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Sydney Philharmonia Choirs | Berliner Messe


For our first concert of 2021 we’ve turned to the music from the Baltic region, with a concert featuring Arvo Pärt’s luminous Berliner Messe (Berlin Mass).

In building this program, we have chosen music that highlights the pristine young voices of VOX – music which they love to sing. If you know the sound world of Arvo Pärt, you’ll know what makes him one of the most popular and frequently performed living composers. The apparent simplicity, the bell-like tones, close harmonies and chant-like, introspective melodies combine in music that is deeply spiritual. But it’s not all floating serenity – what makes music like the Berliner Messe so moving is its emotional range and rich intensity of feeling.

In this concert Estonian Pärt will be joined by Latvian composers Pēteris Vasks and Ēriks Ešenvalds as well as some Australian voices, including Aija Draguns, a member of VOX who brings her own Latvian heritage, and Matthew Orlovich, whose work was commissioned for our centenary last year. Their chosen texts are meditations of faith, optimism and sheer joy that resonate beyond the confines of any one liturgy or religious tradition. And their musical settings will fill the reverberant space of St Andrew’s Cathedral with sound of pure beauty.

Join us when VOX returns – after what feels like an age – to share the healing, reflective power of music.

Saturday 13th March 2pm and 5pm
St Andrews Cathedral

Deborah CHEETHAM & Matthew DOYLE Tarimi nulay – long time living here
Ēriks EŠENVALDS The Heavens Flock
Arvo PÄRT Berliner Messe
Ēriks EŠENVALDS Only in Sleep
Aija DRAGUNS Lux æterna*
Arvo PÄRT Morning Star
Arvo PÄRT Da pacem, Domine
Pēteris VASKS Pater noster
Matthew ORLOVICH Joyful, Joyful!*†

* Premiere
† Matthew Orlovich’s Joyful, Joyful! was commissioned as part of our 100 Minutes of New Australian Music centenary project in 2020. We’re delighted to be performing it at last.

Elizabeth Scott conductor
Sydney Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra
Fiona Ziegler concertmaster

Concert duration: 60 minutes, no interval

General Admission $60 plus booking fee
Under 30’s $30 plus booking fee MORE UNDER 30’S TICKETS RELEASED



  • Audience members over the age of 12 are required to wear masks. This is a condition of entry.
  • We will be limiting the number of people in the Cathedral in accordance with current Public Health Orders and ensuring appropriate physical distancing at all times.
  • Hand sanitiser will be available at all entrances.
  • We will be using three separate doors for entry and exit to maximise physical distancing.
  • To minimise unnecessary contact, we will be distributing a digital program book, available in advance.