The Natural Order of Things: for chamber orchestra

A composition celebrating the life of Simon Libling who endured pain and terror at the hands of the Nazis in Poland

The Natural Order of Things is a research project and composition piece, commissioned for the Australian Chamber Orchestra by David and Sandy Libling. Composer and UWA Professor James Ledger first met the Liblings in January 2015. Sydney property investor David Libling sought to commission a piece in celebration of his father, Simon. Professor Ledger asked David to write about his father so he could form inspiration for the composition. What he received was an account of David’s father’s truly astounding life.

Simon lived in Poland and experienced a life that included time in, and escaping from, Plaszow concentration camp in Poland. Simon learned to walk again after hiding in a wardrobe during the war. After the war, he and his wife Mary walked from Krakow to Prague (to exchange food for perfume) and then to Vienna (to exchange perfume for money) before arriving penniless in Australia where he built a remarkable life. He was decorated by the Czechoslovakian State for saving tens of thousands of lives from starvation. Helplessness, terror, desperation and harshness are vividly suggested in Professor Ledger’s work, which premiered in 2017 with rave reviews from major media outlets in Australia.

In Conversation with James Ledger: The Composition



Australian Chamber Orchestra

Contact Associate Lecturer James Ledger