One of the more intriguing concerts in this year’s Canberra International Music Festival brings together two unique musical minds – Italy’s Luigi Nono and Australia’s Larry Sitsky.

Nono, who died in 1990, was one of the leading post-modernist composers of the second half of the 20th century and a major figure in the evolution of electronic music.

Sitsky, who turns 90 this year, is one of Australia’s most prolific composers and an influential figure in music training and education.

Both created music addressing some of the great existential dilemmas of the times, each in their own idiosyncratic way. And each, as CIMF Artistic Director Roland Peelman notes, has a significant birthday this year: Nono would have been 100; Sitsky turns 90. “It has to be some kind of world-first,” says Peelman of his in-concert pairing of the two composers.

The concert, Larry and Luigi, performed on 3 May, brings together Nono’s La fabbrica illuminata – a work of ‘virtual sonic theatre’ in which Nono entwined the noise of factories and workers’ voices with pre-recorded and live soprano – and two key works of Sitsky’s: his 1984 Zuqerq for clarinet and bongos, and a more recent work, A Feast of Lanterns II, a 2015...