The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge 

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Top hats and heavenly voices 

The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge returns to put the glorious sound of the British choral tradition in dialogue with the oldest culture on earth. Hear soaring hymns and mighty anthems alongside a new work from Australian composer Damian Barbeler inspired by the questing writings of Judith Nangala Crispin.

Every year on Christmas Eve listeners around the world tune in to hear The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge celebrate the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols in a glorious display of the British choral tradition. Now this unique and precious sound returns to Australia. 

The Choir will perform soaring anthems and sacred works alongside two touchstones of the choral repertoire: Stravinsky’s Mass for choir and double wind quintet (ten of Australia’s best instrumentalists); and Maurice Duruflé’s magnificent Requiem, a radiant meditation on life and death for choir and organ. 

It’s not all top hats and heavenly voices: just as boys grow up and voices change, the Choir’s work evolves across the generations. Which is why Daniel Hyde, Director since 2019, asked us what The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge might learn from us. Integral to their performance is a new work commissioned from Australian composer Damian Barbeler, working with a text by Judith Nangala Crispin (a descendant of the Bpangerang people), which weaves a new tapestry from the threads of history.

"Where did you go girl, with your made-up history, your ever whiter babies?” I say to her – Charlotte, Grandmother of my Grandfather, I am Judith, and these are my scars. "
— On finding Charlotte in the Anthropological Record

Listen to the music before you witness The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge live.

DANIEL HYDE director of music

Program 1: Sydney (Sydney Opera House), Perth (Perth Concert Hall), Brisbane (QPAC), Adelaide (Adelaide Town Hall)

HANDEL Zadok the Priest 
BAINTON And I saw a new Heaven 
DURUFLÉ Requiem, Op. 9 
Damian BARBELER (music) & Judith Nangala CRISPIN (poem) Charlotte (2023)* 


Program 2: Sydney (City Recital Hall), Melbourne (Hamer Hall & Melbourne Recital Centre) Canberra (Llewellyn Hall)

GABRIELI O magnum mysterium 
BULL Almighty God, which by the leading of a star 
TALLIS Videte miraculum 
WEIR Vertue 
Damian BARBELER (music) & Judith Nangala CRISPIN (poem) Charlotte (2023)* 

*World premiere performances. Commissioned for Musica Viva Australia by Richard Wilkins.  

Concert Duration: The concert has an approximate duration of 105 minutes (including interval).

Damian Barbeler

Damian Barbeler is an Australian composer and multimedia artist whose works have been performed and broadcast around the world. He is recognised for his lush, emotional creations inspired by the natural environment. His work frequently explores our personal relationship and connection to the landscape, through an awakening to elements of texture, light, and colour. He often hikes and travels in the bush for inspiration. Damian regularly collaborates with colleagues from diverse fields including film, architecture, media arts, and dance, and often incorporates his own visual, sculptural and lighting elements in musical projects.

The new work with music by Damian Barbeler and words by Judith Nangala Crispin is commissioned for Musica Viva Australia by Richard Wilkins and will be premiered by The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge on our national tour. 

Judith Nangala Crispin

Judith Nangala Crispin is a Canberra-based poet and visual artist, with a background in music. She has published two collections of poetry, and a book of images and poems made while living with the Warlpiri people. She is a member of Oculi photographic collective and was Musica Viva Australia’s Artist in Residence from 2021. Her work includes themes of displacement and identity loss, a reflection on her own lost Aboriginal ancestry, but primarily it is centred on the concept of connection with Country. She traces her ancestry to the Bpangerang people of North-Eastern Victoria and the NSW Riverina; and to Ghana, the Ivory Coast, France, Ireland and Scotland.

With special thanks to Ensemble Patrons Ian Dickson AM and Reg Holloway for their support of this tour.

View or download the program guide by pressing this button below .
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Event and Ticketing Details

Dates & Times

Melbourne, Hamer Hall   21 July 5pm
Melbourne, Melbourne Recital Centre   23 July 7pm
Brisbane, QPAC   25 July 7pm
Sydney, City Recital Hall   28 July 5pm
Sydney, Sydney Opera House   29 July 7pm
Adelaide   31 July 7:30pm
Adelaide   1 Aug 1pm
Canberra   3 Aug 7pm
Perth   5 Aug 7:30pm


Multiple Venues

Please check the venue in your city when booking tickets.

Event notes

Concert Duration

The concert has an approximate duration of 105 minutes (including interval).

Venue Information

Read more about the venues here.

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