5 minutes with Celia Craig

10 May 2024
  • Meet the Artists
  • Musician Spotlight
by Adelaide Symphony Orchestra
5 minutes with Celia Craig

Our She Speaks festival celebrates women composers and puts their contributions to the musical cannon into the spotlight. We invited former ASO Principal Oboe and Cor Anglais soloist for the upcoming concert She Speaks 4 – Discovery, Celia Craig, to share her excitement for the upcoming festival.

What does She Speaks mean to you?

I was hothoused in and then working in music for thirty years, playing same pieces over and over. Yet overnight, my first She Speaks Festival introduced a whole new repertoire (which gave me new synaesthesia colours!) and that’s fun!

Why is it important to have a festival that showcases women composers?

Both for contemporary and historically neglected music, it’s exciting to discover different stories of creative people, while also supporting your local orchestra and balancing your conception of our industry and history. It’s due to Anne’s inspiration and collaboration with ASO that people are uniting in June to celebrate womens’ artistry, rightly recognised with Finalist at Australian Women in Music Awards.

What excites you about Anne Cawrse The Rest is Silence?

I’ve enjoyed a number of projects with Anne including commissioning the solo oboe work Carmen Perpetuum and arranging her piano Trio Songs without Words for my Trio, Tarrawatta. Anne is very well read, and I always learn something from following her ideas. With her titles the resulting pieces often appear to me as a commentary or to reveal aspects of our shared history and society. By quoting Shakepeare’s last utterance of Hamlet, she reflects on death. By creating a work in which the soulful sound of cor anglais threads periods of orchestral harmony with silence, she also highlights the current intense traumas for the world at and the importance of the arts in addressing community cohesion and mental health. And I know it will be fun to play, in Anne’s accessible and interesting style.

Having previously been a member of the ASO how does it feel to be returning as a soloist?

It feels great! Everyone is familiar and friendly and because have played together regularly, I can draw on those longstanding connections when performing. It was the same when I took ASO’s commission Oboe Concerto by Master of The Kings Music Dame Judith Weir, to Cardiff for the UK Premiere with my second orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales- lovely for musical rapport and audience connection too.

Don’t miss out on seeing Celia at She Speaks 4 – Discover.

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