Sacred Music Festival

World Music Festival comes to Emanuel Synagogue

This September, the popular Sydney Sacred Music Festival will bring together 12 diverse cultures in harmony

SYDNEY- Saturday 7th September is the opening night of the 2019 Sydney Sacred Music Festival and will see this popular festival of World Music come to Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs for the first time. Emanuel Synagogue in Woollahra is delighted to host this special performance presenting an inspiring range of World Music.

The 11-piece inter-faith Orchestra is made up of artists representing diverse cultural and faith backgrounds, creating 'new' Australian Sacred music. Joining the Orchestra for this special performance will be Cantor George Mordecai who will draw on his Iraqi-Jewish heritage.

The Sydney World Music Orchestra takes listeners on a transformative journey of cultural exchange and discovery. From ancient tunes in diverse languages to contemporary ‘sacred pop’, this unique interfaith ensemble from Western Sydney showcases an array of talent from Aboriginal Australia, Mongolia, East Turkestan, Vietnam, China and more in the creation of ‘new Australian’ sacred music.

The Festival was established by Festival Director, Richard Petkovic of the Cultural Arts Collective in 2011. The Cultural Arts Collective continues to collaborate with artists and communities across artforms to create unique cultural content that provides a way forward for our diverse community.

Explains Richard: “As the world looks to divide, we are coming together to celebrate the diversity of our communities and the inclusiveness of the sacred.”

The members of the Orchestra are:

Shohrat Tursun (Uyghur) - recognised master in 1,000 year old song cycles - voice and dutar (two-stringed lute)

Bukhu Ganburged – Mongolian throat singing and horse fiddle

Maryana Sywak – Ukranian violin

Ngoc Tuan Hoang – Vietnamese classical guitar

Nicholas Ng – Urhu (Chinese violin) and pipa (Chinese flute)

Gambirra Illume – Indigenous Australian vocalist and ceremony

Yaw Derkyi - exploring Ghanaian animist rituals and percussion

Jonathan Nanlohy – Double Bass and spoken word

Maria Mitar – vocalist (Croatia)

Adem Yilmaz – Kurdish Turkish percussion

Richard Petkovic – harmonium and guitar

At this performance, Cantor George Mordecai will join the ensemble, drawing on his Iraqi-Jewish heritage. “I am delighted to be able to perform with this extraordinary ensemble and know that this will be a very special collaboration. To have this diverse troupe perform at Emanuel Synagogue will be a truly transformative experience.” explains Cantor Mordecai.

The power of this unique ensemble lies in its combination of cultures, faiths and traditions represented on stage, virtuosic musicianship, innovative compositions, and its ability to uplift audiences.

Saturday 7th September from 7:00pm

At Emanuel Synagogue, 7 Ocean St, Woollahra

P: (02) 9389 6444   Tickets are now for sale at

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