Diggers' Requiem Musicians and Performers
Christopher Latham has performed his whole life: as a solo boy treble in St Johns Cathedral, Brisbane, then a decade of studies in the US which led to touring as a violinist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra (1992-1998) and thereafter as an active chamber musician. He also worked as a noted editor with Australia’s best composers for Boosey and Hawkes, directed the Canberra International Music Festival, Four Winds and other festivals, before creating The Flowers of War project to research music lost to war. The first musician to be appointed artist–in-residence at the Australian War Memorial, co-commissioner with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs of this work, the Diggers’ Requiem, the second of a planned set of seven Peace Symphonies that will act as symbols of the conflicts that Australia has served in. The first, the Gallipoli Symphony, was widely acclaimed and nominated for both a Helpmann and ARIA award. Latham has received numerous awards for his contribution to music, including the 2013 City News Canberra Artist of the Year in Canberra’s Centenary year, an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Canberra and the title, Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Government.
Simone Riksman has performed music since the age of 9 at the highest level, starting in Holland and then throughout Europe and the world. An education rooted in the Dutch music tradition (Margreet Honig, DNOA, Cappella Amsterdam) she went on to become a leading solo artist with one of the oldest theatres in Switzerland, Theater St Gallen (under the direction of the Intendant Peter Heilker) expanding her operatic repertoire to over 20 leading roles, working with acclaimed directors as Guy Joosten, Pierre Audi, Nicola Raab, Aron Stiehl, David Alden and conductors as Henrik Nánási, Marc Minkowski, David Stern, RoberHowart and Otto Tausk. She appeared to great acclaim in the 2010 and 2014 Canberra International Music Festivals. Her performance in the Triumph of the Heart concert was honoured with a 2014 Canberra Critics' Circle award. She is well known for her deep musicality and profoundly emotional and moving performances.
Born in Sydney, Andrew Goodwin studied voice at the St. Petersburg Conservatory and in the UK. He has appeared with orchestras, opera companies and choral societies in Europe, the UK, Asia and Australia, including the Bolshoi Opera, La Scala Milan and Opera Australia. On the concert platform he has toured with the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, performed with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs and The Song Company, and given recitals at the Wigmore Hall. He has been a featured soloist at the Port Fairy, Huntington and Canberra International Music Festivals.
Paul Goodchild was appointed a full-time member of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at age 18, later becoming Associate Principal Trumpet. With the SSO, he has toured extensively throughout the USA, Europe, Japan, Taiwan and Asia. He is Principal Trumpet of many of Sydney’s freelance orchestras and frequently performs with the Chamber Soloists of Sydney, Collegium Musicum at UNSW, Australia Ensemble, and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, with whom he has also been a soloist.
Winner of the Australian Singing Competition’s prestigious Marianne Mathy Award and prize winning graduate of the Canberra School of Music, the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester and the National Opera Studio, London, mezzo-soprano Christina Wilson has appeared in performance throughout the UK, Europe, the USA and Australia. She has sung as a soloist at the Royal Albert Hall, Westminster Abbey, Canterbury Cathedral and in recital at the Wigmore Hall, the Temple Square and the Paris Conservatoire and in roles with Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Wexford Festival Opera, Belfast Opera and the State Opera of South Australia. Christina is currently a core member of Songmakers Australia. She has recorded for ABC Classics and is broadcast regularly on ABC Classic FM.
Slovenian David Novak’s formal training began at the age of 7, by which time he had already taught himself to play several songs on his father's accordion. Throughout his school years he won a series of prizes, both national and international, culminating in 2014, when he won the European competition for accordion, organized by the European Association of Orchestras ONE©, and subsequently performed as soloist with the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra at the Talentinum Festival (Czech Republic). He has since been invited to play as soloist in France, Poland and Germany, as well as performing with a variety of ensembles at home.
Jordan Aikin plays the Great Highland Bagpipes and Whistle with Pons Aelius, an ambitious young instrumental sextet exploring the traditional and contemporary folk musics of Britain and beyond. In 2015 the group won a prestigious Danny Kyle award at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections festival. Jordan is a former Pipe Major and is currently the Pipe Sergeant at The City of Newcastle Pipe Band, where he first learned his trade as a Piper.
Timothy Young is Coordinator of Piano Studies and Head of Chamber Music at the Australian Academy of Music. He studied at the University of Melbourne with Ronald Farren-Price and Mack Jost before completing his Diploma with distinction from the Nicolò Paganini Conservatorium in Genova, Italy under the direction of Lidia Baldecchi- Arcuri and Massimiliano Damerini.
During this period he was winner of the Premio Kawai-Tortona, the Palma d’Oro-Finale Ligure and in Trio the 1st Chamber Music Competition of Liguria.
In recent years Timothy has toured Australia with Ray Chen for Musica Viva, and appeared at the Queensland Biennial Festival of Music, the Melbourne International Arts Festival, the Canberra International Music Festival, and many others.
His internationally acclaimed discography includes numerous recordings for the Tall Poppies and Melba labels collaborating with violinist Ray Chen, violist Roger Benedict, cellist David Pereira, soprano Cheryl Barker and solo recitals.
Tobias Cole, Artistic Director of Handel In The Theatre, is one of Australia’s most successful counter-tenors, having performed throughout Australia, the UK, USA and New Zealand. He is passionate about ensemble singing and has founded a number of groups in Canberra, including Clarion, HITT Dramatic Chorus, ANU Vocal Fry and Turner Trebles. This year he was appointed director of Canberra Children’s Choir (Music for Canberra) and from 2011 to 2016 was Artistic Director of Canberra Choral Society (CCS).
After winning the Metropolitan Opera Young Artist Study Award, spending three months studying in New York at The Metropolitan, Tobias made his U.S. debut playing Ottone in L’Incoronazione di Poppea (Chicago Opera Theater) and soon returned to sing Apollo (Death in Venice) and Oberon (A Midsummer Night’s Dream). He then went on to perform principal roles with Opera Australia, Victorian Opera and New Zealand Opera.
Recent performance highlights include Handel’s Esther and Jeptha: ‘The Vow’ with Handel In The Theatre, Canberra; acting in Alana Valentine’s Cold Light with The Street Theatre Company; Carmina Burana with National Capital Orchestra (NCO), West Australian Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic; title role in Philip Glass’ Akhnaten for State Opera of South Australia; a staged version of St Matthew Passion (Opera Queensland); Didymus in Handel’s Theodora and the title role in the Australian premiere of Handel’s Alexander Balus with CCS; Handel’s Messiah (Canberra Choral Society and Queensland Symphony); performances with Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, The Song Company, and at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music and Woodend Winter Arts Festival.
In 2018 engagements include concerts in Canberra International Music Festival with Bach Akademie Australia; Maniyas, in a concert of music by Ross Edwards for Kangaroo Valley Arts Festival, Not the Messiah, a comic oratorio by Monty Python’s Eric Idle (CCS/NCO); and Joacim in Handel In The Theatre’s presentation of Susanna.
Photo by Bridget Elliot