The Diggers' Requiem
The Diggers’ Requiem is an Australian tribute to the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. In an astonishing piece of musical teamwork, the Requiem has been composed by seven contemporary Australian composers working with Artistic Director Christopher Latham on existing and new musical pieces. Composers Nigel Westlake, Elena Kats-Chernin, Richard Mills, Graeme Koehne, Ross Edwards, Andrew Schultz and Chris have all written movements.
Jointly commissioned by the Memorial and the Department of Veterans' Affairs and produced and directed by Christopher Latham (Artistic Director of the Flowers of War project, musical artist-in-residence at the Memorial) The Diggers’ Requiem will be performed by the Australian War Memorial Orchestra and Choir along with members of the Band of the Royal Military College Duntroon.
The Diggers’ Requiem tells the story of the iconic battles for Australians on the Western Front, in 12 movements - the battles of Fromelles, Pozières, Bapaume, Bullecourt, Villers-Bretonneux, Hamel, Amiens, Péronne and Mont Saint-Quentin, Bellenglise, Montbrehain, Ypres and Passchendaele in Belgium.
Sixty-two thousand bells representing Australian who died in the First World War are incorporated into the last movement.
Audio recording - France, April 2018
Listen to the recording of the Diggers’ Requiem from its April 2018 performance in Amiens, France.
About Christopher Latham
Christopher Latham is the Australian War Memorial’s first musical artist-in-residence until 2021, and has been working on The Flowers of War project to remember the lost voices of the musicians and artists of the First World War.
During his residency Mr Latham will research the Memorial’s music collection and identify, arrange, and record music with accompanying contextual material that reflects on Australia’s war, operational service, and home front experiences. He will focus on the First World War, Second World War, and the Vietnam War.