Composer Anthony Ritchie talks to Catherine Gilbert about the relationship between music, war and remembrance in his oratorio Gallipoli to the Somme.
The European premiere of New Zealand composer Anthony Ritchie's oratorio Gallipoli to the Somme was performed at the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, on Saturday 2 June 2018, as part of the Remembrance Concert marking the end of the Mellon-Sawyer seminar series 2017-18 'Post-War: Commemoration, Reconstruction, Reconciliation'. The concert featured the Parliament Choir, members of the City Choir Dunedin, and the Southbank Sinfonia, conducted by Simon Over, as well as soloists Anna Leese (soprano) and Jon Stainsby (baritone). In this interview, Ritchie reflects on the challenges of composing a piece of music commemorating the First World War and how he drew inspiration from a range of texts, including soldiers' diaries, war poetry and song.
Post-War: Commemoration, Reconstruction, Reconciliation