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Michael Bakrnčev : Associate Artist

Random Audio Sample: Water (quartets: 4 flutes) by Michael Bakrnčev, from the CD Combine


Photo of Michael Bakrnčev

Photo: Matthew Rigby

Multi-award-winning Michael Bakrnčev is one of Australia's most highly driven and successful young composers.

Michael's family migrated to Australia in the 1960s and brought with them a rich tapestry of Macedonian folklore, religion, traditional cuisine, dance and, of course, music. Michael graduated with first class Honours in Composition in 2012, as a student of Gerard Brophy. It was during that time that Michael's passion and understanding of Macedonian folk music began to intertwine with modern 20th-century classical music practice. Since then, Michael's musical language has increasingly adopted this inherited musical landscape, so much so that it has become part of his musical DNA.

Residing in Melbourne, Michael is a current Master's student, and tutor in orchestration at Melbourne University, and holds a highly coveted Australian Postgraduate Award (APA), studying with acclaimed composers Elliott Gyger and Brenton Broadstock.

Bakrnčev's music has been performed extensively throughout Western and Eastern Europe, USA, Canada and Australia. Past performances at festivals include: Macedonian Days of Music Festival (DMM), ITEC World Tuba and Euphonium Convention, 16th World Saxophone Conference, Australasian Clarinet and Saxophone Conference, Two Days & Two Nights Festival, the 2015 ClarinetFest in Madrid, Spain, and the Chamber Music Australia International Chamber Music Festival Competition (Melbourne, 2015).

Awards include the Adolph Spivakovsky Prize for Music Composition, AG Francis Prize, Alan Lane Award, Harris-Peck Composition Prize, Chamber Music Australia New Works Award and a nomination for the Melbourne Prize for Music.

Bakrnčev's music has been performed by the Macedonian Philharmonic, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Contemporary Orchestra, Australian Youth Orchestra (NMC), Melbourne Metropolitan Sinfonietta and some of Australia's best community orchestras.

Michael has been invited and accepted into some of the best composer development programs in Australia, including MODART (with Sydney's The Song Company) the 5x5x5 composer development project by the Arts Centre Melbourne, the Australian Youth Orchestra National Music Camp, and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra's CYBEC program.

Michael's music has been recorded in Australia and abroad by ABC Classic FM, the Barega Saxophone Quartet, the Quartertones Flute Quartet, the Macedonian Philharmonic, and as part of the Dare CD Project.

Current works in progress include a flute concerto based on the Macedonian folk song 'More Sokol Pie' which will be premiered in Brussels; a new work based on translated Macedonian texts by Fay Thomev; and a large-scale symphonic work.

In addition to being active as a composer, Michael is also artistic director and founder of the Melbourne Metropolitan Sinfonietta which gives several concerts a year dedicated to the promotion of Australian composers' music. Michael is also a proudly represented artist by Orlanda Bryars, via Chronology Arts, based in Sydney.


Michael Bakrnčev — current to April 2016

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for
2011 Adolph Spivakovsky Scholarship for the Composition of Music Winner

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Digital sheet music sample Fortified echoes : for piccolo/alto flute, piano and percussion (2015) Commissioned for the Queensland Symphony Orchestra Pop-up performances, 2015. ANZAC Centenary.