Musical polymath Paul Stanhope returns to conduct the Sydney Chamber Choir, the ensemble of which he was Music Director in a program, which includes the world premiere of his Requiem(2020). Paul Stanhope: A New Requiemis performed by a choir of 31, vocal soloists and instrumental ensemble drawn from the ranks of Sydney Symphony Fellows.

Paul Stanhope and members of Sydney Chamber Choir. Photograph supplied

Although the Requiem is one of the oldest forms in choral music, fewer than two dozen occupy the nascent canon of Australian compositions. Stanhope’s Requiemfollows those by Sculthorpe (Stanhope’s teacher), Nigel Westlake and Deborah Cheetham amongst others, and is dedicated to the memory of humanitarian and benefactor of the arts Russell Mills.

Stanhope completed his Requiemprior to the outbreak of COVID. It is written for SATB choir and instrumental ensemble comprising harp, percussion, winds and brass, with soprano and tenor soloists. A complex piece in nine movements, Stanhope acknowledges the influence of Fauré, Britten and Sculthorpe along with the inspiration to place the Requiem in a uniquely Australian context.

Stanhope’s Requiemintegrates many diverse elements and...