Director of The Vietnam Requiem, Christopher Latham, who is the Australian War Memorial’s musical artist-in-residence, conceived the idea for this Requiem to help deal with the sadness of the Vietnam War and the aftermath that still exists for so many today.


The Vietnam Requiem. Photo © Peter Hislop

The Vietnam Requiemis a large-scale work that includes popular songs with commissioned pieces of music by Graeme Koehne, Elena Kats-Chernin, Andrew Schultz, Ross Edwards, Kim Cunio and Chris Latham himself, plus a piece by Peter Sculthorpe.

In two acts, titled Songs of the Vietnam Warand The Vietnam Requiem, this monumental work lasted over three hours, crossing musical genres to include original compositions, pop songs of the Vietnam War plus later protest songs, and re-workings of other pieces to create something on a scale perhaps unheard anywhere.

The musicians came from across Australia with instrumentalists from the Canberra Symphony Australia, Australian and New Zealand RAN, Army and RAAF Defence Force Bands, the ANU Chamber Orchestra, the Brisbane Chamber Choir and the over 60-strong combined youth choir.

Representatives from the Vietnamese community and a line-up of musicians and singers included Little Pattie, John Schumann, Normie Rowe, Mark Williams, Nina Ferro and Phan Văn...