Virtual Lunchtime Concert: Adam Simmons (alto & tenor saxophones, shakuhachi)

Premieres: Saturday 31st October at 2pm.

Welcome to our ‘virtual’ lunchtime concert! Over the next couple of months we will stream a concert every month on a Saturday afternoon for you to enjoy from the comfort of your own home.


Songs of Solace – Adam Simmons (alto & tenor saxophones, shakuhachi)
Adam will perform a selection of original compositions interspersed with eclectic contributions by Krzysztof Komeda, Merle Haggard and Indonesia’s Sisir Tanah. Adam’s unique approach to the saxophone as both a melodic and textural instrument will reverberate in the beautiful space of St Paul’s Cathedral to create a beautifully lyrical and meditative concert.


With a downturn in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, your support in exchange for these concerts is most welcome. Tax-deductible donations can be made to the Cathedral’s Music Foundation below. Thank you for your support.


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  1. Adam Simmons (Australia)
  2. Krzysztof Komeda (1931-1969 Poland)
    Sleep Safe and Warm (theme from “Rosemary’s Baby”)
  3. Adam Simmons (Australia)
  4. Merle Haggard (1937-2016 USA)
    Sometimes I Dream
  5. Sisir Tanah (Indonesia)
    Lagu Wajib
  6. Adam Simmons (Australia)
  7. Call to Prayer


“One of this country’s most electrifying instrumentalists, Adam Simmons defies classification” – Leon Gettler

Since graduating from VCA in 1992, Adam has worked in Melbourne and internationally with influential groups and artists such as Ernest Ranglin, Nigel Kennedy, Peter Brotzmann, Ned Rothenberg, John Hollenbeck, Alessandra Garosi, Odean Pope, Denis Colin, bucketrider, The Pearly Shells, BOLT Ensemble, Bennetts Lane Big Band, Spiderbait, Kutcha Edwards, You Am I, Gotye, Clocked Out, Tony Gould, Sandy Evans, Roger Frampton, John Pochee, Noriko Tadano, Wang Zheng Ting, David Jones, Ted Vining, David Chesworth, Clinton Green, Niko Schauble, Pugsley Buzzard and many more

Ensembles led or co-led by Adam include: Origami, Collider, La Societe des Antipodes (French/Australian), Adam Simmons Quartet, Adam Simmons Toy Band, Adam Simmons Creative Music Ensemble and New Blood.

Adam has taught at all levels from beginner to Masters at various primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. Currently Adam is teaching shakuhachi at University of Melbourne and giving instrumental woodwind lessons at Victorian College of the Arts. Adam has given workshops at various institutions/festivals including: Messina Conservatorium (Sicily), Wentworth Arts Festival (Mildura), Wangaratta Jazz Festival, Squawkestra, National Youth Jazz Academy, Ballarat University, Goulburn Conservatorium, The Music Place and others.

In 2014 highlights include the world premiere of “Billy Tea to Burgers,” a new suite for Origami, releasing “The Fourth Perfection” CD of solo shakuhachi inspired by Chinese art, received standing ovations at Dark MOFO with Nick Tsiavos Ensemble, received commissions from Melbourne Museum for a piece with the Federation Bells and Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka to create a choral work celebrating Eureka’s 160th Anniversary. In addition Adam staged the Festival of Slow Music for the second time.

In 2015 Adam presented the third Festival of Slow Music, launched “Shakuhachi Melbourne” a new community ensemble for all levels, premiered his Concerto for Piano and Toy Band featuring Michael Kieran Harvey, was part of Nick Tsiavos’ 15hr Immersion overnight performance at Dark MOFO and as part of a University of Melbourne engagement project worked with Kids off the Kerb in creating an ensemble performing on recycled whitegoods. He released two new recordings: Sixteen Alleluias (with Nick Tsiavos) and Billy Tea to Burgers (double CD with Origami). In November, Adam presented “100:25:1”, a large scale project at Conduit Arts featuring Adam performing duets with 100 different artists across 25 nights, as the beginning of research into mapping Melbourne’s musician networks.

Selected career highlights include: Commission for Speak Percussion and Michael Kieran Harvey (2012), premiere of concerto by Orio Odori with Philharmonic Orchestra of Loro Ciuffenna (Italy 2012), Special Award from Freedman Foundation (2004), Music Omi Artist Residency (USA, Fellowship 2001, Guest Curator 2007), Green Room Awards for Musical Direction (2003 & 2004), Adam Simmons Retrospective, featuring 40 different acts over three weeks (2006).

Adam is a Forestone Japan Artist and performs exclusively on Forestone RX Red Brass alto and tenor saxophones.

Music – CD/digital:


14 November: Meredith Connie (classical guitar)
19 December: Kevin Chow (piano)

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This series of lunchtime concerts was launched in 2013 to encourage city workers and others to come into and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the Cathedral during the day. They provide fine music and space for contemplation in the midst of a busy week. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, our Lunchtime Concert has moved online, bringing stunning performances direct to homes through Melbourne and Australia.