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David Pye : Associate Artist

Random Audio Sample: Panchavadyam : percussion quartet by David Pye, from the CD Tetrafide Percussion.


David Pye is a composer, percussionist and conductor working principally in dance, theatre, and music for youth and amateurs.

He graduated with distinction from the Victorian College of the Arts in 1980 with a B.A (Music) and the Gwen Nisbet Music Scholarship. Resident in Western Australia since being appointed as a timpanist to the West Australian Symphony Orchestra in 1981, David has been involved in all aspects of classical and contemporary music-making in Perth: as conductor, composer, percussionist, chorister, teacher, orchestral manager, entrepreneur and administrator. David resigned from the orchestra in 1984 to concentrate on his conducting studies, studying with Ronald Zollman (Brussels) and John Carewe (London). He later undertook further studies at the W.A Conservatorium of Music with Richard Gill, Vladimir Ponkin, and Shalom Ronly-Riklis.

In 1983 he founded the Nova Ensemble to perform the classical music of the twentieth century and has overseen the development of the group into Western Australia's leading contemporary music ensemble - involved in commissioning, writing, performing and recording music. In 1985 David was first invited to conduct for the West Australian Ballet, and in the following year joined the company as Resident Conductor. In 1989 David turned to composition with works being commissioned since then for Nova Ensemble, Buzz Dance Theatre, Chrissie Parrott Dance Company, Festival of Perth and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation amongst others.

From 1988 to 1996, David was Musical Director of the West Australian Mandolin Orchestra. Appointed Musical Director of the Fremantle Symphony Orchestra in 1998, his programming for both orchestras reflects a policy of the encouragement of Australian composers combined with a practical acknowledgement of the importance of audience and orchestra enjoyment of their music-making.

Pursuing his belief that contemporary music best communicates to a wider audience through theatrical forms (particularly music-theatre and dance-theatre), much of David's work in recent years has been in these areas.

David's major compositional influences include Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Reich, Glass, Bill Fontana, Dr L Subramaniam and Mark Cain. A keen interest in the music of India (particularly the Carnatic Music and temple musics of South India) and Western Java is permeating his compositional style. The use of music technology in combination with both the low-tech contemporary instruments designed and built by Nova Ensemble and the traditional instruments of various world cultures is defining the aural space in which David's music exists.


Biography provided by the composer

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for
2003 Classical Music Awards - Instrumental Work of the Year Winner Drummers of Gilgamesh