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Ian Shanahan : Represented Artist

Random Audio Sample: Cathy's song : encore piece, for sopranino or alto recorder by Ian Shanahan, from the CD Times remembered


Photo of Ian Shanahan

Date of Birth: 13th June, 1962

Born in Sydney, Ian Leslie Shanahan studied composition and pure mathematics at the University of Sydney, where his composition teachers were Eric Gross, Peter Sculthorpe and Ian Fredericks (computer music). In 1986 he began studies towards a Ph.D., also at the University of Sydney. His dissertation topics, "The Avant-Garde Recorder: A Preliminary Study of Some Developments in Alto Recorder Playing Techniques and Their Notation" (B.Mus. (Hons.), 1984) and "Recorder Unlimited: A Preliminary Study of the Alto Recorder's Multiphonic Resources" (Ph.D. (prelim.), 1993), reveal one of his main interests - extended performance techniques. Shanahan is well-regarded as an expert in contemporary techniques for the recorder and his work in this area has done much to expand the possibilities for composers writing for this instrument. He is extremely active as a recorder player and has commissioned many composers, both from Australia and overseas, to write pieces for him to perform.

Upon graduating from his Bachelor of Music degree with first class honours in 1986, Shanahan was awarded the University Medal. Since then he was been the winner of a number of prizes, including the 2MBS-FM/NSW Premier's Department Composition Award in 1986 and the Adolf Spivakovsky Prize in 1991. He has received commissions from Elision (1987), austraLYSIS (1993), Laura Chislett (1993), and Roger Woodward (1993), among others. He was one of only two Australians to be selected as Composer Fellow at the inaugural Pacific Composers' Conference in Japan in 1990.

Having held positions at the NSW Conservatorium of Music, the University of Melbourne (where he was composer-in-residence in 1991), and Goulburn TAFE College, Shanahan now teaches at the University of Sydney. He was formerly the President of the Fellowship of Australian Composers and is extremely active in the promotion of new music as performer, lecturer, broadcaster and writer. He has an intense interest in a multitude of non-musical fields, such as mathematics, astronomy and chess, to which he frequently refers in his compositions.


Biography provided by the composer — current to September 2005

Teacher/Influence on

Jane Stanley

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Arc of light : for solo (concert grand) piano (1993) Commissioned by Robert Allworth.