasia no 13: Perpetuum Mobile
LECUONA Malagueña (arr. J. Andrews) 



Concert info, tickets and bookings

Read more about The Meaning of Water – Septet for harps by Andrew Schultz

Tall Poppies CD of SHE including The Meaning of Water: TP204, “Bolmimerie

Hear the concert on ABC Classic FM on Monday, March 16 at 9:30pm

Lake Moonrise with Halcyon

"Banksian Cockatoo", Port Jackson painter ca 1790, c. Natural History Museum
“Banksian Cockatoo”, Port Jackson painter ca 1790, c. Natural History Museum

Lake Moonrise is a recent work by Andrew Schultz for mezzo-soprano, clarinet, cello and vibraphone, composed in 2013 for Halcyon’s fifteenth birthday as a part of their Kingfisher project. The piece had its first performance at a special concert of new works for Halcyon in October 2013 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. It was performed again by Halcyon on March 29 at Sydney Conservatorium. The Kingfisher project involves a group of short new pieces by Australian composers which have now being performed in full – for more details go to

Lake moonrise is a setting of a text by the composer that reflects on an experience many years ago of being awestruck by a commonplace but compellingly beautiful event in nature. In this case, a stunning moonrise over Lake Cootharaba in Queensland observed from a fire-wrecked palm valley where the burnt trees were adorned by red slashed black cockatoos with their shrieking calls. The work is in the form of a prelude and fugue.

Click here to read more about the work and to see the text: Lake moonrise program note.

Click to listen to the ABC Classic FM podcast of the March performance of the work.

‘Deep blue and dirty’ podcast

Deep blue and dirty is a work written by Andrew Schultz for Adelaide bassoonist Mark Gaydon in 2011.  The ABC have released a podcast with an excellent performance of the piece and an interview with Mark Gaydon by the ABC’s Stephen Adams. With Mark on bassoon is Lucinda Collins on piano.  Click here to listen to the online podcast.

Broadcast of Ghosts of Reason from Danish orchestra

ABC Classic FM will broadcast the Symphony No 2 – Ghosts of Reason in a performance from January 2013 by the South Jutland Orchestra (David Porcelijn, conductor) at 9.30pm eastern Australian time on Wednesday, November 27, 2013.

In an article that combines a review of Andrew Schultz’s Ghosts of Reason – Symphony No. 2 and an interview with the composer in the Danish magazine Klassik pt, Michael Schäfer says:

The symphony starts with the delicate sounds of a harp like the gentle swaying of grass in the breeze. The breeze intensifies and so do the tones of the harp to a degree that is almost surprising. The brass instruments have joined in although only the harp seems to be noticed. More and more instruments join in and divinely beautiful harmonies fill the room. There is somehow something unknown about it. The violins are not playing the melody. It is the usually accompanying instruments changing roles and taking over the lead. The tempo increases, but suddenly a strange kind of calm descends over the audience. How can it be that the violins continue playing? And yet, all light tones seem to have suddenly disappeared. The double bass has taken control of the orchestra! “I would like to be able to convey the scorched, rich ochre sonority found in the voices of Aborigines”, says Andrew Schultz about his work. He has definitely succeeded in doing so. We, the audience, are spell-bound by this music that takes us on a tour through the desert with whispering wind, through rich and fertile areas with birds flapping their wings, to the coast and the roar of the ocean.

Andrew Schultz’ music is filled with emotions and unexpected sounds. The overwhelming warmth of the music becomes even more striking when you have experienced the intellectual character of the composer. These are sounds that open up for his true self, showing his inner self, so warm and sympathetic. Andrew Schultz’ music touches the soul and speaks to the mind.”

Read more of the interview and article:

Hear and see a little of the work in rehearsal on Danish television (the music and interview starts at the 2:30 mark):

South Jutland Orchestra (David Porcelijn, conductor) rehearses in Christkirche, Rendsburg, Germany
South Jutland Orchestra (David Porcelijn, conductor) rehearses in Christkirche, Rendsburg, Germany

Peace by Schultz with TSO in August

Peace - Burial at Sea by JMW Turner

Peace – Burial at Sea by JMW Turner

The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marko Letonja present a new work, Peace, by Andrew Schultz in August 2013 in Hobart and Burnie. The concert also includes an appearance by Baiba Skride in the Britten Violin Concerto.

Peace, Opus 93 (2013) takes its title from one of JMW Turner’s most well-known paintings, Peace – Burial at Sea (1842). The painting commemorates the burial at sea of a friend of the artist and shows a dark ship with black sails surrounded by glassy sea, a luminous sky and a distant tower or lighthouse. In the centre of the painting is an eye-catching eruption of mysterious light through the bow of the ship. The painting is part of the Tate collection of Turner’s work currently at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.

The ‘peace’ of the title is not like the modern sense of personal peace – namely, deep tranquility.  It is more the kind of unsettled, peaceful aftermath that exists in contrast to violence and brutality. Indeed, Turner’s painting was paired with another painting, entitled War, which depicts Napoleon in exile. Like Turner’s painting, Peace plays on effects of closeness and distance, and darkness and light. The piece is mostly very subdued and quiet in its outer sections with a central passage of greater force and brilliance. Peace quietly references the funeral marches of the period but often adds an additional beat to each second bar.  The normal duple time of a march is replaced by a continual pattern of 4/4 + 5/4 – as though the march hesitates at the end of each second bar.

