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James Ledger : Represented Artist

Random Audio Sample: Waiting for the lights to change (solo piano) by James Ledger, from the CD Firestarters 2


Photo of James Ledger

Photo: Bridget Elliot

Artist website: http://jamesledger.com

James Ledger's (b.1966) orchestral music is well known to Australian concert-goers. His first work in the genre, Indian Pacific from 1996 is still regularly performed around Australia.

Since then, Ledger has been resident with many orchestras and institutions including the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra (New Zealand) and Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Between 2007 to 2009 he was the composer in residence with his home orchestra - the West Australian Symphony Orchestra.

Ledger has written much instrumental music and "has established an impressive reputation as a symphonic composer" (the Australian). Additionally, he has been commissioned by the Sydney and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras and the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Ledger has also received commissions from Australia's leading chamber ensembles including the Southern Cross Soloists and the Australian String Quartet for whom he wrote Processions which the Australian described as "a triumph".

In 2004 his work Habits of Creatures won the 3MBS National Composer Award. Ledger conducted this work in the Sydney Opera House with the Australian Youth Orchestra before their 2007 European tour. In 2011, Chronicles was awarded Orchestral Work of the Year in the Australasian Performing Rights Association/Australian Music Centre Art Music Awards. The Monthly magazine listed the same work as one of 20 Australian masterpieces since 2000, describing it as "a piece of emotional extremes in which everything is in balance".

James Ledger studied French horn at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts. In 2008, he was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to research contemporary compositional practice with a particular focus on new music in Estonia. As a teacher, he has been involved in the composition program for the National Music Camp (AYO), the TSO Australian Composers' School, and is the director for the West Australian Symphony Orchestra's composition project. He is currently lecturer in composition at the University of Western Australia. In 2011 he was the composer in residence at the Australian National Academy of Music, Melbourne.

Recent premieres include In Orbit for Chicago-based group Eighth Blackbird and the Australian National Academy of Music, and Two Memorials (for Anton Webern and John Lennon) performed by the West Australian Symphony Orchestra.

Ledger is currently collaborating with singer-songwriter Paul Kelly and recorder virtuoso Genevieve Lacey on a large scale song-cycle. This work will tour nationally in 2012.


James Ledger — current to January 2012

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Devils on the underground (acoustic music with live computer effects) Commissioned by David Elton.
Igor's drum : sextet (2013) Commissioned by Soundstream Collective.
Golden years : Concerto for violin and orchestra (2013) Commissioned by Geoff Stearn for performance by West Australian Symphony Orchestra.
Digital sheet music sample Silver swans (octets: oboe, clarinet, horn, piano, violin, viola, cello, double bass - with live electronics) (2012) Commissioned by Tura New Music, Southern Cross Soloists.
See how they run : for solo violin and portable CD or MP3 player (2012) Commissioned for the University of Western Australia's Centenary Year 2013.
Digital sheet music sample In orbit : large chamber ensemble (2011) Commissioned by Australian National Academy of Music.

Analysis & Media

- Video: Meet the artist - James Ledger

- Video: Conversations with Ghosts