04 April 2017

Spirit of the Wild

By: admin Category: Uncategorized

Spirit of the Wild – concerto for Oboe
The concerto received its premiere as part of the Sydney Symphony’s opening 2017 concert season, conducted by chief  conductor and artistic director, David Robertson.

Composed expressly for the prodigious talents of Diana Doherty, this commission was made possible through generous funding provided by Jane Mathews AO and Symphony Services International.

The work receives further performances by Diana Doherty –

Melbourne, July 10 & 11 (AYO / Melbourne Recital Centre / Conducted by Nigel Westlake)


and Beijing (August 2017 / Sydney Symphony’s 2017 China tour)

The score for Spirit of the Wild is available here 

Maestro David Roberston / Diana Doherty / N.W.

“Nigel Westlake wrote his new oboe concerto, Spirit of the Wild, after a trip with politician/environmentalist Bob Brown to Bathurst Harbour in the southwest Tasmanian wilderness.

The solo oboe becomes the embodiment of that spirit and Sydney Symphony oboist Diana Doherty played it like an incarnation of an exotic woodland bird, a mercurial animal of alert and sometimes savage energy, and force of creation all in one.

The work spanned long notes, haunting remoteness and awakening wonder in the first movement, driving rhythmic vitality in the second, soulfulness and cinematic expansiveness in the third and the best of Westlake’s invigorated rhythmic inventiveness in the fourth.

Doherty’s performance was a tour de force, interspersing cadenzas that wailed and shrieked like a trapped creature with dynamic virtuosity that flitted between chords as though her life depended on it.”

Peter McCallum / Sydney Morning Herald


(L to R) Janice Westlake, Justice Jane Mathews, D.D. + N.W.