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Ann Carr-Boyd : Represented Artist

Carr-Boyd hopes always that her music will make a satisfactory connection with performer and listener...

Random Audio Sample: Music for a space journey (organ with string orchestra) by Ann Carr-Boyd, from the CD Remembering Adrian Braun

Photo of Ann Carr-Boyd


Ann Carr–Boyd has been involved in music and its many manifestations all her life. Born into a family of professional musicians, she studied piano from an early age with her father Norbert Wentzel and violin and viola with her uncle, Charles Wentzel. She obtained the first Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Sydney, with 1st class honours, and followed this with a Master of Arts, presenting a thesis on the first hundred years of European musical development in Australia, 1788 to 1888. Her first formal composition studies took place in London with Peter Racine Fricker and Alexander Goehr, as recipient of the Sydney Moss Scholarship from Sydney University. Her early works received performances in London, and in 1964 she was one of four finalists in the British Patron's Fund competition, established to foster composition of new orchestral works.

Returning to Sydney in 1967, she continued her involvement with music and embraced such areas as broadcasting (many series of programs about Australian music and music history), teaching at universities and schools as well as privately, and contributing to publications including the Australian Dictionary of Biography and Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians.

Her compositions cover a broad genre. In 2008, her 70th birthday celebrations reflected this in a series of concerts and compact discs produced throughout the year. Performances included the Romance for flute and orchestra as part of the Aurora Festival; performances with the Wollongong Symphony Orchestra of the Piano Concerto No 2; new chamber works composed for the Sydney Symphony Fellows, performed in concerts at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre in Penrith in programs which also included her piano and vocal music. Her piano music, vocal and chamber music, were also performed at concerts in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, and in Canberra and Goulburn. A concert 'Four Generations of Music' was held in July at the State Library of New South Wales with a program featuring her music performed by John Martin, piano, as well as music by her grandfather Albert Wentzel and father Norbert Wentzel, performed by her daughters Xanthe and Katrina and niece Alexandra Wentzel, and also Victoria Jacono, viola.

In October her composition for mandolin ensemble, Fandango, was voted one of the top 100 works in ABC Classic FM's survey of chamber music.

Biography provided by the composer — current to December 2008

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for
1975 Albert H Maggs Composition Award First Prize Gold

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Suite for Diana : harpsichord solo (2014) Commissioned by Diana Weston.
Flying west (trios: recorder, harpsichord, cello) (2014) Commissioned by Diana Weston for performance by Thoroughbass.
Way out ... : for flute and mandolin orchestra (2012) Commissioned by London Mandolin Orchestra.
Tyalgum dawn : for soprano and string orchestra (2011) Commissioned for the 20th anniversary of the Tyalgum Festival of Classical Music in the Tweed Valley, New South Wales, Australia, September 2011
Violin concerto (violin with full orchestra) (2010) Commissioned by Rev. Dr Arthur Bridge.
Digital sheet music sample Land of the long white cloud : for flute, accordion & mandolin orchestra (2010) Commissioned for performance at the festival in Auckland in January 2011.

Analysis & Media

Book: Women of note : the rise of Australian women composers / Rosalind Appleby.

Kit: Music in a frame : celebrating the work of Ann Carr-Boyd / music resource kit by Frank O'Brien.