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Paul Grabowsky : Represented Artist

Random Audio Sample: Moon and you by Paul Grabowsky, from the CD Beyond El Rocco

Paul Grabowsky is a pianist, composer, arranger, conductor, and one of Australia's most distinguished artists.

Born in Lae, Papua New Guinea in 1958, Paul Grabowsky was raised in Melbourne where he attended Wesley College. During the late 1970s he became prominent in the music scene in Melbourne, working in various jazz, theater and cabaret projects.

He lived and worked in Europe and the US in 1980-85, during which time he performed with many jazz luminaries, including Chet Baker, Art Farmer and Johnny Griffin. He returned to Australia in 1986 and established a reputation as one of Australia's leading jazz musicians with bands such as his own trio and sextet, the Wizards of Oz, and as musical director for singer Vince Jones. He was musical director of Tonight Live with Steve Vizard from 1990-1992.

A lot of Paul Grabowsky's time is spent composing and arranging for various projects. He has been commissioned by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Opera Australia, the Queensland Music Festival, the Australian National Academy of Music, and by various other organisations. His work for the concert stage includes orchestral and chamber music, a song cycle and works for the Australian Art Orchestra. He has written three major stage works, and is currently working on a fourth one. In his large-scale works, Grabowsky integrates influences from many different kinds of music and musical cultures.

Grabowsky has written the scores for over twenty feature films in Australia, the UK and US, including The Eye of the Storm and Last Orders (Fred Schepisi), Innocence (Paul Cox), and Shiner (John Irvin). Among the many other filmmakers he has worked with are Gillian Armstrong, Nadia Tass and Clara Law. His television credits include the series Phoenix and Janus and the Emmy-winning Empire Falls. His works for the theatre include two operas and various multimedia works.

He is the founder and artistic director of the Australian Art Orchestra, with which he tours both nationally and internationally. Recent AAO projects have concentrated on collaborations with traditional and contemporary indigenous performers, something which Paul passionately advocates.

Among his numerous CD releases are two for the Hush series (for which he is artistic director), designed to assist in the healing environment of Melbourne Children's Hospital.

He has won four ARIA awards, two Helpmann awards, several Bell Awards and a Deadly award. He was the Sydney Myer Performing Artist of the Year in 2000, and received the Melbourne Prize for Music in 2007.

He was artistic director of the Queensland Music Festival from 2005-2007 and the 2010 Adelaide Festival, and is currently artistic director of the 2012 Adelaide Festival.

Paul Grabowsky regularly performs with his trio, quartet and sextet, mainly performing his own compositions.

Biography provided by the composer

Teacher/Influence on

Andrew Harrison

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for
2014 Art Music Awards: Work of the Year: Jazz Winner Tall tales

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
The company of lovers (soprano with string quartet) Commissioned by Katie Noonan.
Cythera : orchestra Commissioned by HUSH Music Foundation.
The Nightingale and the rose : chamber ensemble (2014) Commissioned by Flinders Quartet.
Digital sheet music sample Tall tales : large chamber ensemble (2009) Commissioned by Australian Art Orchestra.

Analysis & Media

- Article: Untamed melodies at the frontiers of sound

- Video: AAO performs Passion at Soundstreams, Toronto