Family friendly


Sat Oct 21, 19:00 - Sat Oct 21, 20:30

City Hall


A Sea Symphony by Ralph Vaughan Williams 2023

Join the Philharmonia Choir of Cape Town and the Symphony Choir of Johannesburg for an unforgettable collaboration as they perform A Sea Symphony by Ralph Vaughan Williams on Sunday 15 October 2023 in the Linder Auditorium in Johannesburg and 21 October 2023 at the Cape Town City Hall with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra.

A Sea Symphony, also known as Symphony No. 1, is a large-scale choral symphony composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Completed in 1909, it is considered one of Vaughan Williams' most ambitious and monumental works. The symphony is inspired by the vastness and power of the sea, and it combines elements of symphonic and choral music to capture the grandeur and majesty of the ocean.

A Sea Symphony is written for a full symphony orchestra, a large chorus, and two vocal soloists. The text is derived from Walt Whitman's collection of poems, "Leaves of Grass," which celebrates the beauty of nature and the human spirit. Divided into four movements, the symphony takes the listener on a journey through the sea's various moods and aspects, exploring themes of adventure, contemplation, and the connection between humanity and the natural world.

The work showcases Vaughan Williams' distinct musical style, characterized by lush harmonies, sweeping melodies, and a sense of expansive landscapes. The orchestration is rich and colourful, capturing the ebb and flow of the sea through vivid musical imagery. The powerful choral sections, along with the soloists' expressive singing, add a profound human element to the symphony, heightening its emotional impact.

A Sea Symphony remains a significant contribution to the choral symphony genre, showcasing Vaughan Williams' mastery of orchestration and his ability to convey both the sublime and the introspective aspects of nature. Its grandeur and evocative power continue to captivate audiences, making it a beloved and enduring work in the classical repertoire.

Conductor: Richard Cock


Soprano – Ondelwa Martins

Bass –  Chris Vale


City Hall
City Hall, 56 Darling St, CBD, Cape Town, 8001
Get Directions