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Michael Lonsdale : Represented Artist

Random Audio Sample: Essential geography by Michael Lonsdale, from the CD Arc of light

Photo of Michael Lonsdale

Photo: John Chatwin

Born on the 11 October 1961, Michael Lonsdale began learning piano at the age of seven and composition at the age of twelve. He has written numerous pieces and has performed in Australia and overseas (Europe & USA).

Lonsdale studied composition with Anthony Brennan until attending the State Conservatorium of Music from 1982 till 1987. His composition teachers have included Richard Vella, Graham Hair, Nigel Butterley, David Ahern, Richard Toop, Anthony Payne and Bozidar Kos, and he has also studied screen music with Bill Motzing.

In 1979 Lonsdale was joint winner (with Ian Shanahan) of the ABC Young Composer Award, and was a runner-up in the 1979 Frank Hutchens Award and the 1984 Canberra Youth Orchestra Prize. During this time he wrote and directed incidental music for the Oreste Trilogy (Aeschylus) for Newcastle University Drama Department Director, Assoc. Prof. Michael Ewins.

As Nigel Butterley's composition assistant from 1984 until 1986, Lonsdale was commissioned by the ABC and the Seymour Group to compose Celeritas for Butterley's 50th birthday in 1985.

In 1987 he received a commission from Newcastle Conservatorium for a five-movement work for soloists, choir and orchestra for the opening of the Bicentenary Music Festival, I see past the river....

Lonsdale wrote and performed After…thought projects for the Warringah Arts Festival in 1988, 1989 & 1990. This involved playing recycled garbage, demolishing an amplified car and destroying an amplified piano. Works such as these used conceptual performance and theatre techniques and were broadcast live through community radio.

In 1996 Lonsdale was asked by director David Quinn to play piano accordion and piano as the role of Zak in Cosi (Louis Nowra), performed by the Peninsula Theatre Company (PTC). The following year, Lonsdale was asked to write and perform music for The Glass Menagerie (Tennessee Williams) for PTC, directed by Tonya Wheatley (NIDA).

In the last ten years Lonsdale has written works such as Lung Gompa, Time is the Loser, It Stirs Beneath, Viper, For(giving) Scream, Sutra and Crypto (short portrait series).

Most recently, Lonsdale has written film music for Director John Chatwin's short films, notably, She Can She Does She Will, Moths in Coffee and View, and more projects are currently being planned.

In 1994 Lonsdale's work An essential geography was recorded on the Arc of Light CD (JAD), performed by Simon Docking. In 2005, Thieving Minutes and All Gone Thus were released on the CD, Harmonia, performed and produced by Ian Shanahan.

Biography provided by the composer — current to February 2006