Author: Greater Building Society

World Premiere composition performed in the Hunter for the first time

A song cycle written by a Hunter businessman, lawyer and musician will be performed in Newcastle next month as part of its world premiere presentations thanks to the support of local businesses.

Ross Fiddes a Consultant to Whitelaw McDonald Solicitors has composed The Man in the Other Room, to poems by his daughter, Samantha Fiddes. It consists of seven songs linking the journey of a woman's love and loss. Ross said the composition will be performed by the innovative Acacia Quartet with acclaimed soprano Ayse Göknur Shanal at a concert at Newcastle Museum on November 13.

The concert is sponsored by Hunter-based Greater Building Society and supported by Whitelaw McDonald Solicitors, Rapsey Griffiths Insolvency & Advisory and The Sound Construction Company.

Ross said this is the first time the quartet and Ayşe have performed in the Hunter.

“Thanks to the support of local business I am able to have the work by my daughter and me performed by these outstanding artists here in Newcastle,” Ross said.

The program will also feature music by the exciting Argentine composer Osvaldo Golijov – How Slow the Wind and Tenebrae, and Mozart's beautiful (and famous) String Quartet in D Minor K421.

CEO Scott Morgan said The Greater Building Society was joining other local businesses to bring Hunter people a wonderful evening of music and celebration of local talent.

“Whether it is grass roots sports, medical research or the arts, as a customer owned banking organisation we put our profits back into events and organisations that support talent and benefit our region,” Scott said.

Ross is the founder, promoter and musical director of the award winning music theatre company The Sound Construction Company, founder and former principal conductor of the Novocastrian Arts Orchestra (now Orchestra Nova) and a former artistic director and principal conductor for Opera Hunter. As a composer his larger-scale compositions have been performed by many musical groups including Opera Australia.

Founded in 2010, Acacia Quartet was nominated for an ARIA Award and an APRA-AMCOS Art Music Award in 2013.  The Quartet has released four CDs to date and collaborated on others.

Ayşe is a multi-award winning Turkish-Australian soprano. She also studied as the Dame Joan Sutherland Scholar at the Royal College of Music and was an adjunct member of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at Metropolitan Opera in New York. Like Ross, she has legal qualifications.

This is not the first time Ayşe and Ross have collaborated. Ayşe’s upcoming CD of works to commemorate the centenary of Gallipoli includes Ross’ 16 minute song cycle These Men. It is due for release by early next year.

Ross will again be joined by Ayşe the following day (November 14) in the Adamstown Uniting Church, for a recital including renowned song cycles by Schumann – Frauenliebe und leben (Woman's Life & Love), Dvorak – Gypsy Songs, and Wagner – Wesendonck Lieder. He will accompany her on the piano.

Tickets for the Friday concert are limited and available from  They cost $40 for adults and $30 concession. Tickets for the Saturday recital are available at the door costing $30 for adults and $20 concession.

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