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The WASO Song Book

WASO's Commissioning Program

Founded by WASO Chair Janet Holmes à Court AC, the WASO Song Book is your opportunity to become part of WASO’s history, way beyond the company's first 90 years.

The commissioning of new musical works is a matter very close to the heart of everyone at WASO. We aim to perform new works for our audiences each year, providing opportunities to nurture musical careers and create new music that may become the classics of tomorrow.

These works form the WASO Song Book – new works commissioned for WASO, by WASO. It is a truly unique project and we invite you to join us and be a part of this extremely rewarding creation.

For centuries, benefactors have enabled composers to bring their musical ideas to life: Claudio Monteverdi had the Doges of Venice to support him, J.S. Bach had the Archbishop of Salzburg and Haydn had the Esterhazy family, just to name a few. At WASO we are proud to acknowledge our very own benefactors.

Commissioning a new work is an extremely rewarding experience. You are credited on the score (forever!) as the commissioner of the work. Your name will be mentioned in concert program notes and all other publications where the work is discussed. Where possible, you will have the opportunity to meet the composer and perhaps most importantly, you will gain the satisfaction of knowing you are supporting the creative minds of contemporary Australia and that you have enabled the composition of a new work of art that without you, may not have been created.

As Janet Holmes à Court AC says, 'Commissions can be supported in many different ways for many different reasons. Ten friends can get together to commission a new work for the eleventh friend’s birthday. A commission can celebrate an anniversary, the birth of a grandchild, the memory of a loved one or it can be for the simple pleasure of leaving a legacy to your love of music.'

Donations to The WASO Song Book have produced the following works:

Carl Vine - Implacable Gifts
Supported by Geoff Stearn

Paul Stanhope - Concerto for Trombone & Orchestra
Supported by Dr Ken Evans

Lachlan Skipworth - Spiritus
Supported by Simon Lee Foundation

Andrew Shultz - Maali
Supported by Geoff Stearn

Mark-Anthony Turnage – Håkan
Supported by Janet Holmes à Court AC and WASO’s Making Music Together Patrons
Part of a co-commission with KölnMusik - Kölner Philharmonie, London Symphony Orchestra,
Philharmonie Luxembourg and Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg

James Ledger -  Simpler Times 
Supported by Geoff Stearn

Carl Vine – Concerto for Orchestra
Supported by Geoff Stearn

James Ledger – Golden Years Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
Supported by Geoff Stearn

Jared Yapp – The Ecstatic 
Supported by an anonymous Patron

Ross Edwards – Spirit Ground
Supported by Geoff Stearn

Sir John Tavener – Little Ceremonial
Supported by Janet Holmes à Court AC – co-commission with Norfolk and Norwich Festival

Ross Edwards – Elegies and Epiphanies
Supported by Peter R. Dawson

We invite you to be a part of the WASO Song Book. To learn more, please contact Executive Manager, Philanthropy, Alecia Benzie on 9326 0020 or

Click here to return to the WASO Philanthropy home page.