Sir Don's own composition included
Sixty-six years to the day since Sir Donald Bradman's final Test innings, the greatest ever cricketer will be honoured in a musical celebration of his life in Adelaide tonight that will feature a piece composed by the great man himself.
Bradman was famously bowled for a second-ball duck by England's Eric Hollies at The Oval to leave his career Test runs at 6996 and a batting average at an unrivalled 99.94.
It's a piece of cricket and Australian folklore, but what is perhaps less well-known about Bradman is his personal love of music and talent for the piano.
The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra tonight premieres a 'multimedia musical portrait' called 'Our Don' that has been nearly three years in the making.
It will combine rare video footage and photographs of Bradman's public and private life sourced from the 52 scrapbooks of cricketing memorabilia that he created in retirement and which are now housed in South Australia's state library.
The cricket legend's granddaughter Greta Bradman, a renowned soprano, will perform during the event that will combine the multimedia aspects with an orchestral score, narration and song.
Greta Bradman sung in the Long Room at Lord's ahead of last year's second Ashes Test, and has also performed at the Bradman Oration, Cricket Australia's annual celebration of the legend and the spirit of cricket.
The soprano has previously spoken of her childhood afternoons spent listening to her grandpa play the piano. During research for 'Our Don', composer Natalie Williams unearthed a short piece titled 'Every Day is a Rainbow Day for Me' Bradman had composed in 1930, the year he scored 974 runs in seven innings in England as Australia won the Ashes 2-1.
"Bradman loved music and was also a talented pianist and was often found at the piano playing for his teammates during the long tour journeys to England by boat," Ms Williams said.
Narration for tonight's premiere of 'Our Don' will come from actor Gary Sweet, from words written by Bradman biographer Peter Allen.
"The only parameter for my work was that it should celebrate Sir Don's life in a way that pays homage to his achievements and successes and highlights his unique role in Australian cultural history," said Ms Williams.
"With this approach in mind I began many months of research and study into Don Bradman's life and history, his personal and professional journey, and his role as an unassuming Australian 'hero'.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 14 August, 2014 4:52PM AEST