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Phillip Houghton : Associate Artist

Random Audio Sample: From the dreaming : flute and guitar duo by Phillip Houghton, from the CD Cloud eight


Photo of Phillip Houghton

Date of Birth: 26th April, 1954

Melbourne-born composer Phillip Houghton was a relative latecomer to classical music, his early musical interests being rock, jazz and folk music. He spent a year studying painting at Prahran Technical College in 1972, breaking off his fine arts studies to concentrate on music. Houghton studied guitar at the Melba Conservatorium of Music for a year, then privately with noted classical guitarist and teacher Sebastian Jorgenson at the Montsalvat Artists Colony in Eltham, Victoria. Houghton's only formal training in composition has been a period of private study with Helen Gifford in 1982, although he has spent much time in independently studying scores, recordings, and books, and in discussion with many composers and musicians. Of these, Houghton names John Champ, Sebastian Jorgenson, Peter Mummé and Helen Gifford as having been of particular importance to his compositional development. In 1984 Houghton was invited to be guest lecturer in composition and guitar technique at the Perth Guitar Festival.

Houghton was a guitar tutor at the Montsalvat Artists Colony between 1977 and 1981, and at the Preston Technical School (1980-81). He has been an examiner for the AMEB since 1991. In 1979 the ABC recorded a number of his pieces, with the composer as performer. He toured Australia as a guitar recitalist in 1980.

Phillip Houghton has written music for both acoustic and electronic media, for theatre, film and dance, and has been the recipient of many commissions, such as those from Montsalvat Theatre, Montsalvat Arts Foundation, Guitar Trek, and the Shell International Classical Guitar Festival. He was appointed artist-in-residence at Montsalvat in 1977 and retained that appointment until 1981, the year in which he gave up his career as a guitar recitalist to concentrate on composition. He has been involved in numerous mixed-media events at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) and worked with filmmakers, dance troupes, and also theatre companies, including the Melbourne Theatre Company. His works have been performed in Australia and internationally by performers such as John Williams, Eleftheria Kotzia, Luigi de Filippi, Julian Byzantine and Gerhard Mallon.


Biography provided by the composer