Turning Last Words into Music

Andrew Ford with MC Jane O'Dwyer

Sunday 26 August 2018
4.00PM – 5.00PM
Great Hall
University House, ANU

Composer, writer, radio presenter and the ANU H. C. Coombs Creative Arts Fellow Dr. Andrew Ford will introduce his expressive and emotional piece, Last Words. The song cycle will be performed by soprano Jane Sheldon and a trio of ANU School of Music staff trio comprising Tor Frømyhr (violin), David Pereira (cello) and Edward Neeman (piano). Last Words features the final poems, letters and diary entries of some of history’s most iconic figures. Dr. Ford will discuss the emotionally challenging, yet spiritually uplifting aspect of turning people’s intimate last words into art.

Andrew Ford is a composer, writer and broadcaster who has won awards in each of those capacities, including the 2004 Paul Lowin Prize for his song cycle Learning to Howl, a 2010 Green Room Award for his opera Rembrandt's Wife and the 2012 Albert H Maggs Prize for his large ensemble piece, Rauha. He has been composer-in-residence for the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) and the Australian Festival of Chamber Music. In 2014 he was Poynter Fellow and Visiting Composer at Yale University and, in 2015, Visiting lecturer at the Shanghai Conservatory. A former academic, Ford has written widely on all manner of music and published nine books, most recently The Memory of Music (Black Inc., 2017). He has written, presented and co-produced five radio series and, since 1995, presented The Music Show each weekend on ABC Radio National. In 2018, Andrew Ford is H.C. Coombs Creative Arts Fellow at the Australian National University.

Jane O'Dwyer is Vice-President (Engagement & Corporate Affairs) at The Australian National University, leading strategic engagement activity that enhances the unique position and nature of ANU both in Australia and overseas. Jane has 25 years of Australian and international experience stretching across politics, media, peak bodies and corporate affairs. She was the foundation Director of ANU Strategic Communications and Public Affairs. Her team was recognized with a Golden Target award in 2014 as the Australian In-House Public Relations Team of the Year. Jane was also foundation Director of the ANU North America Liaison Office in Washington DC from 2010 - 2012, where she oversaw the implementation of the ANU North America Strategy, introduced programs to foster access to US funding, worked on building the US alumni community and helped establish the ANU (US) Foundation.