Peace was written immediately after another short orchestral work, August Offensive Opus 92. August Offensive is a very fast, virtuosic and violent work commissioned for the centenary of the ANZAC Gallipoli campaign by the Australian Department of Veterans’ Affairs. At some point the two pieces, performed together, could form an effective diptych.

Here is some more information from the TSO’s publicity for the concert. “Since winning the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Music Competition in 2001, violinist Baiba Skride has performed with the world’s leading orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic and London’s Philharmonia Orchestra. In this, her second appearance with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, she performs Benjamin Britten’s Violin Concerto, a powerful and emotional work from the late 1930s written in response to a world on the brink of war. An important new commission by Andrew Schultz pays homage to Britten while works by Mozart – a favourite overture and a great symphony – bookend a concert of exceptional music and an exceptional artist.”

7:30pm, Friday 16 August 2013, Federation Concert Hall, Hobart

7:30pm, Saturday 17 August, Burnie Town Hall

More information and tickets

The concert will be broadcast live on ABC Classic FM.

Symphony No. 3 ‘Century’ by Andrew Schultz – listen online and reviews

The new symphony had its premiere in Canberra on Monday night in front of a vast crowd (estimated at 150,000) stretching from Old Parliament House to the shores and surrounds of Lake Burley Griffin.

Listen on-line to the ABC recording of Three Architects Op. 91a, and Symphony No. 3 – Century Op. 91 performed by Canberra Symphony Orchestra/Centenary Chorus/Nicholas Milton at the Canberra100 website.

“Schultz has mapped out a symphonic scheme that could be a blueprint for Canberra’s long vistas and ordered avenues.” Read Matthew Westwood’s article in The Australian.

“The Symphony No. 3 “Century” by Andrew Schultz was a resounding success, drawing a standing ovation, wolf whistles and prolonged applause.” Read the full review from Clinton White from City News.

“Century is excellent. It is epic. It is powerful and beautiful”.  Read Chris Wallace’s review in full.

“Composer Andrew Schultz’s musical celebration of Canberra is inspired by radical ideas and bold landscapes.” Read Larissa Nicholson’s article in full.



Canberra Centenary – Premiere of Symphony No 3: Century by Andrew Schultz


Symphony No 3: Century by Andrew Schultz

WORLD PREMIERE played by the Canberra Symphony Orchestra conducted by Nicholas Milton featuring the Centenary Choir.

MONDAY, 11 MARCH at 8pm

The culmination of events on this stage and of the day will be the world premiere of Andrew Schultz’s Symphony No.3–Century (2013, Opus 91) commissioned for the Centenary of Canberra.

Conducted by Canberra Symphony Orchestra Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, Dr Nicholas Milton, the new work will be performed by the Canberra Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and Centenary Choir at 8.00 pm.

As the professional orchestra of the national capital, the CSO has been growing with Canberra for 63 years and has been specifically commissioned to perform this major world premiere. The piece includes three large orchestral movements preceded by short choral movements performed by the Centenary Choir.

Composer Andrew Schultz has included words from the two Chicago architects, Daniel Burnham and Louis Sullivan, who most inspired Griffin’s design and approach, in the choral movements for the work. It also includes the words of Walter Burley Griffin, from his inspired original Canberra plan submission (front cover illustrated above).

While these texts are 100 or more years old, they have a very pointed and direct message for the present. They remind us about what is possible in Australia today.

In composing Symphony No.3–Century, Andrew Schultz has taken a radical and directly communicative approach to this new work which provides for a satisfying and powerfully moving event.

ABC Classic FM will broadcast the symphony nationally.


Make no little plans, They have no magic. Make big plans—aim high, In hope and work.

A noble plan, a diagram, Once drawn, is made. A noble, logical diagram Once recorded, will never die.

But will be, when we are dead, A living thing, It will insist: Let your watchword be order And your beacon beauty.


Do you or do you not, intend to be architects in whose care Democracy may entrust its dreams and aspirations?

I warn you the time left for an answer is acutely brief.

For as young as you are, you are not as young as you were Yesterday —And tomorrow?



Unity is essential to the city— So complex a problem requires a simple organism.

Purity in proportion, and unity in scale.

Eliminate the useless, Eliminate what serves no role.

A general simplicity, A maximum of repetition A maximum of rhythm.

Honest direct solutions.

A civilization of aspiring ideals, So limitless, Greater than any on earth.

Number, size, scale, place, and elevation Work in one simple pattern.—century/

One Sound – Quintet for flute and strings. Sydney Morning Herald review.

A galaxy full of possibilities explored in a single sound

Reviewed by Peter McCallum

April 24, 2012

University of NSW, April 21

By selecting the title One Sound for his quintet for flute and strings, Andrew Schultz was suggesting that a single sonority, as heard at the start of this piece, contains a galaxy of intervals and musical cells to be unfolded, explored and released.

Initially limiting itself to the most fundamental of these possibilities, the first section explored controlled, regular rhythms of clearly defined shape. When combined with harmony that sought, as it were, to derive itself from first principles, the effect was a bright pristine quality, rejoicing in contrapuntal discipline, particularly in the upper voices.

The second section moved to a warm chorale-like texture in lower strings, out of which leapt cadenza-like flourishes, sporadically at first before they proliferated in the final section with spectacular brilliance.

In keeping with the title, the overall shape was unified and whole, and the affirmative clarity of form and idea struck a new and intriguing tone.

Read more:

One Sound will be broadcast nationally on ABC Classic FM on Thursday, 17 May 2012 at 1.05pm.