Forest Collective return for 10th full season of contemporary classic programming

  • Written by Zachary Exner

Forest Collective are set to return to Melbourne stages to present their tenth, and most daring,  season of contemporary classical music. Featuring four innovative, diverse and passionate  pieces of programming, the season will showcase over 30 of Melbourne’s leading musical  innovators.  

The season weaves through performances focusing on overlooked performing communities  and composers; including LGBTIA, Asian, New Zealand and the intersection between classical  music and dance. With stunning venues to match, including Heide Museum of Modern Art,  Midsumma Festival and Abbotsford Convent. 

Artistic Director, Evan Lawson, has lead the collective for over 12 years and still approaches  the role with a vigour that is core to the collective’s founding purpose. “We are focusing on  diversity of voices and providing opportunities for artists. After such a wild year that has truly  taken a toll we wanted to focus on diversity, warmth & openness. We strive for every year, and  the creative spin-offs of this direction has helped over 100 artists find a home with the Forest  Collective.”  

“Celebrating our 10th full season is truly humbling for me, but it’s a massive testament to the  talent of artists passion towards taking Classical Music into the 21st century.” 

“In a way the Pandemic will make everyone of us stronger, but the magic of a shared  experience has been absent from our lives. Having the opportunity to present our strongest  season yet is just fantastic!  

All of these artists have over a year of passion to share live on stage – I think the energy of this  expression will be just magic, and potentially once in a life time!” 

Tickets for all shows are limited and on sale now at

About Forest Collective 

Forest Collective is a not for profit artist collective focusing on contemporary classical music.  

We commission, create, and present various art forms, often giving independent artists a  platform to develop their practice and reach new audiences. Forest Collective is run by a  volunteer team of creative, young professionals. We strive to enrich audiences though  multidisciplinary, experimental, and traditional art forms from new, early and mid career artists.  We pride ourselves on giving a voice to underrepresented creators and composers. 

Season Details 

Emo Phase as part of Midsumma Festival 

A concert curated by Adelaide based composer, pianist & theatre maker Dan Thorpe. The  performance will highlight works close to Dan's heart. Including two world premieres commissioned by the Forest Collective. One by important Australian composer Cat Hope and  one composed by Dan himself. 

Venue: Industrial School, Abbotsford Convent 

Dates: 23rd - 25th April, 2021  

Times: 23rd - 7:30pm // 24th & 25th at 8pm 

Asia in Focus  

Composers from Asia are often overlooked in Australia, but not in this chamber music  performance focusing on composers from lesser known countries including; Iran, India, China,  Japan and Thailand. Work by Ravi Shenkar and Toru Takemits will be central to the night. Venue: Industrial School, Abbotsford Convent 

Dates: 16 - 18 July, 2021  

Times: 16th & 17th at 7:30pm // 18th at 5pm 

Australia & New Zealand in Focus 

A concert of music from composers of these two nations, both living and dead. It will feature  world premiere performance of a new piece by 2021 composer in residence Micah Thompson. Venue: Industrial School, Abbotsford Convent 

Dates: 16th – 18th September, 2021  

Times: 16th & 17th at 7:30pm // 18th at 4pm + 7:30pm 

Pierrot Lunaire & Pierrot21 

A staging of the seminal work by Arnold Schoenberg, with two accompanying dancers followed  by a visceral DJ set inspired by Pierrot. 

Venue: Industrial School, Abbotsford Convent 

Dates: 17th - 21st November, 2021  

Times: 17th – 20th at 7:30pm // 21st at 5pm