Media Releases

12 April 2019

Representing diversity: Australia’s most significant music event of the year

Mahmood Khan will be the first Asian artist to record original songs with the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra when the musical powerhouses combine for a recording on 16 April at Trackdown Studios.

Khan, a Pakistan born singer-songwriter is used to making history. In 2009 his song Like the River, recorded live at the Sydney Opera House, became the first song written by a Pakistani artist to reach number one on the ARIA charts. 

The Willoughby Symphony is Australia’s most outstanding community orchestra. Established in 1965, the symphony has one of the highest subscription renewal rates of any orchestra in the nation and a passion for supporting diverse and up and coming musicians.

“Willoughby City prides itself on being a City of Diversity. I am thrilled that the Willoughby Symphony is participating in a project that celebrates diversity in music,” Mayor Gail Giles-Gidney said.

The recording will feature songs written by Khan, score by Doug Emery and accompaniment from Aboriginal female choir Gambirra Mob, while Willoughby Symphony Choir alumni David Griffin conducts. “By combining Mahmood’s unique style with the big orchestral sound, we’re creating an experience that crosses borders. Such cultural bridges are as important in today’s world as they have ever been,” David said.

The project is Khan’s first time working with a professional symphony. “It really is a dream come true to be recording with a symphony orchestra,” Khan said. “The songs selected for this project are very melodic, especially one song called Jagamarra/Eternity Return’ which was inspired by the first Aboriginal friend I made in Australia, and is named after him,’ he said.

The recording will be released on Spotify and Youtube in May. 

Media Contact:
Julia Phipps
Media & Marketing Team Leader
Phone: 9777 7896

For non media related enquiries contact Willoughby City Council on 9777 1000 or