Professor Peter Sculthorpe

Emeritus Professor

C41 - Sydney Conservatorium of Music
The University of Sydney

Biographical details

1929 - 2014

Born in Launceston in 1929, Peter Sculthorpe was educated at Launceston Church Grammar School, the University of Melbourne, and Wadham College, Oxford. He is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Sydney, where he began teaching in 1964. He was a Harkness Fellow at Yale University, USA, in 1966, and a visiting professor at Sussex University, UK, in 1971-72. He has taught at universities within and outside Australia, and he holds honorary doctorates from Sydney, Tasmania, Melbourne, Sussex and Griffith. An Officer of both the Order of Australia and of the British Empire, in 1998 he was elected one of the National Trust of Australia's National Living Treasures. In 2002, he was elected to Foreign Honorary Membership of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Peter Sculthorpe has written works in most musical forms - especially orchestral, chamber, and instrumental - and his output relates closely to the unique social climate and physical characteristics of Australia, and to the cultures of its Pacific Basin neighbours. His geographical outlook as an Australian caused him to be influenced by much of the music of Asia, especially during the 1960s by that of Japan and Indonesia. In recent years his music has become more deeply influenced by the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island music and culture in which he has taken a lifelong interest.

Sculthorpe's work is the subject of four books, the first by Michael Hannan (Peter Sculthorpe: His Music and Ideas 1929 - 1979, University of Queensland Press, 1982), the second by Deborah Hayes (Peter Sculthorpe: A Bio-Bibliography, Greenwood Press, 1993); and the third by the composer himself (Sun Music: Journeys and reflections from a composer's life, ABC Books, 1999). The fourth, Graeme Skinner's authorised biography, Peter Sculthorpe: The Making of an Australian Composer (UNSW Press), covering the years 1929 to 1974, was published in Sydney in 2007, and a fifth, by Fiona Richards, is forthcoming.

Sculthorpe celebrated his 80th birthday in 2009. His Lament for Violin, Cello and Strings (2014) will premiere in October 2014.

Professor Sculthorpe passed away in Sydney on 8 August 2014.

Complete list of works:

Faber Website: www.fabermusic.com/composers/peter-sculthorpe

Selected publications & creative works

Download citations: PDF RTF Endnote

Visual Art

  • Geczy, A., Sculthorpe, P. (2004). 1. From a Remote, Lonely Place (Port Arthur Elegy) 2003 2. Light on dark (Point Puer) 3. Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay. In: 2004 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Contemporary Photo-Media. Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide Bank 04 Festival of Arts. Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia.

Musical Compositions

  • Sculthorpe, P. (2013). The Great South Land. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music UK Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2012). Island Songs. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music UK Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2011). Riverina Dreaming (Gundyarri Wagga Wagga). London, United Kingdom: Faber Music.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2011). Shining Island for strings. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2010). A Song for Neilma. Sydney: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2010). After Night. Sydney: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2010). Elegy for solo cello and strings..
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2010). Kyrie. Sydney: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2010). Remembering Mrs Macquarie. Sydney: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2010). String Quartet no. 18. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2010). To Music. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2008). A Song of Love. London: Faber Music.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2008). Chorales. London, UK: Faber Music.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2008). Djilile. London, UK: Faber Music.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2008). Song of the Yarra. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2008). String Sonata No. 4, with optional didjeridu. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2008). Tropic. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2007). A Songline for Henri. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2007). Maranoa Lullaby - for solo cello. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2007). String Quartet No 17. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2007). Thoughts from Home. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2006). Baltimore Songlines. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2006). Captain Quiros. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2006). Elegy for viola and strings. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2006). to Love. London, UK: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2005). [published 1987] Songs of Sea and Sky - solo violin, strings and optional didjeridu. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2005). A song for Fe, A. London, UK: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2005). A Song for Richard. London, UK: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P., Polain, D. (2005). Little Suite. Blackwood, South Australia: Kangaroo Music.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2005). Serenade. London, UK: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P., McAllister, B. (2005). Small Town. Blackwood, South Australia: Kangaroo Music.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2005). String Quartet No 16. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2004). At Bondi Beach. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2004). Koori Dreaming - for descant recorder and guitar. London, United Kingdon: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2004). Little Passacaglia - for solo piano. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2004). Lorin's Piece - for voice and didjeridu. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2004). Music for Bali. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2004). Night Song. London: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P., Cook, J. (2004). Port Arthur: In Memoriam. Blackwood, South Australia: Kangaroo Music.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2004). Requiem - for SATB chorus, didjeridu and orchestra. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2004). Requiem - vocal score for mixed chorus and piano. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P., McCormick, P. (2003). Advance Australia Fair - for orchestra. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2003). Beethoven variations - full orchestra. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P., Freedman, T. (2003). Ease of the Midnight Visit. London, UK: Faber Music.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2003). From Oceania. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2003). From Ubirr - for string orchestra with optional didjeridu. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2003). Great Sandy Island. London, UK: Faber Music.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2003). It'll Rise Again. London, UK: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2003). Lullaby. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2003). Quamby - for orchestra. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2003). Songs of Sea and Sky - for strings and didjeridu. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2002). Advance Australia Fair. London: Faber Music.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2002). Burke & Wills Suite. London: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2002). Darwin Calypso. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2002). Darwin Calypso - for two guitars and strings. London: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2002). Darwin calypso:for two guitars. LOndon: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2002). From High Hills (for orchestra). London: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P., Freedman, T. (2002). Out the Back - for voice and string quartet. USA.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2002). Parting. London: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2002). Sea Chant. London: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2002). Sometimes When I'm Dreaming. London: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2002). Sydney Singing. London: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (1996). An Australian Anthem - brass Octet. London, UK: Faber Music Ltd.

