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Donald Hollier : Represented Artist

Random Audio Sample: Variations on a theme of Larry Sitsky : violin with piano by Donald Hollier, from the CD Herscovitch/Schneider.

Photo of Donald Hollier

Date of Birth: 7th May, 1934

Born in Sydney, Donald Hollier studied piano at the NSW State Conservatorium of Music. He graduated in 1955 and was awarded the Frank Shirley Memorial Prize for the most distinguished student of the year. In 1956 he was awarded the Vasanta Scholarship, which enabled him to study abroad. Hollier travelled to Vienna, and then continued his studies at the Royal Academy of Music and at the National Opera School in London. He graduated from the University of London in 1961 with a Bachelor of Music degree.

On his return to Australia in 1962, Hollier was appointed the first Director of Music at Sydney's Newington College. He travelled again to London to undertake further postgraduate study, returning in 1967, whereupon he became Head of Theoretical Studies and Senior Lecturer in Composition and Musicology at the Canberra School of Music. Hollier retained this position until 1984. He was the recipient of a Churchill Fellowship in 1973, and in 1974 received his D.Mus. from the University of London.

Hollier has spent much of his life working with choirs, and his many appointments in this field include conductor of the Canberra Choral Society in 1976, and Musical Director of Canberra Opera. In this latter position, to which Hollier was appointed in November 1978, he was responsible for staging the Australian premieres of a number of significant works of the twentieth century, such as Honegger's St Joan, Vaughan Williams' The Pilgrim's Progress, and Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites.

Donald Hollier's own compositions include an opera, works for chorus and orchestra, stage works, chamber music, and solo pieces for piano, harpsichord and organ. He has received many commissions, including those from the ABC, the Sydney Organ Society, the University of Melbourne, Duo Contemporain, and the Sydney Philharmonia. Hollier was composer-in-residence with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra in 1990 and 1991.

Biography provided by the composer

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for
1974 Albert H Maggs Composition Award First Prize

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
7 new psalms : choir (1986) Commissioned by the Sydney Philharmonia society with the assistance of the Australia Council