The Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s SSO at Carriageworks series was greeted with delight by new music enthusiasts when it was launched by SSO Chief David Robertson and Artist in Residence Brett Dean in 2016 with Crossing the Threshold , a programme of Pierre Boulez, Brett Dean, Lisa Illean and Gérard Grisey. Showcasing contemporary classical music in a separate location – in a venue less burdened by the weight of centuries of accumulated concert-hall tradition and ceremony – attracted a different kind of audience – one hoping to be challenged and stretched by the unfamiliar. This remained true almost two years on: on Sunday evening the audience at Carriageworks was one that had bought the ticket and was clearly ready to take the ride.

And what a ride it was. In semi-darkness, the audience was treated to an uninterrupted sonic journey (all the works were performed back to back without applause, musicians silently holding up signs to denote composer and work) of a little under an hour and a half, ranging from the complex intermingling music of Erkki Veltheim’s Prelude and Codathrough to the subtle detailing of Đuro Živković’s On the Guarding of the Heart(a world and Australian...