John McCaughey: Musical Director


Welcome to Astra

Celebrating their 80th year in 2024, Astra concerts embrace contemporary and earlier music of all kinds, venturing into wide fields of music-making. The Astra Choir forms Astra’s historic base, with a constant stream of new works from Australian composers and close links to composers in other countries –  Germany, the USA, Italy and Romania.

Astra programs extend from choral events of new and old repertoire to the full range of contemporary practice -  instrumental and electro-acoustic, along with other performative elements in theatre, dance, film and text. 

With the appointment in 2024 of Andrew Byrne as Co-Musical Director with John McCaughey, Astra looks forward to announcing in April a new concert season rich in adventures. The new Co-Director returned to Australia some years ago after almost a quarter-century of activity mostly in New York. Over the last two years he  has already curated for Astra remarkable performance events around works of Tom Johnson and Mamoru Fujieda. 

Astra's first concert for 2024 will be on Sunday 19th May, 4.30 pm, when the Astra Choir performs in the Sleepless Footscray Festival. Full details of 2024 concerts will be available shortly - join our mailing list to receive notice. Meanwhile please explore our website including

If you are interested in singing with Astra, note that rehearsals will recommence on Wed 6 Mar 2024 - see the Choir page for details of how to join.


Astra acknowledges and respects the sovereign peoples of the Kulin Nations on whose unceded land Astra is based. We extend our respects to their ancestors and elders past, present and emerging, and to all First Nations people.


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Quarter-Hour Concerts

Quarter-Hour Concerts

Short aural-video programs for online listening and viewing, assembled from the Astra Concerts archive from the 1950s to the present, and introducing new studio works from composers in the period of COVID-19.