How did the Goldner Variations on Ode to Joy come about?

Kathy Stott (then Artistic Director) had the original idea to celebrate our 25th anniversary in a special way at the 2020 Australian Festival of Chamber Music with our favourite composers. It was also Beethoven’s 250th anniversary year, so the choice of his most famous theme as the basis for a set of variations was simple. Performing it now is better late than never! The really exciting thing for me is a chance to display the diversity and skill of 25 extremely talented Australian composers. The submitted variations exceeded all our expectations.

Dene Olding

The Goldner String Quartet. Photo © Keith Saunders.

How did you choose the 25 composers?

We basically chose composers whose compositions we had performed, recorded or commissioned along with some other composers of note. There are obviously more than 25 fine composers in Australia and we did find it difficult to find a good balance. We wish we could have included many others but then the length of the piece would have been unmanageable. [A few did say no] because of work commitments and sometimes...