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War Sonatas

A concert this weekend in Australia features the War Sonatas of Michael Kieran Harvey


The Australian Music Centre is advertising a concert this Sunday, 7 July 2024, 5-7pm AEST, at the Eleventh Hour Theatre, 170 Leicester Street, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia. The concert features three piano sonatas by Australian composer and pianist Michael Kieran Harvey (MKH). These sonatas, all dating from 2023, will be played by the composer.

MKH was born in Sydney in 1961. His compositions are influenced by the music of Graeme Leak, Olivier Messiaen, Larry Sitsky, Frank Zappa, Nigel Westlake and John McCaughey.

Michael Kieran Harvey. Photo © Peter Mathew
Michael Kieran Harvey. Photo © Peter Mathew

The introductory text for this concert on the Australian Music Centre and Humanitix websites states the following:

'War is a dumb idea' - Warren Burt's 1994 brilliant anti-war almost-unplayable piano diatribe, is sadly more relevant than ever, thirty years on. These late sonatas of MKH are similar in spirit in their outrage and horror at the injustices inflicted on the innocent by aggressive maniacs. Written during Russia's unprovoked attack on Ukraine and the outbreak yet again of war in the Middle East, Sonata #8 is dedicated to anti-war philosopher Peter Singer, #9 to Harvey's longtime collaborator and Zappaphile poet Dr Arjun von Caemmerer, while #10 is a warning of autonomous AI (also known as killer robots), based on Basquiat's Riding with Death, an interpretation of the famous da Vinci cartoon. A powderkeg piano program of premieres not for the faint hearted.

A detail from  Leonardo da Vinci's 'Illustration for Virtue and Envy' (shown above) has been used in the promotion material for this concert
A detail from Leonardo da Vinci's Illustration for Virtue and Envy (shown above) has been used in the promotion material for this concert

The full programme for this concert is as follows:

Piano Sonata No 8, P Singer (2023)
(War sonata No 1)

Piano Sonata No 9, Sonata da Caemmerer (2023)
(War sonata No 2)

Piano Sonata No 10: Riding with Death (2023)
(War sonata No 3)

There's further information about this concert at

Posted 5 July 2024 by Keith Bramich



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