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Paul Witney : Associate Artist

Witney has had a continuing interest in collaboration with other artists, including visual and performing artists as well as other composers...

Photo of Paul Witney

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

Paul Witney is a composer, musician and educator, with his works being in demand both nationally and internationally. He has studied with some of Australia's finest contemporary Composers, including Nigel Butterley and Michael Smetanin. His works have been performed by many leading Australian and International ensembles including Australian Symphony Orchestras, The Song Company, Generator, and The Zurich Ensemble for New Music.

Witney was awarded the 2MBS Young Australian Composers award for Zero Through Nine, having previously been highly commended for Come To The Edge. Witney was selected to participate in the inaugural Australian National Academy of Music’s Composition program, writing for the Zurich Ensemble for New Music. Witney was invited to be Composer in Residence at Border Music Camp in 2001, which saw six premieres of works written for camp, and 2004, which saw seven premieres in their 30-year final concert celebrations. Border Music Camp was nominated for the 2001 composer-in-residence scheme for a Classical Music Award for 'contribution to the advancement of Australian Music in a regional area', and later won the 2005 Classical Music Award for its commitment to Australian Music for the 2004 camp.

During 2005, Witney toured the Netherlands for the European premiere of his Trombone Concerto, featuring Australian trombonist Greg Van Der Struik. In Melbourne, Australia Pro Arte performed the work Spectra commissioned by Fr. Arthur Bridge and Ars Musica Australis.

2004 saw premieres of a number of works, including Terra Lunae for St Aloysius College, to commemorate the school's 125th Anniversary on 1st March 2004, in the Sydney Opera House, conducted by the composer. The Western Australia Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with Symphony Australia, performed and recorded Nightscape II in Perth.

Witney has also been active in continuing to compose for young musicians. Projects in this area have included a set of four songs for Tara Anglican College Choir, based on Aboriginal Dreamtime Stories.

During 2002, Witney was invited to present a 'portrait concert' as part of Groundswell, the Regional Arts Convention. The program included works, which spanned his compositional life. Two newly commissioned works were also premiered; Forge for amplified recorder and electronics and Nightsongs for baritone and small ensemble.

Witney has had a continuing interest in collaboration with other artists, including visual and performing artists as well as other composers. His association with various national and international musicians has resulted in performances of his works in places such as the Ukraine, Canada, USA, Holland, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney.

During his time spent in regional Australia, Witney was active in composing new music inspired by the local region, its landscape and its people. His interaction with local and Indigenous Australians lead to exciting developments as many of his new works have an Indigenous focus and historical inspiration.

Biography provided by the composer — current to March 2006

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Digital sheet music sample Out into silence : for string quartet (2006) Commissioned by Rev. Dr Arthur Bridge, Ars Musica Australis.