Solander and Science: A Musical Journey

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This includes onsite learning programs, performances, talks, walking tours and all school holiday activities. We are taking these steps as a public health precaution in support of measures to contain COVID-19. However, you can still discover our places, stories and collections online and across our social channels. Stay connected to be inspired and entertained. 


To celebrate the 250th anniversary of naturalist Daniel Solander's visit to Australia, join the Marais Project for this unique evening of Swedish music and an introduction to Solander’s work on natural history. 

Solander was the first Swedish visitor to the continent of Australia, arriving on the Endeavour in 1770 under James Cook. In recognition of this occasion, the Marais Project, an ensemble specialising in Swedish music, presents a wonderful evening of music including Swedish songs from the time of Solander, Swedish folk music, and works from the Australian colonial era found in SLM's collections, accompanied by readings from the journals of Cook and Joseph Banks.


  • Trio of musicians with instruments.

    Marais Project.

    Photo courtesy Marais Project

  • Headshot of man in black t-shirt.

    James Fraser.

    Photo courtesy James Fraser

The Marais Project

Formed in 2000 by viola da gambist, Jenny Eriksson, The Marais Project is one of the few Australian music ensembles based around that most beautiful of instruments, the viola da gamba. The Marais Project have performed at festivals and leading venues across Australia and in New Zealand and appeared live many times on the ABC and other radio stations. They are currently Ensemble in Residence at Fine Music Sydney (formerly Fine Music 102.5). In addition to their expertise in baroque music, The Marais Project has a deep interest in Swedish music and history. The group has released seven highly regard CDs including “Smörgåsbord”, a collection of Swedish classical, folk and jazz music which was launched by the Swedish Ambassador to Australia and reached the Top 20 in the Australian classical charts.

Music examples:

The performers

Susie Bishop is a highly versatile multi-instrumentalist and vocalist and one of the few Australian artists who can sing in Swedish. She initially began performing as a violinist and joined and toured with the Sydney Youth Orchestra between 2001- 2003. After completing a BCA in Music and Theatre at Wollongong University, she won a scholarship to continue her studies in the UK where she completed an MMus at the Royal Northern Conservatorium of Music in 2010 majoring in Opera. She has been fortunate enough to perform with such inspiring and acclaimed artists as Jane Rutter, David Helfgott and Robin Blaze, and has been under the masterful direction of Nicholas Kraemer, Peter Wiegold and Rachel McDonald amongst many others.  Since returning to Australia her classical engagements have included soloist soprano with the Parsons Affayre, The Marais Project, guest performances with The Song Company and St. James Choir, and a regular recital series at the Independent Theatre with pianist Emily-Rose Sarkova. Her other current projects include Chaika, contemporary Tango quintet, Tángalo, and her song writing duo with sister Laura Bishop. Her other collaborations and regular guest performances include Miriam Lieberman Trio, Monsieur Camembert, and Elysian Fields, with Jenny Eriksson.

James Fraser is a multi-award winning Director, Writer and Actor with a love of telling intimate stories. As an actor he first earned notice for the role of Spit in the feature film December Boys. He has since gone on to portray on-going TV roles in series such as Devil's Playground, Deadline Gallipoli, Black Comedy and Anzac Girls, as well as feature films such as Sleeping Beauty, The Turning and Russell Crowe's directorial debut The Water Diviner. In 2018 James won 'Best Actor' at the New York Independent Film Festival for his performance in 'The Virgin'. In 2019 James starred in, co-wrote, co-produced and edited the short film, 'Snare', which was was nominated for a prestigious "AACTA" Award. In 2020 James will star as 'Ian Murnen' in the upcoming International Amazon Prime series, The Wilds.

Tommie Andersson was born in Sweden and has been based in Sydney since 1984. He is regarded as Australia’s leading specialist in lutes and early guitars and an expert on Swedish folk music. He completed his studies at the State Conservatorium of Music in Göteborg (Gothenburg), Sweden, with a master’s degree in Performance, studying under Josef Holecek. He was then awarded a Swiss Government Scholarship for further studies at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, where his teachers included Eugen M. Dombois and Hopkinson Smith. He has toured extensively in Sweden and has given performances and master classes in Scandinavia, Western Europe, Malaysia, Japan and as a continuo player, in South America and Southeast Asia. Tommie Andersson appears on numerous discs and has released a solo compact disc of Baroque lute and guitar music on the Swedish label, Musica Rediviva. He is a founding member of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra. In 2016, a recording of Swedish folk music he made in the mid-1980s, was released on CD titled Strängalek och Näckaspel.  He is also a skilled arranger.

Jennifer Eriksson completed her initial music studies at the NSW State Conservatorium of Music studying music education and cello with Barbara Woolley. She subsequently learned the viola da gamba with Jaap ter Linden at the Rotterdam Conservatorium for three years, where she completed postgraduate studies in baroque music. Jennifer founded The Marais Project in 2000 and has directed ensembles for the Musica Viva in Schools program for more than 25 years. She commenced a new school show, Da Vinci’s Apprentice, in 2018. Although featuring period instruments, Da Vinci’s Apprentice consists entirely of new music by composer, Sally Greenaway. Jennifer is widely recognised as one of Australia’s best known and most versatile viola da gambists. She has recorded six previous commercial CDs and performed in Holland, Sweden, Germany, Singapore, New Zealand and New Caledonia as well as undertaking a residency at the Banff Arts Centre for Arts and Creativity, Canada. Jennifer has commissioned more than twenty works for viola da gamba and electric viola da gamba by Australian composers.  She is also co-founder of Elysian Fields, Australia’s only electric viola da gamba ensemble. Her grandfather, Knut Axel Eriksson, immigrated to Australia from Stockholm in the 1920s. She still has relatives in Sweden and visits regularly.

Bookings essential

Adult $85

Concession $75

Members enjoy a 20% discount on events

Ticket includes museum entry

CD giveaway of The Marais Project’s Swedish CD Smörgåsbord to the first 10 bookings (winners will collect CD at performance).

When & Where

Friday 27 March 2020 6.30PM–8.30PM

Elizabeth Bay House

7 Onslow Avenue, Elizabeth Bay, NSW 2011
+61 2 9356 3022

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