The hardest thing about making the Vietnam Requiemis that it was a much worse conflict than we realise. The consequences of losing that war were simply catastrophic if you were South Vietnamese, Laotian or Cambodian. It was also one of the most brutal wars Australia has ever been involved with. To be touched by this war was to be burned. To this dragon-like war of napalm and carpet bombing we are bringing our finest composers and performers to make a requiem to bathe this terrible wound, 50 years since Australia withdrew from the conflict in 1971.

The Vietnam Requiem
Back from Patrol, 1968, by Ken McFadyen. A group of Australian soldiers striding through the long grass in Biên Hòa Province, Vietnam. ART 40740 Used with the permission of the Australian War Memorial.

Made during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Vietnam Requiemhas been composed by Ross Edwards, Elena Kats-Chernin, Andrew Schultz, Graeme Koehne and others. It will be premiered in June at Llewellyn Hall in Canberra by the Canberra Symphony, the Navy, Army and Air Force bands’ finest military musicians, and the ANU Chamber...