Digital Creative Works

  • Geczy, A., Sculthorpe, P. (2008). Thoughts of Home. Hobart, Australia: Criterion Gallery.
  • Geczy, A., Sculthorpe, P. (2006). Long Ago. Hobart, Australia: Criterion Gallery.

2013

  • Sculthorpe, P. (2013). The Great South Land. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music UK Ltd.

2012

  • Sculthorpe, P. (2012). Island Songs. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music UK Ltd.

2011

  • Sculthorpe, P. (2011). Riverina Dreaming (Gundyarri Wagga Wagga). London, United Kingdom: Faber Music.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2011). Shining Island for strings. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music.

2010

  • Sculthorpe, P. (2010). A Song for Neilma. Sydney: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2010). After Night. Sydney: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2010). Elegy for solo cello and strings..
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2010). Kyrie. Sydney: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2010). Remembering Mrs Macquarie. Sydney: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2010). String Quartet no. 18. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2010). To Music. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.

2008

  • Sculthorpe, P. (2008). A Song of Love. London: Faber Music.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2008). Chorales. London, UK: Faber Music.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2008). Djilile. London, UK: Faber Music.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2008). Song of the Yarra. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2008). String Sonata No. 4, with optional didjeridu. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music.
  • Geczy, A., Sculthorpe, P. (2008). Thoughts of Home. Hobart, Australia: Criterion Gallery.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2008). Tropic. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music.

2007

  • Sculthorpe, P. (2007). A Songline for Henri. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2007). Maranoa Lullaby - for solo cello. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2007). String Quartet No 17. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2007). Thoughts from Home. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.

2006

  • Sculthorpe, P. (2006). Baltimore Songlines. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2006). Captain Quiros. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2006). Elegy for viola and strings. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Geczy, A., Sculthorpe, P. (2006). Long Ago. Hobart, Australia: Criterion Gallery.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2006). to Love. London, UK: Faber Music Ltd.

2005

  • Sculthorpe, P. (2005). [published 1987] Songs of Sea and Sky - solo violin, strings and optional didjeridu. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2005). A song for Fe, A. London, UK: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2005). A Song for Richard. London, UK: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P., Polain, D. (2005). Little Suite. Blackwood, South Australia: Kangaroo Music.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2005). Serenade. London, UK: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P., McAllister, B. (2005). Small Town. Blackwood, South Australia: Kangaroo Music.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2005). String Quartet No 16. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.

2004

  • Geczy, A., Sculthorpe, P. (2004). 1. From a Remote, Lonely Place (Port Arthur Elegy) 2003 2. Light on dark (Point Puer) 3. Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay. In: 2004 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Contemporary Photo-Media. Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide Bank 04 Festival of Arts. Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2004). At Bondi Beach. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2004). Koori Dreaming - for descant recorder and guitar. London, United Kingdon: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2004). Little Passacaglia - for solo piano. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2004). Lorin's Piece - for voice and didjeridu. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2004). Music for Bali. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2004). Night Song. London: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P., Cook, J. (2004). Port Arthur: In Memoriam. Blackwood, South Australia: Kangaroo Music.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2004). Requiem - for SATB chorus, didjeridu and orchestra. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2004). Requiem - vocal score for mixed chorus and piano. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.

2003

  • Sculthorpe, P., McCormick, P. (2003). Advance Australia Fair - for orchestra. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2003). Beethoven variations - full orchestra. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P., Freedman, T. (2003). Ease of the Midnight Visit. London, UK: Faber Music.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2003). From Oceania. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2003). From Ubirr - for string orchestra with optional didjeridu. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2003). Great Sandy Island. London, UK: Faber Music.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2003). It'll Rise Again. London, UK: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2003). Lullaby. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2003). Quamby - for orchestra. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2003). Songs of Sea and Sky - for strings and didjeridu. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.

2002

  • Sculthorpe, P. (2002). Advance Australia Fair. London: Faber Music.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2002). Burke & Wills Suite. London: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2002). Darwin Calypso. London, United Kingdom: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2002). Darwin Calypso - for two guitars and strings. London: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2002). Darwin calypso:for two guitars. LOndon: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2002). From High Hills (for orchestra). London: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P., Freedman, T. (2002). Out the Back - for voice and string quartet. USA.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2002). Parting. London: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2002). Sea Chant. London: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2002). Sometimes When I'm Dreaming. London: Faber Music Ltd.
  • Sculthorpe, P. (2002). Sydney Singing. London: Faber Music Ltd.

1996

  • Sculthorpe, P. (1996). An Australian Anthem - brass Octet. London, UK: Faber Music Ltd.

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