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Katy Abbott : Represented Artist

I seek to unpack the human side of life; humour, foibles, quirky things we do and say, beauty, grief and friendship...

Random Audio Sample: Midnight songs : for flugel horn, trombone, guitar, loop pedals & delay by Katy Abbott, from the CD Punch

Photo of Katy Abbott

Photo: Nicholas Purcell Photography

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

Katy Abbott's musical creations lead the listener through a narrative of sound, exploring concepts of home, place and human nature, frequently exhibiting a cheeky humour and cleverly juxtaposing contemporary flavours on traditional settings.

Abbott's compositions have been performed, published and brought to life by a host of leading Australian ensembles, including Halcyon, The Song Company, Syzygy Ensemble, Ironwood Ensemble and several major symphony orchestras. Her works have been performed in Europe, Asia and the USA and featured in Australian and international music festivals, including the Melbourne and Perth International Festivals, International Alliance of Women in Music (IAWM) conference in Beijing, and the 2012 Saxophone Congress in the UK.

Demonstrating her versatile creative talent, her body of work incorporates orchestra, chamber and music for voice - an area where she exhibits a particular flair. Her PhD, completed in 2007, working with Brenton Broadstock and Linda Kouvaras at the University of Melbourne, included a guide to writing for the voice as her thesis. Several of her works appear on the AMEB, ANZCA and VCE/HSC syllabi.

Some of Abbott's awards include: Albert H. Maggs Award for Composition, Sylvia Glickman Award (USA), and the Gold Medal for Art Song for Boston Metro Opera in 2013 for The Domestic Sublime. This song cycle was also finalist for the 2013 Art Music Awards in the vocal/choral category.

Significant compositions include song cycle No Ordinary Traveller for Halcyon (2006), The Peasant Prince (2009), and MultiSonics (2010) for Australian bassoonist Mark Gaydon, Midnight Songs (2013), and Introduced Species (2014).

Abbott has three monograph discs: Sunburnt Aftertones: the Chamber Music of Katy Abbott (MOVE), The Domestic Sublime: the vocal music of Katy Abbott (ABC Classics) and Famous (Leeward Side Records). Her music is published by Reed Music, Promethean Editions (NZ), the Australian Music Centre and Morton Music.

Katy Abbott lives in Melbourne and is Lecturer in Composition at Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, University of Melbourne.

Katy Abbott — current to May 2017

Studied with

Stuart Greenbaum (1998 - 1999)

Brenton Broadstock


Teacher/Influence on

Lisa Cheney (2017 - 2018)

Katherine Rawlings

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Earth Lullaby : for shakuhachi and string quartet (2017) Commissioned by Enigma Quartet, Riley Lee.
Those other things : for SATB voices and piano (2015) Commissioned by Gondwana Chorale.
Digital sheet music sample Flying : 'June' from the 'All Leunig Almanac' (2015) This work is commissioned by the family of Robert and Tania Black; in memory of Dorrit Black, painter and printmaker
Digital sheet music sample Introduced species : Symphony no. 2 : for orchestra (2014) Commissioned for the MSO's education series' Up Close and Musical Program'
Cross sections : for solo trumpet and trombone with brass ensemble (2014) Commissioned by Joel Brennan, Don Immel.
Digital sheet music sample Four vignettes from 'Words of Wisdom' : for SSATTB voices/choir (2014) Collection made at the request of conductor Carl Crossin, Adelaide Chamber Singers.

Analysis & Media

- Review: The Song Company Trans-Tasman Waves i February 2005