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Words and music

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at The Wheeler Centre

Reading on Vocation: Musicians

Throughout the year, in collaboration with Radio National’s The Book Show with Ramona Koval, we’ve delved into the reading habits of professions ranging from lawyers to nuns. As part of our November spotlight on Words and Music, Reading on Vocation shifts its gaze to the literary influences of Melbourne’s musicians.


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Portrait of Ali McGregor

Ali McGregor

Ali McGregor is an opera and cabaret singer currently hosting the cult favourite Ali McGregor’s Late-Nite Variety-Nite Night at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Portrait of Ramona Koval

Ramona Koval

Ramona Koval is a writer, journalist, broadcaster and editor.  She is an Honorary Fellow at the centre for Advancing Journalism, University of Melbourne.

Portrait of Richard Gill

Richard Gill

Richard Gill is an internationally respected music educator and conductor. He has been artistic director of OzOpera, artistic director and chief conductor of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra and the adviser for the Musica Viva in Schools program. He is currently music director of Victorian Opera.

Portrait of Shane Howard

Shane Howard

Shane Howard is the singer/songwriter behind Australian classic like “Solid Rock” and “Let the Franklin Flow”.

Words and music

All of our lives have soundtracks. We cherish certain songs that have meant something to us in our lives, lyrics that have helped us through tough times and inspired us to do better, or think differently. Similarly, everyone has a shortlist of seminal books, or short stories, or poems that have made a difference to them – pieces of writing that have formed who they are.

Who do our favourite writers listen to? What do the musicians we admire love to read? In each event, our guest writer will highlight two pieces of music that have inspired their writing, while our guest musician tells us about two pieces of writing that have helped shape their musical direction. We eavesdrop on their exchange of treasures, and the conversation that ensues.


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