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Robert Allworth (1943-2017) : Represented Artist

Random Audio Sample: Highgate Cemetery (solo piano) by Robert Allworth, from the CD Twilight pieces

Photo of Robert Allworth

Born in 1943, Robert Allworth was a keen student of piano and theory of music at school. He did not, however, decide to take up composition seriously until his late teens.

Recognition came in 1965 when the ISCM selected a sonata for piano for performance in Stockholm. Many public performances of Robert Allworth's chamber and solo works followed.

As the owner of Jade Records, Allworth left an important legacy to Australian music. He was responsible for releasing numerous CDs of the music of his fellow composers - in all, over 100 CDs were produced and distributed over a 20-year period. For this achievement, Robert Allworth was awarded an Order of Australia medal in 1997. Allworth was also, for a time, an active member and Treasurer of the Fellowship of Australian Composers.

The composer wrote about his own music:

To me, music must convey something about life, or create a poetic mood. My music draws its inspiration mostly from the sacred aspects of Roman Catholicism, from certain traditions of past eras in Western civilization, and from classic works of literature that fascinate me: usually literature about colourful people in the history of art and religion.

My music is nearly always a very personal reminiscing utterance, particularly of my love for places which have aspecial significance to me. And I am delighted, even at times surprised, when I other listeners can immerse themselves entirely in the nostalgic moods of my music. Yet I do write music not only to communicate with those of this current age, but to engage, through time itself, with future generations as well.

Although my compositional language does not follow, and resists being defined in reference to, any particular trend within contemporary music, some of my compositions do, on occasion, enter into more cerebral or abstract manifestations. A Different Time, A Different Place (for violin and piano) and Processional and Epilogue (for alto recorder and vibraphone) both make use of aleatoric techniques, for instance. Nevertheless, much of my oeuvre can be referred to loosely as either 'romantic', 'impressionistic', or, 'serial'.

Robert Allworth died on 26 February 2017 at the age of 74. Read an obituary.

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for
1997 Order of Australia Medal of the Order In recognition of service to music as a composer and as an advocate of other Australian composer's works