Wednesdays from 1 – 2pm with Simon Moore

Each week Simon spends an hour in conversation with one of the greatest musicians, singers, composers or conductors, along with up-and-comers and others who influence our arts landscape.

Stream past conversations below, or on your preferred podcast platform.

24 July – James O’Donnell

James O’Donnell is one of the leading organists and choral conductors of his generation. He was Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral, and subsequently Master of the Choristers at Westminster Abbey for over 20 years, during which time he was responsible for the music at several significant events – most notably the wedding of Their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Wales, William and Katherine, and the state funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Since 2023 he has been Professor of Organ and Sacred Music at Yale.

In this conversation, James shares some of the history of the remarkable institutions he has served, and we delve into some of the recordings he has made with the Choirs of Westminster Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. We also hear about some of the broader responsibilities which came with his service at Westminster Abbey.

James O’Donnell performs the opening recital for the new Bicentennial pipe organ at St James King Street on Friday 26 July. 

17 July – Rod Gilfry

A two-time Grammy nominee, Rod Gilfry is a singer and actor who performs across opera, musicals, recitals and cabaret, all over the world. His opera repertoire in particular is vast, spanning 75 roles. He’s come to Opera Australia and the Sydney Opera House to perform one of the many roles in new operas that he has created – Claudius in Brett Dean’s Hamlet, directed by Neil Armfield. Rod has already performed this role at the Met in New York and at Glyndebourne in the UK.

Rod takes us through his long career which began in school choirs and musicals in California, and speaks passionately about some of the roles he has played. In particular, he takes us through the joys and challenges of creating some of these new roles, including his acclaimed performance in A Streetcar Named Desire. 

Rod Gilfry plays Claudius in Brett Dean’s Hamlet from 20 July to 9 August in the Joan Sutherland Theatre of the Sydney Opera House

10 July – Daniel Hyde

The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, undoubtedly ranks as one of the world’s best-known choral groups. Founded in the 15th Century, the choir’s main function is to sing in the daily services in King’s College Chapel, but it has long since spread its wings far broader than that, generating worldwide fame through a wealth of recordings and an extensive international tour schedule.

Daniel Hyde has been Musical Director since 2019. His distinguished career as an organist and choral conductor includes roles at Jesus College, Cambridge, at Magdalen College, Oxford, and most recently at Saint Thomas Church in New York. Daniel talks about the long history and significance of the choir, and how he came to be inspired by this timeless musical tradition.

The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, tours Australia thanks to Musica Viva, from 21 July to 5 August.

3 July – Justin Taylor

For the first time in 30 years, four leading harpsichordists will unite on the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra stage for a rare performance of Bach’s Concerto for 4 harpsichords. One of those four performers is French-American musician Justin Taylor. He is one of the world’s leading young harpsichordists, having released numerous award-winning solo recordings, and is one of the founders of the internationally renowned period ensemble, Le Consort. The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra’s artistic director Paul Dyer calls him a true master of the harpsichord.

Justin speaks about the intricacies and subtleties of playing the harpsichord, and how the sounds of the original keyboard instruments of different eras inform the performance of the music of the respective composers.

Justin Taylor performs with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra a the City Recital Hall Angel Place from 5-10 July.

26 June – Anthony Warlow AM

A musical theatre actor responsible for some of the most notable performances on our stages, Anthony Warlow began his career with the Australian Opera in 1980. He has since become a household name thanks to his work in The Phantom of the OperaThe Secret GardenAnnieMy Fair LadyJeckyll & Hyde to name only a few, while also performing with Opera Australia for The Magic FluteDie FledermausThe Pirates of Penzance, and more. He’s performed on Broadway and the West End, and has several albums to his name.

In this extended version of the broadcast edition, Anthony displays his deep understanding of how to create a successful performance, time and again. We hear stories about his journey to the stage, and about some of the roles that have made him one of Australia’s most popular and successful musical theatre performers.

Anthony Warlow plays Billy Flynn, the lawyer who lets you get away with murder, in Chicago, on now at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre.

19 June – Nicolas Alstaedt

French-German cellist Nicolas Altstaedt is one of the most sought after and versatile musicians today, performing repertoire spanning early music to the contemporary, as a soloist, conductor and artistic director. He’s performed with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and the London Philharmonic, to name only a few. His conducting has taken him to the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Budapest Festival Orchestra and more. As a chamber musician he’s collaborated with Joshua Bell, Janine Jansen and Pekka Kuusisto, amongst many other, and has recorded 15 albums.

In this conversation Nicolas enthusiastically talks about his craft and shares music from his contemporaries who inspire him most. He articulately describes the variations between the different ensembles with which he has collaborated. His energy and insights shine a fresh light into the works he performs.

Nicolas Altstaedt is in Australia to guest direct the Australian Chamber Orchestra until 30 June.

12 June – Vov Dylan

A  global artist who has enjoyed chart-topping success, international tours, and celebrated collaborations, violinist Vov Dylan enjoys taking audiences to a place where the classical meets the contemporary, coalescing with world music and jazz. 

He’s premiered works by some of this country’s finest composers, including Elena Kats-Chernin, Margaret Brandman and Ann Carr-Boyd. He has two new albums coming soon – Elevation, featuring the works of those composers as well as Stuart Greenaum, Ross Edwards and others, plus La Vida Apasionada, an album of works of Margaret Brandman.

Vov talks about his life as a working musician – from serenading in biker bars through to introducing international audiences to Australian works, plus how a couple of bottles of Bollinger may well have been the deciding factor for a career in music!

5 June – Katie Noonan

A singer songwriter who has proven herself as one of this country’s most hard-working, versatile, and prolific artists, Katie Noonan flourishes in every genre. She performs and composes across classical, jazz and rock music. She’s recorded a massive 28 albums, with a 29th on the way, garnering 28 ARIA nominations including five wins. Having already been part of her indie rock band, George,  producing highly successful albums including Polyserena which went triple platinum, she went on to found her jazz trio, Elixir. In 2021, she founded the Australian Vocal Ensemble (AVÉ), a vocal quartet with a special focus on new Australian compositions.

Katie discusses the full breadth of her remarkable musical journey, and the other artists who have inspired her along the way.

Katie Noonan and the Australian Vocal Ensemble join the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs for their annual Chorus Oz concert on Sunday 9 June in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House. She and fellow AVÉ member, Andrew O’Connor, have composed An Instrument of Peace, a new work which will be performed at this concert alongside Karl Jenkins’s The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace.

Recent Conversations

Stream these and other conversations on your preferred podcast platform