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John Spence : Represented Artist

Random Audio Sample: Chasing the last cadence : viola with piano by John Spence, from the CD Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 37.


Photo of John Spence

Photo: Lucy Crighton

Spence was born in Dungannon in Northern Ireland in 1965. He studied composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, graduating in 1989. His teachers include Graham Hair, Martin Wesley Smith and Richard Vella. He also studied electronic music with Greg Schiemer and in 2011 completed a Research Master's in Creative arts with a focus on Electroacoustic music.

Spence has composed many large scale orchestral works and his chamber music has been performed by some of Australia's leading musicians including Michael Keiran-Harvey, Catherine Selby and David Miller. Spence has also recieved regular commissions resulting in a diverse output. In 2003 he composed an orchestral overture for the Viva la Gong festival. In 2005 he was commissioned to compose an orchestral piece for the 200th Aniversary of Hans Christian Andersen called The Money Box. Several of his chamber pieces have been recorded by artists including Mark Walton, Emma Knott and Scott Taggart.

In 2013, the BlueScope Youth Orchestra premiered one of his orchestral works in Venice at the venerated church of San Stae (Saint Eustachio) as part of their tour of Northern Italy. In 2014 Spence was awarded an Australia Council grant to compose a piece for the Anzac 100 year commemeration. The 23 minute solo piano piece was performed by Spence on Anzac day 2015. He also gave a number of performances as part of a regional tour of NSW. In February of this year Spence completed an original sound track for the soon to be released Debby Ryan film called Rip Tide.

Spence has also worked extensively as a session musician, producer and arranger. He is particularly known for his ability to compose in a variety of styles and recreate authentic examples of many genres. He is currently the composer in residence at the Wollongong Conservatorium.


John Spence — current to May 2017

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Digital sheet music sample Between the peace lines : Piano trio No 1 (2012) Commissioned by Wollongong Conservatorium of Music for performance by TRIOZ.
Digital sheet music sample Mirrored metaphors : for string orchestra (2005) Commissioned by Steel City Strings.
Wollongong overture : full orchestra (2004) Commissioned by Wollongong Symphony Orchestra.