The Red Tree, based on the book by Shaun Tan, is a 50 minute major work for chamber orchestra and children's choir. Composed by Michael Yezerski and Richard Tognetti, the piece was enabled by the Barbara Blackman Commission (managed by the Australian Chamber Orchestra). The work was first performed around Australia in 2008 as the centrepiece of the ACO's national season and featured Gondwana Voices, one of the world's finest children's choirs. It was conducted by Lyn Williams.
“A 21st Century sacred oratorio in all but name … a fine new piece.”
Sydney Morning Herald review of The Red Tree, July 16 2008
"Enticingly complex, chaotic and beautiful ... mesmerising."
Australian Stage Online review of The Red Tree July 18, 2008
“[The music is] as achingly beautiful as [Shaun] Tan’s images … The synergy of book and performance is a triumph … The Red Tree is a stunning achievement.”
media-culture.org.au review of The Red Tree July 22, 2008
The Red Tree was nominated for Best Composition by an Australian Composer at the 2009 APRA / Australian Music Centre Awards.