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The entire show was stunning. The humble piano recital was transformed from a bland hall to a space extravagantly decorated to reflect the intensity and passion of the works being performed.
— Joy Minter, The Buzz from Sydney

The Sonata Project

Conceived by Bernadette Harvey, the Sonata Project is an ongoing commissioning and performing program of new large-scale Australian works for the solo piano.

In offering her skills as an interpreter and collaborator in the creation of original substantial solo compositions and in recording and performing these works, she hopes to provide a platform upon which the work of 21st Century Australian composers is amplified. 

Her inaugural Sonata Project concert was performed in November 2017 in Verbrugghen Hall at the Sydney  Conservatorium of Music.

Three gifted female Australian composers who accepted Harvey’s challenge of creating the first installment of sonatas were Jane Stanley, Aristea Mellos and Melody Eötvös. A fourth sonata by the renowned Australian composer, Ross Edwards, also debuted for Australian audiences that evening.


More concerts and recordings are planned for 2018 and beyond to celebrate the ongoing creation and performance of new works.


Excerpts from the inaugural Sonata Project concert 

Bernadette wishes to see an increase in the number of significant piano works written by female composers and to keep the support of classical acoustic solo piano recitals buoyant by engaging new audiences to experience them.


If you are a composer and wish to contribute to the Sonata Project, please contact Bernadette. If she believes a collaboration will work, she will help you in your application for funding through the Australia Council or other organisations.


The Inaugural Sonata Project

The Sonata concerts unveil the new works to the public in ways that pay homage to the past, recapturing the vitality of those nineteenth century luxurious salon concerts, while looking with optimism to the future.

Endeavouring to forge new ways to engage 21st century classical music audiences, the inaugural Sonata Project’s staging incorporated fashion, art and interior design to recreate the frisson and opulence that once surrounded the performances of legendary Romantic musicians inside the salon. Celebrating a departure from the more rigid style of traditional performances of recent decades, Bernadette was dressed in whimsical designs by cult Australian fashion label, Romance Was Born, whilst the stage depicted a sensory utopia. 

Interior designer, Lynne Bradley orchestrated the decadent stage decor to inspire and provoke emotive responses that evolve with each of the sonatas. Uniquely crafted furniture and innovative props by leading Australian design companies together with compelling floral arrangements framed by immersive abstract paintings by Sydney-based artist, Lara Merrett, adorned the stage.


We need your support

The Sonata Project relies on the commission of new works. Private giving, government support and corporate sponsorship enable this project to be realised.

Individual Giving

If you would like to support this ongoing project please contact us to make a your tax deductible donation.

Corporate Sponsorship

Bespoke sponsorship packages can be created to meet your individual needs. We would be delighted to discuss these opportunities with you.
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