John McCaughey: Musical Director

Helen Gifford at 80

Phoebe Green, solo viola
The Astra Choir with speakers, solo singers and instrumental ensemble
conducted by John McCaughey

Astra's first concert for 2015 celebrates the 80th year of Melbourne composer Helen Gifford with works both new and old from her output. 

Desperation (2014) was composed for violist Phoebe Green who gives the premiere performance in this concert. It is launched as a published score in the Astra Publications series. 

Helen Gifford's Choral Scenes (1999) creates an environment of choir and an array of instruments around 17 poems from the Western Front, World War 1. The texts, in English, French and German reflect both the disaster of the experience and the highest quality writing of the era.

Alexander Kastalsky's Requiem for Fallen Brothers (1916) receives its first Australian performance in a version for choir, soloists and string quintet arranged by the Australian composer Graham Hair.

Sunday 19 April, 5:00 pm

Church of All Nations, 180 Palmerston St, Carlton

For tickets call Astra on (03) 9326 5424, or

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Download Astra's 2015 season brochure

Astra 2015 season brochure

Astra 2015 season brochure

Download a printable version of Astra's 2015 season brochure.

If you would like to receive the printed brochure by mail, please fill in the Astra Contact form or phone the Astra office, (03) 9326-5424.

Read about Astra in Italy and Romania

Read about Astra in Italy and Romania

Choir member Matthew Lorenzon has documented our travels at

Nicholas Tolhurst, another choir member, gives his perspective on the tour in the Weering Review.

Sound in Space: Astra and Architecture

Sound in Space: Astra and Architecture

Music always interacts with the architecture in which it is heard ...

Sound and Space documents with images and recordings how musical and architectural designs have formed an interactive partnership over three decades of Astra events.