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Graeme Koehne : Represented Artist

Random Audio Sample: Shaker dances : string orchestra by Graeme Koehne, from the CD Tivoli dances


Photo of Graeme Koehne

Photo: Bridget Elliot

For anyone who believes that the great tradition of classical music must re-connect with a sense of contemporary vitality, the music of Graeme Koehne attracts avid interest and attention. In his best works, Koehne achieves that elusive synthesis of sophisticated compositional technique, informed by a deep understanding of musical history, and a popular touch that invests his music with emotional eloquence, visceral appeal and aural pleasure.

Through the advocacy of some of today's most exciting international musicians such as the conductors Vladimir Jurowski and Kristjan Järvi, Koehne's music is becoming a regular presence on the international stage. His compositions have long been among the most popular by any Australian composer, and find a regular presence in the established repertoire of Australian music. He is renowned particularly as a composer for orchestra - his orchestral works Rainforest, Unchained Melody, Powerhouse and Elevator Music have been widely performed by orchestras around the world, as have his concertos, Inflight Entertainment (for amplified oboe or soprano saxophone) and High Art (for trumpet) - and for ballet (with works performed by the Houston Ballet, The Australian Ballet, the Komische Oper Berlin and the Sydney Dance Company among many others).

Graeme Koehne is Professor of Composition at the University of Adelaide, and was awarded a Doctorate of Music from the University in 2002. He was Chair of the Australia Council Music Board and a member of the Australia Council from 2002 to 2009. In recognition of his contribution to Australian music, Koehne was awarded the Australian Government's Centenary Medal in 2001 and the Sir Bernard Heinze Award from the University of Melbourne in 2004.


Biography provided by the composer — current to September 2006

Teacher/Influence on

Natalie Williams (1995 - 1996)

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Closed world of fine feelings and grand design : guitar solo Commissioned by Tim Kain.
Looking at the stars (full orchestra with choir) Commissioned by Rev. Dr Arthur Bridge.
Twilight on Dove Lake : orchestra Commissioned by HUSH Music Foundation.
Just walk beside me... : orchestra Commissioned by HUSH Music Foundation.
High art : concerto for trumpet and orchestra (2003) Commissioned by Sydney Symphony for performance by James Morrison.
Digital sheet music sample Third string quartet : true history of the Kelly Gang (2002) Commissioned by Musica Viva Australia.

Analysis & Media

- Article: A sublime evening of distinctive music

- Article: Knowing the score

- Article: Dawn of a new world symphony

- Article: Sound of music for Sunday's silent stars

- Video: The voyage, by Graeme Koehne

- Video: A Closed World of Fine Feelings and Grand Design

- Video: Graeme Koehne - Looking at the stars