Barry Conyngham : Represented Artist
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Photo: Deb Conyngham
Artist website: http://www.conyngham.net
Barry Conyngham was born in Sydney, Australia. He presently lives
in Northern New South Wales. He studied with Peter Sculthorpe in
Australia and with Toru Takemitsu in Japan.
Combining a distinguished academic career with his life as a composer, he has spent time at many prestigious institutions around the world. From 1993-2000 he was Foundation Vice-Chancellor of Southern Cross University. During 2000-2001 he held the position of Chair of Australian Studies at Harvard University. In 2001 he turned to full-time composition.
He has received numerous awards, prizes and grants for composition, including Churchill (1970), Harkness (1972-74), Australia Council (1975), and Senior Fulbright (1982) Fellowships. He has an ARIA and two Sounds Australian Critics Awards and has been twice recognised at the Paris Rostrum of Composers. In 1997 his contribution to his country was recognised when he became a Member of the Order of Australia.
Conyngham has over 70 compositions under contract with Universal Edition (London, Vienna), Boosey and Hawkes (Sydney, London) and Hal Leonard (Melbourne). There are over 30 recordings featuring his compositions - most notably a complete CD by the London Symphony Orchestra.
Performances of his works in Europe, Asia, the USA and South America indicate the international acceptance of Conyngham's music. In Australia, the Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras have all premiered new works by him since 2004.
2006 saw the premieres of Cathedral in Edinburgh, a chamber opera, Electric Lenin, commissioned by Lyndon Terracini, and To the Edge, a work for the Melbourne-based chamber orchestra, Pro Arte Australia.
In 2007, two established works, the keyboard concerto Monuments (1989) and the orchestral piece Passing (1999), were featured by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, respectively. The latter work has been recorded for release on CD by the NZSO. This year also saw the completion of his third String Quartet Bushfire Dreaming for the Modigliani String Quartet of France.
In 2008 he received the prestigious Albert Maggs Award Commission and the chamber work Dry Spell was premiered in Melbourne. Later that year, the large orchestral work Cala tuent, featuring the music of the Balearic Islands of Spain and commissioned by media company Grupo Serra, had its premiere season on three continents with conductor Geoffrey Simon. On October 10, the folk pipers Pep Toni Rubio (fabiol) and Joan Frontera (xeremies) joined with the Orquestra Simfonica de Balears for the world premiere in Palma Mallorca, Spain, with projections of specially commissioned paintings by Nil Burwiz. The following month, the Queensland Symphony gave the Australian premiere, and the Pro Arte Orchestra of Hong Kong (Music Director Ho Man Choi) performed the Asian premiere in Hong Kong with Chinese suona player Ge Li performing the Spanish folk material.
The Double Bass Concerto Kangaroo Island, featuring bassist Robert Nairn, was premiered in Boston and Pennsylvania in April 2009. His contribution to Jane Sheldon's 'The Origin Cycle', Darwin: Comparing the Eye to a Telescope, will be premiered in October 2009.
Current commissions include works for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (celebrating the life of conductor Hiroyuki Iwaki), a new work for the Australia Ensemble, and a commission for the Centenary of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
Barry Conyngham — current to September 2009
Awards & Prizes
|2012||Art Music Awards: Work of the Year: Orchestral||Finalist||Gardener of Time|
|2008||Albert H Maggs Composition Award||First Prize||Showboat Kalang|
|1997||Order of Australia||Member of the Order||For service to music as a composer and to music education and administration|
|1978||Albert H Maggs Composition Award||First Prize||String quartet|
|Showboat Kalang : for flute, clarinet, piano, two violins, viola, cello||Commissioned by Albert H. Maggs Foundation for performance by Australia Ensemble.|
|Kangaroo Island : concerto for double bass and orchestra (2009)||Commissioned for Robert Nairn.|
|Fix : for baritone and orchestra (2004)||Commissioned by Symphony Australia for performance by Sydney Symphony.|
|Playground : trio (2002)||Commissioned by Michigan State University, Verdehr Trio.|
|String quartet 2 : string quartet (1999)||Commissioned by Julian Burnside for performance by Musica Viva Society of Australia.|
|Passing : for orchestra (1998)||Commissioned by Symphony Australia.|
Analysis & Media
- Article: Tribute To A Composer Brings Out The Ghosts
- Program note: Barry Conyngham's "Fix"
- Program note: Barry Conyngham's "Monuments"
- Program note: Barry Conyngham's "Now that darkness"
- Program note: Barry Conyngham's "Passing"
- Article: Dawn of a new world symphony