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Barry McKimm : Represented Artist

His aim is to engage and challenge performers and audience - to compose music that clears the mind and sets the heart beating wildly, or perhaps sets one down gently in a moment of repose.

Random Audio Sample: Monotony for 8 trumpets : trumpet octet by Barry McKimm, from the CD Artefacts of Australian experimental music, 1930 - 1973.

Photo of Barry McKimm

Barry McKimm, (born Melbourne 1941) commenced his professional music career in 1958 as a trumpet player working in theatre and jazz.

McKimm's early compositions were in the form of jazz and non-jazz improvised music. Throughout the1960s he gained a reputation for innovative jazz. In 1968 he was appointed third trumpet with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra ( MSO).

From 1970 he composed music in exact notation forms and wrote works for orchestral colleagues; concertos, string trios, brass quintets, choral works, voice, piano, and a variety of non-traditional instrumental groups.

His Tuba Concerto and Piccolo Concerto, have been performed and recorded in Australia and overseas.

In 1983 he was commissioned to compose his first major brass band work Ash Wednesday. This work was selected as the A-grade test piece for the National Band Championships in 1985 and 1988. Since then nine compositions have been selected or commissioned as test pieces for the Nationals.

McKimm awards: The Dorian Le Gallienne Award (1978), The Clarinet and Saxophone Society of Victoria Award (1984), the inaugural ANA Composition Award(1985), AMC Award for Most Distinguished Contribution to the Presentation of Australian Music in Victoria (1988)

He retired from the MSO in 1997, and in 1998 was appointed Music Director for the Eltham Concert Band (ECB), a position he held until 2005. During this period he composed, orchestrated and arranged a large body of works (over 200) for community music groups; concert band, soloists, choirs.

In 2006 McKimm produced Trombone Solo (unaccompanied), Along A River and O Yellow Yellow Sweet for chamber orchestra and girls choir on the poems of John Shaw Neilson, Trombone Concerto, Double Flute Concerto and four Piano Sonatas.

McKimm is an eclectic composer. He composes for specific projects; composer in residence, commissions or requests. His work covers a diverse range e.g. for students of all levels from primary school to tertiary; for non-professional community ensembles to high level professional orchestras and chamber groups; concertos for "Cinderella" solo instruments such as tuba, piccolo, viola, bass clarinet, euphonium, trombone, trumpet. Works are governed by the conditions of the project, e.g. available instruments, duration, level of performance, venue etc. As a result some works are abstract, some lyrical, some in between. His aim is to engage and challenge performers and audience – to compose music that clears the mind and sets the heart beating wildly, or perhaps sets one down gently in a moment of repose.

Biography provided by the composer — current to December 2006

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for
1978 Dorian le Gallienne Composition Award Recipient String trio

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Digital sheet music sample Sonata for tuba and piano : tuba with piano (2009) Commissioned to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Sydney Conseervatoirum of Music
Coal River : brass band (1996) Commissioned by the Hunter Region Band Association Inc. as part of the Bicentennial Commemorations for the Hunter Region
Coal River : brass band (1996) Commissioned as test piece for the 'A' Grade Brass Band Section of the Australian National Band Championships 1997
Trumpet concerto : for solo trumpet and brass band (1995) Commissioned by the Waverley-Bondi Beach Band
Trumpet concerto : for trumpet and piano (1995) Commissioned by Waverley-Bondi Beach Band.
The firefighters march : symphonic wind band (1991) Commissioned by the Metropolitan Fire Brigades Board for its centenary year 1891-1991