The musical legacy of Raymond Hanson

Tagore performance in Brisbane

An upcoming performance in Brisbane at the Encounters with India Festival is the second performance this year celebrating the 100th Centenary year of Raymond Hanson.

Ray and Tagore

The Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded in 1913 to Indian poet-philosopher Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941). The Nobel citation noted “his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West”.

These are some of the qualities that have touched an array of Australian composers, principally Raymond Hanson (1913-76), who first made contact with the GITANJALI as a 19-year-old when his sister, a missionary in India, sent him a volume of poems of Tagore. Hanson was thunder-struck by the “World Mind” behind the writing; he had found “his” poet. So too have younger Australians turned to Tagore’s world-encompassing bent, often seeming outdated today.

An Australian song recital

This extraordinary recital by soprano Greta Bradman and her accompanist Leigh Harrold traverses Tagore’s world of philosophy and imagination in Australian music. Past the Indian-inspired thoughts of Judith Wright, in a glorious new cycle by resident composer Ross Edwards, to recent Tagore settings by young Indian and Australian composers. Interleaved with Greta’s items will be performances of another Hanson cycle by tenor Gregory Massingham and some of Tagore’s own songs (he wrote over 2,000 of them) by Heather Lee.

Event details

Event:   Tagore in Australia
Date:   Sunday May 19th 3.30pm
Tickets:   Book now through Qtix ($30 or $25 conc.)
Location:   Brisbane Conservatorium Theatre

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Greta Bradman, soprano
Angela Turner, piano
Gregory Massinngham, tenor
Angela Turner, piano
Heather Lee, voice