C16 Dunera Mass

  • May 6, 2023

    2.30pm - 3.45pm

  • Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture

    15 Blackall Street, Barton, ACT 2600

  • In Association with

On 10 July 1940, 2546 men, ranging in age from 16 to 66, were herded aboard the Hired Military Transport Dunera at Liverpool, England and transported to Australia.  Most were German or Austrian, and most were Jewish.  Many had fled to Britain in the 1930s to escape Hitler’s Reich.

After 57 days of voyage in appalling conditions the Dunera reached Australia. It made three stops: first at Fremantle, Western Australia, although no passengers disembarked; then at Melbourne where some internees disembarked to be sent to an internment camp in Tatura, Victoria; and finally, on 6 September 1940, the Dunera entered Sydney Harbour, where the remaining passengers disembarked and were sent to an internment camp in Hay, New South Wales.

Oswald von Wolkenstein, later known as ‘Ossie’ was one of the youngest of the Dunera Boys. Many years later he passed on a large folder of music written by Max-Peter Meyer specifically for the boys and men on the ship. The pieces had been played in the camp and include a Mass, a Psalm setting and a piano quartet.



Peter Meyer, Psalm: De Profundis (1940/41)

Boaz Bischofswerder, Phantasia Judaica (1940)

Peter Meyer, Piano Quartet (1941)

Peter Meyer, Dunera Mass (1940)



Luminescence Chamber Singers

Oriana Chorale

David Cavenagh, piano

James Monro, cello

Pippa Newman, viola

Brad Tham, violin

Directed by Roland Peelman


Nicole Forsyth, narrator


This concert is supported by Andrew Blanckensee

ARTIST Learn more about the artist

Artist Luminescence Chamber Singers


Luminescence gives voice to human experiences of all kinds.

Luminescence Chamber Singers is a vocal ensemble based on Ngunnawal country [Canberra, Australia], and the umbrella organisation for the Luminescence Children’s Choir. Performing music from all times and places, Luminescence champions the unbound expressive potential of our original instrument - the human voice. Both ensembles deliver artistic and educational programs that ignite the imagination of audiences, and give voice to human experiences of all kinds. Luminescence presents an annual concert programme in Canberra and surrounding regions, and performs at a wide range of festivals, events and collaborations. Recent highlights have included performances of David Lang’s Pulitzer prize winning work, ‘little match girl passion’, appearances for Canberra International Music Festival, Four Winds Festival (Bermagui), Musica Viva, Flowers of War, and numerous performances in partnership with the National Gallery of Australia for Patricia Piccinini’s ‘Every Heart Sings’ Skywhale project.