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Utzon Music 2023 James Morley & Friends Beethoven and Beyond

6 August 2023

In the Utzon Room

Classical Music

Contemporary and historical voices meet in a wonderfully varied program, curated and performed by young Australian cellist James Morley.

…the sense of technical derring-do only added to the thrilling nature of the performance…


From Basel to Beethoven: Finding Musical Connections

Cellist James Morley is a new generation virtuoso. This young Australian is a champion of the new, a collaborator, a forger of connections, and we’ve invited him home from his current base in Basel, Switzerland to share his musical vision in a wonderfully varied program of old and new.

In a nod to Basel, he brings a vivid piece for solo cello inspired by the conductor and patron Paul Sacher, who was responsible for commissioning many 20th-century masterpieces. And he’s commissioned two vibrant new Australian works: a solo cello piece from Johannes MacDonald and a duo for soprano and cello by Josephine Macken, which he’ll perform with contemporary music specialist Jane Sheldon.   

Finally, with fortepianist Erin Helyard he’ll perform Beethoven’s third cello sonata, music written “for piano and cello” in which the two instruments are presented in equal partnership. It’s a unique chance to hear musicians from the forefront of contemporary and historical music-making find common ground in a 19th-century classic.

Sydney Opera House Presents

James is leading the next generation of Australian classical artists with effortless talent and style. Living in Basel, Switzerland, studying and performing with the world's very best, his unmatched skill paired with a passion for new Australian music yields electrifying results. Joined by Erin Helyard and Jane Sheldon, this will be a standout in the Utzon Music 2023 offering.

Casey Green, Utzon Music Curator

Artist Information


James Morley 

Jane Sheldon 

Erin Helyard


DUTILLEUX Trois Strophes sur le nom de Sacher

Brett DEAN Eleven Oblique Strategies

Josephine MACKEN Unsettled Hold* 

BEETHOVEN Sonata for Cello & Piano in A major

Liza LIM Cello Playing ~ as Meteorology

*World premiere, commissioned by Liza Lim

Other information

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