22 July 2011

Associate Prof Matthew Hindson AM, Chair of Composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, is delighted by the number and variety of recent successes that he has to report for the whole range of Con composers: students, alumni and faculty members are having their new music performed all over the world.

"The full range of students, from initial undergraduates to postgraduates, are making their marks internationally", said Assoc. Prof. Hindson. "They're going from strength to strength with the quality of their music and the innovation of their output."

Two of the most recent success stories come from young composers near the start of their studies. First year composer Virginia Bothais one of 15 international composers selected as part of the '15 minutes of fame' series, performed by clarinettist Bruce Curlette in New York on 30 Oct, 2011.

Second year undergraduate composition student Anastasia Pahosis one of the two winners of the 2012 WomenSing Inspiring Youth Composition Competition, an international competition run in the USA. Anastasia's new work will be premiered in 2012 in California.

Other undergraduates, Lachlan Hughes(3rd year) and Owen Salome(4th year) have also been selected for the Halcyon First Stones Project, in which they will write music for the vocal group "Halcyon" with instrumental ensemble. This is a nationally competitive programme in which 15 composers from around Australia were selected as part of a year-long development campaign, helping young composers write for professional quality established musicians at the highest level.

A relative newcomer to the Sydney Conservatorium, Tasmanian Sophie Spargo(4th year) recently won a grant from the Foundation for Young Australians to present a concert of her music at the Sydney Opera House on 15 October, and in this concert she will be including the works of other student composers of the SCM.

Postgraduate and recent graduate composers are also meeting the high levels of success of their undergraduate peers. These include Alex Pozniak, about to graduate with his Master of Music degree, who won one of the APRA Professional Development Awards for 2011. Fellow composer and shakuhachi virtuoso Lachlan Skipworthwas recently awarded a Churchill Fellowship as well as an Australia Council Skills and Arts Development Grant to work with renowned New York ensemble, Bang on a Can. Versatile jazz musician and composer Jeremy Rosehas just returned from a three week period at The Banff Centre, Canada, working with some of the biggest names in jazz, courtesy of a PPCA Award.

It is an exceptionally strong year for Con composition students, who are following in the footsteps of their teachers and predecessors: Assoc Prof Hindsonis writing a ballet for the Birmingham Royal Ballet for 2012, Prof Anne Boydand Dr. Michael Smetaninare both writing operas and Dr. Trevor Pearceis adding the finishing touches to a Violin Concerto for premiere in September. Dr. Damien Ricketsonis about to tour his ensemble, Ensemble Offspring, to Hong Kong, Macau and Shanghai, presenting his music in festivals and arts events.

Dean & Principal, Professor Kim Walker, commented: "All this good news is a great credit to Matthew and his fantastic team of composition teachers and students. Once again, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music is leading the way in creating and performing the new music of the twenty-first century."

Contact: Mick Le Moignan

Phone: 02 9351 1385

Email: 3d380e5c6f283f1d18265221273d060a10362d292318032c367a2644