Where the Heart is

What does Gustav Mahler, Joseph Haydn, Bohuslav Martinů and Scott Joplin have in common? Well Mahler, Haydn and Martinů may have shared similar roots from Bohemia or the Austrian empire, and all four composers achieved fame in their lifetime. But seldom is homelessness associated with the life of these musicians.

On Saturday 21 October, Sirius Chamber Ensemble presents a collaborative fundraiser for the not-for-profit organisation Habitat for Humanity Australia. The concert program will focus on the plight of the homeless in our society, featuring works by these four composers who were known to have been homeless or displaced during their lifetime. Funds raised through ticket sales and collection on the night will empower families to build safer homes and stronger communities throughout the Asia Pacific region.

Jheronimus Bosch – The Pedlar (circa 1500). Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.

Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) was famously quoted saying, “I am thrice homeless, as a native of Bohemia in Austria, as an Austrian among Germans, and as a Jew throughout the world. Everywhere an intruder, never welcomed.” Soprano Taryn Srhoj returns to Sirius, to perform a selection from Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer) by Gustav Mahler. Composed between (1884-85), the song cycle of four songs depicts the Wayfarer’s grief over the heartfelt loss of a loved one to another. The text was written by the composer himself, and may have been influenced by the German folk poems, Des Knaben Wunderhorn. The title of cycle translates to Songs of a Travelling Journeyman. Traditionally a journeyman was an apprentice of a trade or craft, who would travel from town to town to work with different masters. This bears an autobiographical resemblance to Mahler himself, who at the time travelled to many towns as a young conductor and composer to hone his skills from others in the field.

Sirius Chamber Ensemble will also be joined by Angela Cassar (violin), Steve Meyer (cello), Alex Fontaine (oboe), Michael Wray (French horn), and Josh Hill (percussion). A selection of this concert program will also be performed at a free lunchtime concert at St Stephen’s Uniting Church.

Friday 13th October, 1.10pm – 1.50pm

St Stephen’s Uniting Church, 197 Macquarie Street, Sydney


  • Bohuslav Martinů (1890 – 1959) – Quartet for clarinet, French horn, violoncello and snare drum
  • Krzysztof Penderecki (1933 – ) – Prelude for solo clarinet
  • Joseph Haydn (1732 – 1809) – Piano Trio, Op. 39 in G major (“Gypsy”)

Performers: Ian Sykes (clarinet), Michael Wray (french horn), Steve Meyer (cello), Josh Hill (percussion), Angela Cassar (violin), Claire Howard Race (piano).


Saturday 21st October, 6.00pm – 8.oopm

Christ Church Lavender Bay, 10-12 Walker Street, Lavender Bay


  • Joseph Haydn – Piano Trio, Op. 39 in G major (“Gypsy”)
  • Gustav Mahler – Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen
  • Scott Joplin – Selections from “Treemonisha” for wind quintet
  • Bohuslav Martinů – Quartet for clarinet, French horn, violoncello and snare drum

Performers: Melissa Coleman (flute), Ian Sykes (clarinet), Alison Evans (bassoon), Claire Howard Race (piano).

Guest Artists: Taryn Srhoj (soprano), Angela Cassar (violin), Steve Meyer (cello), Alex Fontaine (oboe), Michael Wray (French horn), Josh Hill (percussion).

Tickets: $30 Adults, $20 concession, $10 children. Tickets available at www.classikon.com or at the door.

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One response to “Where the Heart is

  1. Pingback: From Prague to Paris…and all that jazz | sirius chamber ensemble

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