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Paul Stanhope : Represented Artist

'My music presents the listener with an optimistic, personal geography ... whether this is a reaction to the elemental aspects of the universe ... or the throbbing energy of the inner city.'

Random Audio Sample: Phospheric variations : for flute and piano by Paul Stanhope, from the CD Hemispheres

Photo of Paul Stanhope

Photo: Jason Catlett

Artist website: http://www.paulstanhope.com

Paul Stanhope (b. 1969) is a Sydney-based composer and a leading figure in his generation. He has had prominent performances of his works in the UK, Europe, Taiwan and Japan as well as North and South America. After studies with Peter Sculthorpe, Paul was awarded the Charles Mackerras Scholarship which enabled him to study for a time at the Guildhall School of Music in London in 2000.

In May 2004 Paul's international standing was confirmed when he was awarded first place in the prestigious Toru Takemitsu Composition Prize. In 2011 he was awarded two APRA/Australian Music Centre Awards for Instrumental Work of the Year and Vocal/Choral Piece of the Year and in 2012 was again a finalist for the Instrumental Work of the Year. Paul is also the recipient of a Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship for 2013-2014 - the first Australian composer to be granted this honour.

In 2010 Paul was Musica Viva's featured composer: his String Quartet no. 2 received nation-wide performances by the Pavel Haas Quartet as part of this season, as did his Agnus Dei - After the Fire for violin and piano, performed by the stellar duo Alina Ibragimova and CĂ©dric Tiberghien. Other choral and chamber works received national tours by the Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge and the Atos Piano Trio from Berlin. Paul's music has also been featured at the Vale of Glamorgan Festival by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, in the City of London Festival and, more recently, by the National Colombian Symphony Orchestra in Bogota.

2014 saw the premiere of Jandamarra: Sing for the Country a major new dramatic cantata based on the life of the Western Australian Indigenous resistance hero. Scored for solo baritone, choirs, an Indigenous ensemble of singers and dancers and orchestra, it was premiered by large forces including the Yilimbirri Ensemble, Gondwana Choirs and the Sydney Symphony. It has been hailed as a work of major cultural significance.

Paul's Piccolo Concerto was featured in premiere performances by the Melbourne, Adelaide and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras in 2013. A CD recording has since been released MSO Live label to considerable international acclaim. More recently, Paul's String Quartet no. 3 was featured in the 2015 Musica Viva national season and toured nationally by the Goldner String Quartet.

Paul Stanhope is a Senior Lecturer in the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney and the Artistic Chair of the Australia Ensemble.

Paul Stanhope — current to July 2015

Studied with

Peter Sculthorpe (1995 - 1999)


Collaborated with

Sydney Chamber Choir (1995 - current)

Kammer Ensemble (2007 - current)


Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
The Magic island : orchestra Commissioned by HUSH Music Foundation.
Digital sheet music sample This is Our Home : Ngindaji ngarragĂ® muwayi : for SSAA choir piano and percussion (2017) Commissioned by Gondwana Choirs.
Dawn and Darkness : concerto for cello and orchestra (2016) Commissioned by Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Vicki Olsson.
Digital sheet music sample Three Lorca songs : for soprano, violin, cello and piano (2016) Commissioned by: Benaud Trio (movements 2 & 3); Juliet Tootel (movement 1)
Agnus Dei : (Do not stand at my grave and weep) (2016) Commissioned by Carl Crossin, Adelaide Chamber Singers.
Digital sheet music sample Nephesh : for string octet or nonet (2015) Commissioned by Melbourne Chamber Orchestra with funds provided by Australia Council. Music Board, Robert Salzer Foundation.

Analysis & Media

- Document: Program note for Paul Stanhope's "Certain Resonances"

- Article: Dawn of a new world symphony

- Video: "At the Top" from Songs of Innocence and Joy by Paul Stanhope and Michael Leunig.

- Video: PhoSpheric variations

- Video: Lux aeterna, by Paul Stanhope

- Video: Saxophone quartet "Ockham's Razor"

- Video: Deserts of Exile

- Video: Where the spark is