Formed in 2019, the Canberra Sinfonia began as a joint venture with the Wesley Music Centre. Headed by Artistic Director and conductor Leonard Weiss, its repertoire focuses on early classical and late Baroque works. But in this concert, titled Apcar’s Holland, the Sinfonia ventured into the musical realm of the 2oth and 21st century with two world premieres and an Australian premiere in a program featuring music by Chinese-American composer Bobby Ge and Australian composers Dulcie Holland and Christopher Gordon.

Canberra Sinfonia

Canberra Sinfonia with Ronan Apcar on piano, Apcar’s Holland, 2022. Photo © Peter Hislop.

The concert began with Ge’s The Light That Breaks Through for piano and strings, which looks to capture the way sunlight filters through crisscrossing branches. It came to the composer on one of his forest walks. The title is a little at odds with the music, which is full of tension and mystery, but the way the composer has portrayed the essence of sunlight breaking through is an emotional and mighty achievement.

With Ronan Apcar on piano and 10 string players, the piece begins...