A symphonic song cycle for voice and orchestra, Compassion is a collaboration between two treasured Australian artists, singer-songwriter Lior and acclaimed composer Nigel Westlake. It draws from the rich worlds of Judaism and Islam to present a collection of profound and poetic messages surrounding the idea of compassion between human beings.
Using the strengths of their individual artistry, Lior and Westlake express the wisdom of compassion through a combination of music with ancient Hebrew and Arabic texts. Their similarities are immense, universality undeniable, and Compassion is their gift to a world struggling with divisiveness.
Commissioned by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 2012, Compassion has been performed with major orchestras around Australia. The recording of the Sydney Opera House concert spent over ten weeks at number one on the ARIA Classical and Classical/Crossover Charts, and took out the 2014 ARIA for Best Classical Album.
Nigel Westlake's career in music has spanned more than four decades. From the age of 17 he was touring Australia and the world, performing as a freelance clarinetist, bass clarinetist and saxophonist with ballet companies, a circus troupe, chamber music ensembles, fusion bands and orchestras. A renowned conductor, he has performed for the high-profile ensembles and composed for orchestras, films such as Babe and Ali’s Wedding, television and theatre.
Lior is one of Australia’s most loved, respected and versatile artists, having released numerous award-winning albums; written scores for theatre and performed in the stage production of Fiddler on the Roof. Since releasing his breakthrough 2005 debut studio album Autumn Flow – one of the most successful independent debut releases in Australian music history - he has become a favourite at festivals everywhere, from Edinburgh to WOMADs in Australia, Singapore, the UK and NZ.
Compassion will be performed with a 54-strong Adelaide Symphony Orchestra for the opening of WOMADelaide 2021.