C13 Birds In Paradise

  • Thursday, 5 May 2022

  • Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture

    15 Blackall St, Barton ACT 2600

  • In Association with

Presented by the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture

Be it the crow or cuckoo or curlew, birds have always fascinated and enchanted us. Capturing their song became a driving force for the French master Olivier Messiaen, transcribing bird calls on his travels and incorporating their multi-voiced warblings in his works.  Hollis Taylor’s observations of the Pied Butcher Bird in Australia triggered an entirely new oeuvre of human-avian interaction, nearly a century after Brewster-Jones’ work in the Adelaide in the 1930s.

A concert by birds, their human followers and divine devotees.



All works are interspersed with field recordings of bird song in their natural habitat

Olivier Messiaen, Alouette lulu (The Woodlark – Lullula arborea)

Hooper Brewster-Jones, Bird Calls

Shrike Thrush in the Driving Mist of Morn  – 12 August 1923

Rosella’s Wooing – 20 September 1923

Black Swans Flying – 15 August 1923

Wattle Bird – 12 August 1923

Magpie in the Air  – 13 August 1923

Reed Warbler – 24 September 1923

Hollis Taylor, Riffingbirds, four pieces for violin (2009)

Christopher Sainsbury, The Arrival (2018)

Olivier Messiaen, Traquet rieur (The Black Wheatear – Oenanthe teucura)



Edward Neeman, piano

Anna McMichael, violin

and birds across the world.

ARTIST Learn more about the artist

Artist Edward Neeman


The Australian-American pianist Edward Neeman has performed across five continents. Critics have lauded him as a “true artist” with “an excellent technique” who “isn’t afraid to put a distinctive stamp on whatever he touches, without resorting to mannerism.” A top prizewinner of numerous international piano competitions, including first prize in the Joaquín Rodrigo Competition in Madrid, second prize in the Southern Highlands International Piano Competition, and third prize in the World International Piano Competition, Dr. Neeman has appeared as a soloist with the Prague Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, Kentucky Symphony, Symphony of Northwest Arkansas, and the American West Symphony.

Dr. Neeman’s debut album, Rachmaninoff & Sitsky, was released to wide acclaim in March 2016. Other recordings include a performance of the Concierto para piano by Joaquín Rodrigo with the Prague Philharmonic. Edward recently recorded Australian piano solo works for the ABC Classics in 2020. He performs regularly with his wife Stephanie Neeman as the Neeman Piano Duo, and has made numerous original arrangements for this ensemble.

After completing his undergraduate studies in Australia with Larry Sitsky, Edward studied in the United States and was awarded his doctoral degree from the Julliard School. He is a member of the currently a piano faculty at the Australian National University in Canberra.


Edward Neeman is supported by Christine Goode

Artist Anna McMichael


Anna McMichael is an Australian-born violinist who returned in 2010 to live in Australia after 17 years in Holland performing in many of the major European ensembles and orchestras. 

She grew up in South Australia and studied violin with Marie Roberts, Beryl Kimber and William Hennessy. In 1990, Anna was awarded first prize in the string concerto final of the Australian Broadcasting Commission National Instrumental and Vocal Competition. 

In Australia, Anna performed as a concerto soloist with the Adelaide Chamber Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and Queensland Symphony Orchestra. She was awarded a Queen’s Jubilee scholarship in 1993 to study with Vera Beths at the Royal Conservatorium, the Hague in The Netherlands where she graduated cum laude in 1995. Anna also followed lessons with Alexander Kerr and baroque violin with Elizabeth Wallfisch. As well as her performance studies, Anna has a Master’s Degree in Historical Musicology from King’s College, London and a Doctorate from Sydney Conservatorium.

Anna is coordinator of Strings at the Sir Zelman Cowan School of Music, Monash University.