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Melisande Wright : Associate Artist

A picture is worth a thousand words. I've often wondered how many pictures a song or a sonata is worth...?

Photo of Melisande Wright

Melisande Wright began her musical journey at an early age, as a harpist, pianist and violinist, achieving eighth grade in harp and associate level in violin by the age of 17. It was not until after she finished secondary school, however, that she discovered a passion for creating original music. This was initially pursued in the form of songwriting, and she maintains an ongoing interest in writing songs.

Wright first studied composition with Grahame Dudley at the Elder Conservatorium as part of the Bachelor program. In her third and Honours years she studied with Graeme Koehne, who later became her supervisor (along with Charles Bodman Rae and Kimi Coaldrake) for her postgraduate studies in composition, for which she received an Australian Postgraduate Award. These studies involved research into klezmer and how aspects of this music could be interpreted and implemented in developing her compositional style. Wright was awarded her PhD in composition in 2011.

Between 2003 and 2007, ten of Wright's works were awarded first prize in the open categories of the Adelaide Young Composers' Awards. She also was selected to participate in the composition program for Australian Youth Orchestra's National Music Camp in January 2006, working with choreographer Narelle Benjamin on a piece for dance.

In 2011, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra performed and recorded Procession as part of their Composers' School. The Elder Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra performed a related work, titled Prague Procession, in September of the same year.

Wright was on staff at the Elder Conservatorium for three years teaching classical and jazz aural studies. She has also actively worked as an orchestrator, arranger, transcriber and copyist.

Her music has featured on albums recorded by Eve Vocal Trio, Emma Horwood and Zephyr Quartet. A composition for harp, titled New Moon, was used for a dance short film produced by Narelle Benjamin and Samuel James. Currently, Wright is pursuing an interest in composing for film, studying at the Australian Film Television and Radio School in Sydney.

Melisande Wright — current to October 2012