Compassion: Lior and the TSO to perform poignant song cycle as part of Ten Days on the Island
Music lovers of Tasmania are in for a very special treat on Friday 22 March when the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra collaborates with Lior, one of Australia’s most acclaimed recording artists, for a performance of composer Nigel Westlake’s landmark work, Compassion, as part of Ten Days on the Island 2019.

Compassion draws from the rich worlds of Islam and Judaism to present a collection of poems, proverbs and songs which have profound and poetic messages on the idea of empathy between human beings.

Compassion comes about through an extraordinary collaboration between Lior and Westlake, two of Australia’s leading creative individuals. A fusing of ancient and modern musical traditions, Compassion expresses timeless truths about the power of perspective to change attitudes and actions. It is a work of intense beauty, luminosity and grandeur, befitting the wisdom, poetry and passion of the text.

The song cycle for solo voice and symphony orchestra inhabits a vast array of emotions and colours, at times pulsating and visceral, at others reflective and textural, and draws upon the myriad of influences that Westlake and Lior have been able to bring from their diverse backgrounds.
Lior is one of Australia’s most cherished singer/songwriters. His career is funded on musical credibility and integrity, maintaining independence and individuality in his craft and gathering great success and critical acclaim.

Nigel Westlake is one of Australia’s most respected composers whose compositions have earned numerous accolades, including the Gold Medal at the New York International Radio Festival and 15 APRA awards (Australasian Performing Right Association) in the screen and art music categories. Compassion won the 2014 ARIA Award for Best Classical Album.

Westlake made his conducting debut with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in 1997 and has since conducted performances and recordings of his own works with all the major symphony orchestras in Australia.

‘There is nothing like a great orchestra to amplify the power of words and evoke our most powerful emotions.’ Said Ten Days on the Island Artistic Director Lindy Hume, ‘and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra is a great orchestra. How lucky we are to hear them perform Nigel Westlake’s great work, with its deeply personal themes of grief, despair, hope and redemption, conveyed through Lior’s achingly beautiful singing. This work is intensely poetic, powerful and emotional – I can’t get through Compassion without crying.’

TSO CEO Caroline Sharpen said, the TSO is thrilled to embark on this stunning project as part of Tasmania’s Ten Days on the Island Festival. Compassion is a truly moving work – the artists’ gift to audiences who can take respite from our perpetually busy world in this cocoon of truth and beauty. We cannot wait to work with Lior for the first time, and to reunite with our wonderful friend and collaborator, Nigel Westlake.’

Ten Days on the Island and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra present


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