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Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address

The Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address was established in 1999 by the New Music Network, in honour of one of Australia’s great international composers. In the spirit of Glanville-Hicks, an outstanding advocate of Australian music delivers the address each year, challenging the status quo and raising issues of importance in new music.

Since its founding, the Address has developed into a landmark event in the Australian new music scene. The Australian Music Centre took on the important custodianship of the Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address in 2018.

Speakers over the years have included leading Australian composers, performing artists, educators and artistic directors. The Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address is the single most important national forum for contemporary music discourse.

2023 Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address

The 2023 Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address was be delivered by Elena Kats-Chernin AO, on Monday 9 October 2023 at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

One of Australia's greatest living composers, Elena Kats-Chernin has forged a formidable musical career, having composed in nearly every genre, including music for orchestra, chamber ensemble, choirs, as well as for film, theatre, and dance. Her piano pieces are popular with students of the instrument in Australia and overseas.

Read transcript (Revised)

About the speaker

Elena Kats-Chernin. Image by Ilya Shirshov

Born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Elena Kats-Chernin AO came to Australia in 1975 and studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music till 1980, graduating as a pianist and composer. Her composition teacher was the irreplaceable giant of musicology and new music, the late Richard Toop. She continued her studies with the support of the DAAD scholarship, with the avant garde composer Helmut Lachenmann in Hanover and Stuttgart.

She spent many years working as a composer of music for drama and dance in several German theatres. Elena returned to Sydney in 1994. Since then, she created works in nearly every genre, from orchestral compositions to chamber and choral, among them pieces for Ensemble Modern, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, all major Australian symphony orchestras, as well as several operas for Komische Oper, Opera Australia, and Philharmonie Luxembourg, among others.

Her music featured at the opening ceremonies of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and the 2003 Rugby World Cup and she received several awards, among them the Sounds Australian Award in 1996 for Cadences, Deviations and Scarlatti as well as Green Room and Helpmann Awards in 2004 for her score to Meryl Tankard's Wild Swans (Australian Ballet). She has also been awarded the Sidney Myer Award and the Sydney Theatre Award.

Her Russian Rag was used as Max's theme in the 2009 claymation Mary and Max by Oscar-winning director Adam Elliot. It has also been the theme for "Late Night Live" on ABC Radio National for many years. Her piece Eliza Aria became a popular jingle for a UK bank from 2007 till 2013.

Her most recent premiere was as a pianist/composer in Kairos, a dance piece choreographed by Meryl Tankard for the FORM Dance, as part of the Sydney Festival 2023.

Her upcoming premieres are Sarenka Concerto for violin and cello for MSO end of October 2023 as well as premiere of her new children’s opera Nils Holgersson at the Komische Oper Berlin on 12 November, this will be followed by the premiere of the new production of her opera Jim Knopf at the Zurich Opera on 19 November.

Her score for the full length silent film Variete will be performed in Brussels by the Belgian National Orchestra conducted by Dirk Brosse on 15 September 2023.

Elena's music is published by Boosey & Hawkes

Peggy Glanville-Hicks Addresses to date

1999 James Murdoch
2000 Barry Conyngham
2001 Liza Lim
2002 Roland Peelman
2003 John Davis
2004 Julian Burnside
2005 Richard Mills
2006 Daryl Buckley
2007 Jon Rose
2008 Sandy Evans
2009 Robyn Archer
2010 Simone Young
2011 Lyndon Terracini
2012 Michael Kieran Harvey
2013 Genevieve Lacey
2014 Warren Burt
2015 Richard Gill
2016 Nicole Canham
2017 Kim Williams
2018 Cat Hope
2019 Deborah Cheetham
2020 Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey
2020 Sunny Kim
2021 Sia Ahmad, Zela Margossian, Bree van Reyk
2022 William Barton, Dr Anita Collins



Recent addresses

2022 Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address

Dr Anita Collins and William Barton

2021 Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address

A panel event featuring three artists: Zela Margossian, Sia Ahmad and Bree van Reyk

2020 Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address vol. 2

'To Dance with Our Others in Embrace'
By Sunny Kim

2020 Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address vol. 1

By Madeleine Flynn & Tim Humphrey

2019 Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address

'In Answer to Your Question'
By Deborah Cheetham AO

2018 Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address

'All Music for Everyone: Working Towards Gender Equality and Empowerment in Australian Music Culture'
By Cat Hope

2017 Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address

'I wonder as I wander (The Digital Paradox: Paradise or Purgatory)'
By Kim Williams

2016 Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address

'The Poetry of the Present'
By Nicole Canham

2015 Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address

'A Case for New Music'
By Richard Gill

2014 Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address

'Wondrous discoveries vs forces of darkness'
By Warren Burt

2013 Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address

'Learning to Listen'
By Genevieve Lacey