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Ross Edwards : Represented Artist

Edwards's distinctive sound-world fuses shapes and patterns from nature with a variety of musical resources which reflect and celebrate Australia's cultural diversity.

Random Audio Sample: Piano concerto : piano with orchestra by Ross Edwards, from the CD Australian piano concertos

Photo of Ross Edwards

Artist website: http://www.rossedwards.com

Influences, styles: Landscape and Nature

One of Australia's best known composers, Ross Edwards has created a unique sound world which seeks to reconnect music with elemental forces and restore its traditional association with ritual and dance. Intensely aware of his vocation since childhood, he has largely followed his own path, allowing the music to speak for itself. His music, universal in that it is concerned with age-old mysteries surrounding humanity, is at the same time deeply connected to its roots in Australia, whose cultural diversity it celebrates, and from whose natural environment it draws inspiration - especially birdsong and the mysterious patterns and drones of insects. As a composer living and working on the Pacific Rim, he is conscious of the exciting potential of this vast region. Based in Sydney and the Blue Mountains, he is married with two adult children.

A graduate of the Universities of Adelaide and Sydney, Ross Edwards studied with Peter Sculthorpe and Richard Meale, and in Adelaide and London with Peter Maxwell Davies. His compositions, which are performed worldwide, include five symphonies, concertos, choral, chamber and vocal music, children's music, film scores, a chamber opera and music for dance. Works designed for the concert hall sometimes require special lighting, movement, costume and visual accompaniment - notable examples are his Fourth Symphony, Star Chant, premiered by the Adelaide Symphony at the 2002 AdelaideFestival; the Oboe Concerto Bird Spirit Dreaming, which Diana Doherty premiered with the Sydney Symphony and Lorin Maazel, subsequently performing it with many other orchestras including the New York Philharmonic; and The Heart of Night, for shakuhachi and orchestra, composed especially for shakuhachi Grand Master Riley Lee and the Melbourne Symphony. Recently completed commissions include Sacred Kingfisher Psalms for The Song Company, Ars Nova Copenhagen and the Edinburgh Festival; a Piano Sonata for Bernadette Harvey; Full Moon Dances, a saxophone concerto for Amy Dickson and the Sydney Symphony and the Australian symphony orchestras; Five Senses, a song cycle to poems of Judith Wright, and The Laughing Moon for the New Sydney Wind Quintet. He is currently working on a ballet score for Stanton Welch and the Houston Ballet and a string quartet for the Kelemen Kvartett commissioned by Kim Williams for Musica Viva Australia.

Ross Edwards — current to August 2012

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Ecstatic dance : orchestra Commissioned by HUSH Music Foundation.
Madegascan song : chamber orchestra Commissioned for Sydney Soloists.
Animisms : chamber ensemble Commissioned for Australia Ensemble.
Harp mantras (septets: 7 harps) (2014) Composed for the opening concert of the World Harp Congress, Sydney, July 2014
Digital sheet music sample Gallipoli : for string quartet (2013) Commissioned by Ian Potter Cultural Trust.
Digital sheet music sample The laughing moon : five bagatelles for wind quintet (2012) Commissioned by Susan Gregory.

Analysis & Media

Kit: Dance with nature : the chamber music of Ross Edwards / music resource kit by Philip Cooney.

Kit: White ghost dancing : orchestral music by Ross Edwards / music resource kit by Philip Cooney.

Kit: The chamber music of Ross Edwards / written by Stephen Lalor.

- Article: Contrasting Composers Committed To Local Music

- Document: Ross Edwards

- Document: Composer profile – Ross Edwards, A Natural Way

- Program note: Ross Edwards' "Maninyas: Concerto for Violin and Ochrestra"

- Document: Ecstatic Dance/Edwards

- Document: Edwards - Maninyas – Concerto for violin and orchestra

- Document: Edwards - Maninyas – Concerto for violin and orchestra

- Article: Dawn of a new world symphony

- Article: In Meditative Mode

- Article: Risks in offering Ross Edwards to the young

- Review: The Song Company 18 October 1992

- Review: Lament for A The Song Company 21 March 1993

- Program note: Flower Songs Ross Edwards

- Review: The Song Company: Music and the Environment 23 April 1993

- Program note: Martin Wesley Smith 50th Birthday Concert

- Program note: Southern Cross Chants

- Review: The Song Company Songs Signs and Stars 2 December 2004

- Review: The Song Company Songs, Signs and Stars

- Video: Ross Edwards's "Prelude & Dragonfly Dance"

- Program note: Ross Edwards' "Raft song at sunrise"
by Ross Edwards
Source: the score of this work

- Program note: Ross Edwards' "Water Spirit Song"
by Ross Edwards
Source: the score of this work