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Taran Carter : Represented Artist

Carter's music crosses boundaries, incorporating a plethora of musical styles into his many musical worlds!

Random Audio Sample: Perverse exit songs (quartets: flute, horn, violin, cello) by Taran Carter, from the CD Locana's world.

Photo of Taran Carter


Taran Carter (b. 1980, Melbourne) has been writing music since he realised that, to be a pop star, you either had to look good, sound good, or write nice tunes. He chose the latter.

Carter's music has been described as having a 'quasi-populist vocabulary', a 'distinctive compositional voice, precociously adept at orchestration and form' and as 'not compromising in terms of inventiveness'. He has written music for orchestras and wind bands, a short opera, several musicals, two concertos (percussion & flute), various chamber works, pop songs and educational works. In 1999 Carter was asked to write two songs to which the Australian synchronised swimming team performed at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

Other highlights in Carter's career include the sold-out premiere season of his first opera, Busking Hugs (commissioned by Opera Australia) in 2001, and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra commission and premiere of Moondani Music in 2004.

Carter's music has been performed by various ensembles including the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Synergy Percussion, Speak Percussion, EnsembleBASH, The Song Company, Opera Australia, Romp Duo and The Percy Grainger Wind Symphony, as well as self-directed ensembles, most notably Tehai.

Carter studied composition at the Victorian College of the Arts, in Melbourne, under the tutelage of Mark Pollard, Julian Yu, Johanna Selleck and Stuart Greenbaum. He has a keen interest in music education and has subsequently had several works included on the AMEB saxophone, clarinet and guitar syllabi, as well as a clarinet work on the British ABRSM syllabus. It was as a school teacher that Taran met the author Scott Hatcher with whom he has since written several musical theatre works, including Sanctuary Springs, H2Oh! and Odes to the Baglady in A minor.

In 2013 Carter was commissioned by the City of Melbourne to compose a work for the Melbourne Town Hall organ and six percussion. The result was a work called Mixed Precipitation which was performed to acclaim by Brendon Lukin and Synergy Percussion in late 2013.

In 2014 Carter was commissioned to compose a new work to commemorate the devastating 2009 Black Saturday bushfires in South Eastern Australia. This work, MOONDANI: Black, was premiered by the Eltham High school Symphonic Band in August 2014.

Carter is currently composing his second opera, Mau Mau, with the English librettist Matt Hilton and a musical theatre version of Animal Farm with the author John Marsden.

Carter's music is published by Reed Music and Wirripang Publishing and represented by the Australian Music Centre.

Taran Carter — current to July 2016

Analysis & Media

- Program note: Taran Carter's "Imagined Red"

- Document: Biography of Taran Carter