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30 April 2009

Composer notes May 2009

Meow Meow and Iain Grandage's <em>Vamp</em> was one of last year's vibrant stage productions in Melbourne Image: Meow Meow and Iain Grandage's Vamp was one of last year's vibrant stage productions in Melbourne  
© Malthouse Theatre

Performances and new releases

Liza Lim's piano work The 4 seasons (after Cy Twombly) was premiered in Finland in March 2009 during the Musica Nova festival. The whole concert is, at least for the time being, available as streaming audio on the Finnish Broadcasting Company website. Lim's piece, played by Marilyn Nonken, starts at around 9'45'' after the first performance of Drew Baker's Stress Position.

Martin Wesley-Smith's piano work Brother Jack for four hands (based on the French round Frère Jacques) can be seen and heard on YouTube, played by the Melbourne-based pianists Sarah and Elizabeth Watson.

Abe Sada, a line-up of bass players directed by Cat Hope, has released a CD. The group, described as 'a bass noise improv quartet', combines installation and performance, often playing with tools, knives, whips, radios and other domestic appliances, sometimes under or around stages to vibrate audiences with the extreme bass they produce. For more details, see Abe Sada on MySpace.

The Australian Chamber Orchestra is performing Roger Smalley's Footwork on its American tour in April-May 2009. Also in the program is Richard Tognetti's arrangement of Pavel Haas's Quartet No 2. One of the concert venues of this tour is Frank Gehry's famous Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.

Katia Tiutiunnik's work Lament of the flutes for Dummuzi for flute and piano was included in the program of the Cinque Giornate di Nuova Musica festival in Milan. The work was performed by Giulia Carlutti (flute) and Niccolo Sbuelz (piano).


Awards and commissions

Carl Vine is the inaugural Australian composer for the '100 Compositions for 100 Years' project by the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. This project will see 100 new compositions from Australian and international composers commissioned and performed over the next six years as part of the lead-up to the 100th anniversary of the Conservatorium in 2015. Vine will also be giving masterclasses and lectures. His commission, Sonata for Four Hands, will be premiered in November (see: concert details in the AMC calendar).

Andrée Greenwell's music for the Bell Shakespeare Company's production of Venus and Adonis, David Chisholm's Axeman Lullaby (Balletlab) and Iain Grandage's musical direction for Vamp were among the winners of Melbourne's 2008 Green Room Awards. The awards ceremony took place in Melbourne on 20 April. Liza Lim and Patricia Sykes's The Navigator and Andrew Schultz and Glen Perry's The Children's Bach were nominated in the New Operatic Work category, award going to Alan John and Andrew Upton's Through the Looking Glass. Ross Edwards's ballet music Possibility Space for the Australian Ballet, and Iain Grandage and Meow Meow's songs for Vamp were also among the nominees. For more details, see the awards website.

Kate Moore's work Ridgeway, a Bang on a Can People's Commissioning Fund commission, was premiered in New York in the beginning of April. '... from the haze she creates, graceful, ambling melodies emerge and evaporate, and those give the music its allure', wrote the New York Times critic Allan Kozinn in his review.

The Australian Music Centre connects people around the world to Australian composers and sound artists. By facilitating the performance, awareness and appreciation of music by these creative artists, it aims to increase their profile and the sustainability of their art form. Established in 1974, the AMC is now the leading provider of information, resources, materials and products relating to Australian new music.


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