R i a    S o e m a r d j o

Born in Melbourne of Australian/Indonesian descent, Ria Soemardjo has established herself in Australia as a skilled and sensitive performer  of songs in the highly refined and soulful Javanese classical tradition. Ria draws on a deep respect for this tradition in her song writing and collaborative projects. Her distinctive vocal style and ability to absorb a diverse range of musical influences have led to regular collaborations with other highly respected 'world' music performers and composers such as Anne Norman, Adrian Sheriff, Tony Haynes (Grand Union project), Shannon-Goodrich Project, Chris Sprague and Glen Kniebeiss. Ria performs traditional and original repertoire with various ensembles around Australia as well as occasional solo accapella  appearances. In the past 2 years, she has  featured twice in the Radio National (Paul Petran) ‘Deli Diva’ showcase performances.  In 2006 she has appeared at the Commonwealth Games Cultural Festival as a vocalist with the extraordinary Grand Union Orchestra as well as the Brisbane Arts Festival, as part of the multi-media event – Accented Body. The Melbourne Festival has also invite her to appear in the ‘Second home’ series of concerts at the BMW Edge’ in October 2006.‘Sift’ is  her first solo full length CD recording, to be released on 30th September 2006. It features a mixture of traditional songs and original compositions  and improvisations inspired by the  modes and textures of Javanese gamelan music. Ria received funding from Arts Victoria to assist with recording  this album.


‘..For me the most compelling performers of the night were Ria Soemardjo and Kavisha Mazella. Soemardjo sings traditional Javanese songs, but also creates original music that reflects her current surroundings. On Friday she opened with  an extended accapella passage that allowed the purity of her voice to resonate through the auditorium…………….. her vocals floating over the restful undulating sway created by her colleagues’

Jessica Nichols, the Age,  July 29 2005

 ‘Ria Soemardjo……..sang with a delicate yet compelling voice’

Xenia Hanusiak, Herald-Sun 2004 

…her vocal contribution is haunting and beautiful

Helen Thompson, The Age 2002

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