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Harry Sdraulig : Associate Artist

For me, the musicians are everything. They've spent years in the practice room, developing technique and an extraordinary capacity for musical expression. I can't ignore that - I want to engage with it. My aim is always to give musicians a vehicle to express profound musicality to their audience.

Photo of Harry Sdraulig

Photo: Kim Falconer

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Harry Sdraulig was born in Melbourne in 1992, and has studied at the University of Melbourne and University of Sydney. He currently teaches composition at Abbotsleigh as composer in residence, and is undertaking his Doctorate of Musical Arts (DMA) at the University of Sydney under the supervision of Paul Stanhope.

Harry's works are frequently performed and broadcast across Australia, and have also been heard in Europe, the UK, and the US. He has been commissioned by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, PLEXUS, Macedon Music, the Zelman Symphony Orchestra, and the Melbourne International Trumpet Festival, along with numerous solo and individual commissions. He has also received several awards including the Australian Postgraduate Award, Glen Johnston Composition Award (Audience Prize), Adolph Spivakovsky Award, and the Frank Albert Prize for Music.

Harry's work may be described as contemporary art music, drawing upon the Western classical music tradition in new ways. Characterised by a tonal but richly chromatic harmonic language, his music is primarily concerned with exploring the limits of tonality, motivated by a desire to expand the musical and expressive possibilities of traditional tonal music. Rarely is a diatonic key identifiable or present, although pitch centres are often achieved, either via assertion or through allusion to tonal structures. Occasionally, a freely atonal style is employed for expressive or dramatic effect. Harry's approach is undoctrinaire and expansive, and may involve the use of triadic harmony or church modes where appropriate. The frequent allusions to tonality and traditional structures in Harry's music ensure a degree of familiarity and accessibility for classically trained musicians and audiences.

Harry has composed for a wide range of ensembles and mediums. Kaleidoscope for chamber orchestra, premiered by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Andre De Ridder, is the exploration of a motivic cell colouristically transformed through persistent textural and harmonic recontextualisation. Elegy 'In Memoriam Peter Sculthorpe', written for Fabian Russell and the University of Melbourne, commemorates one of Australia's most iconic composers with a rich and sombre harmonic soundscape. Among Harry's chamber works, Visions of Judgement (for tenor and piano, commissioned by Leighton Triplow) sets a dramatic, god-fearing renaissance text by William Fuller, while Winter (for flute and cello) takes a gentler and more lyrical path, exploring bimodal interaction between two seemingly incongruous instruments.

In 2017, new commissions for the Zelman Symphony Orchestra, Musica Viva, Ensemble Three, Joan and Barry Miskin, Matt Klohs and Joel Brennan will all be premiered, while five of Harry's works will be published by Wirripang Pty Ltd.


Harry Sdraulig — current to May 2017

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Digital sheet music sample Joybox : for violin, cello and piano (2017) Commissioned by Musica Viva Australia.
Windsong : flute and guitar duo (2017) Commissioned by Joan and Barry Miskin
Evocations : trio (2016) Commissioned by Plexus Ensemble.