Rhys Chatham’s A Crimson Grail (100 Guitar Orchestra)

12 & 13 January

Minimalist composer Rhys Chatham conducts 100 guitarists in a soaring performance
Bay 17
245 Wilson Street
Eveleigh 2015

12 & 13 JANUARY AT 8PM

75 mins
Premium $69
A Reserve $59/$53
+ booking fee



Are you a guitarist? Volunteer to be part of this larger-than-life sonic experience!

In the mid 1970s Rhys Chatham was working alongside sonic experimentalists including Philip Glass, LaMonte Young and Steve Reich in New York, when his world was turned upside down by the Ramones’ self-titled debut album.

Inspired by the power and energy of the electric guitar, Chatham began composing epic, multi-movement pieces for increasingly large guitar ensembles, starting in 1989 with the 100-guitar composition An Angel Moves Too Fast To See. Chatham’s works for guitar orchestra sit at the nexus of contemporary classical composition and provocative late 20th music.

In Sydney, Chatham will conduct a performance of A Crimson Grail for 100 guitarists. This is the fourth ever public performance of this masterwork, following performances in Paris (2005), New York (2009), and Liverpool (2012).

The orchestra of guitarists – surrounding the audience and outfitted with special guitar tunings – creates layers of overtones and harmonics that acoustically ebb and swell, resonating in the performance space.

“A remarkable, engrossing work that plays against rather than panders to expectations” BBC

Make a night of it! Add a Festival Feast at Kindred for just $31 (+bf) to your ticket purchase. See the full menu here.

Note: A lockout period applies. Please arrive 15 minutes before the performance to ensure entry.

Sydney Festival
welcomes and encourages recreational guitarists and bassists of all skill levels to volunteer to perform as part of the A Crimson Grail 100 Guitar Orchestra

To apply, you must have basic music-reading skills. You must also be able to commit to three evenings of rehearsal – 9, 10, 11 of January – as well as two full days for the performances on 12 and 13 January.

If you are interested in participating, please head here for more information and the volunteer application form (deadline has been extended). You will be contacted in the next few weeks if you are accepted.

Photo: John Johnson

Read the program on Issuu now

Download the program here

This wasn’t just a performance, it was a larger-than-life sonic environment
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  • January 12, 08:00 PM - 09:15 PM
    January 13, 08:00 PM - 09:15 PM
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