Jennifer O'Connor : Associate Artist
Jennifer O'Connor is a composer and teacher of piano, theory, musicianship and music.
O'Connor was born in Mudgee, New South Wales. She received her early musical training at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. After moving to Perth, she began a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Western Australia, majoring in performance but changing it to composition after visiting the USA for 18 months with her family. While there, she undertook studies in composition with Andrew Imbrie at the University of California. Upon returning to Australia, she completed her composition degree and then worked for ten years as Head of Music at Mercedes College, Perth, before resigning to undertake a Master of Music composition degree by research at the University of Western Australia with Professor Roger Smalley as supervisor. She was awarded the Master of Music degree in September 2004.
Initially her music style was represented by her work Night Dances - very chromatic using quarter tones, glissandi and a bird-call motif to project the atmosphere inherent in the title. Her music style evolved and is now inspired by poetry, visual art, nature, or just her own imagination - using harmonies based on various tonalities, either tonal, modal, or scales created by her.
For her Master's degree she wrote Tree of Glass for flute, clarinet and string quartet; Night Dances for clarinet and violoncello; Night Shift for orchestra (2004); Bunch of Fives for percussion; and Dimensions for string quartet. Some of this music has been included in festivals such as Totally Huge New Music festival in Perth in 2001(Bunch of Fives for percussion, wind, strings and piano); Canberra National Festival of Women's Music 2001 ('Tango' from Dimensions); Hear Now at the University of WA in 2002 (Night Dances); at the Asia Pacific Conference in Wellington 2007 (Night Dances); and broadcast by ABC FM radio.
Since gaining her Master's, she has written Notes From a Reedy Pond (2006), Elegy (2009), Carries the Sun, Carries the Moon, Keeps Nothing for chamber orchestra (2008); Wedding Song for violin and viola (2010); Fantasia for Feathers and Fur for flute and piano (2009); The Gossips for SATB (2010); Tootle for Two (2010) for trumpet and french horn; Anharmonicity for trumpet in C and string quartet (2011); Tango (2012); Rondo Capriccio for piano; A private commission Continental Drift for flute, percussion, guitars, voices and strings (2013). Works in progress are a work for string quartet, piano, clarinet and flute; a commission for flute and piano; and a sonata for viola and piano.
She is also an examiner in pianoforte for the Australian Music Examinations Board since 2008.
Biography provided by the composer — current to June 2016