My fourth symphony follows a line of progression through the preceding three. The bluntness and concision of the first (MicroSymphony) precedes the larger phrases and more surprising turns of the second. The third was conceived as a single large phrase that moves slowly from "darkness" to "light" (or uncertainty to affirmation), a process that is continued in the fourth.
Like its predecessors, the fourth is cast in a single movement comprising a number of discrete sections. The sombre opening is interrupted before evolving into an evasive passage of rhythmic interplay. The climax of this section collapses suddenly to reveal two romantic melodies that again build suddenly and fall away without warning. The Presto that follows would normally be the second movement _ a rapid moto perpetuo built on one note. The presto dies away to a transparent motive on solo piano. This once again evolves then decays, leading to a quiet and reflective finale.
In the 1998 revision to the work (Symphony No. "4.2"), the proportions between these sections has been altered dramatically, and a new presto section precedes the final chorale.
Symphony No. 4 was commissioned by the Sydney Youth Orchestra Association with financial assistance from the Performing Arts Board of the Australia Council. It was first performed by the Sydney Youth Orchestra conducted by Henryk Pisarek on Sunday the 23rd of May, 1993, at the Sydney Town Hall, Australia.