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Wata:A gathering for songmen, improvising soloists and orchestra

24 July 2024

In the Concert Hall

Sydney Symphony Orchestra

Classical Music

Wata means many things: it is a part of a ceremonial song cycle, part of the manikay (public song) tradition of the Ngukurr people.

Soul of Australia

In one of the most innovative and energising works for 2024, composer and pianist Paul Grabowsky brings the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Yolŋu songmen Daniel Ngukurr Boy Wilfred and David Yipininy Wilfred together in a work that celebrates the musical traditions of the Ngukurr people in Arnhem Land.

Wata is an invitation to experience a new form of musical collaboration within the manikay tradition, inside the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall. It's exciting, invigorating and spontaneous. Come experience the expansive warmth and astonishing musicality of Wata. It's totally life affirming.

Presented by Sydney Symphony Orchestra


Wata: A Gathering For Manikay Performers, Improvising Soloists And Orchestra

Composed by Paul Grabowsky for a Wägiluk Djuwalpada Manikay shared and performed by Daniel Ngukurr Boy Wilfred (voice and bilma) and David Yipininy Wilfred (yidaki)

Artist information

Benjamin Northey conductor 
Paul Grabowsky director/piano 
Daniel Ngukurr Boy Wilfred vocals and bilma
David Yipininy Wilfred yidaki 
Erkki Veltheim violin 
Helen Svoboda double bass
Peter Knight trumpet and electronics 
Aviva Endean bass clarinet

Other information

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