Eric Austin-Phillips (1947-2019) : Associate Artist
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Eric Austin-Phillips studied in the University of Melbourne (Bachelor of Music - piano performance; Diploma of Education) and Trinity College of Music in London (Associate Diploma). He conducted advanced studies in flute; and studied composition with British composer John McCabe; and conducting with Sir Roger Norrington.
Austin-Phillips conducted orchestras and choirs in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Paris, Orleans, Rome, Vienna, and numerous cities in Germany. He was the first conductor of the Melbourne Youth Orchestra, and on several occasions on the staff of the AYO's National Music Camp (as conductor as well as composer). He also conducted the Melbourne Chorale, Percy Grainger Youth Orchestra, Melbourne Youth Choir, Frankston Symphony Orchestra, Australian Mandolin Orchestra, Melbourne Mandolin Orchestra, Italian Festival Orchestra, Globe Opera Company, and others.
As a composer, he wrote over 40 commissions including numerous works for the Melbourne Chorale; a piece for the Victorian Government on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the State of Victoria; works for the Melbourne Youth Music Council; the Australian International Festival of Youth Music; the Melbourne Mandolin Orchestra; the Australian Mandolin Orchestra; and the Australian Choral Music Association, among others.
His works have been published by Oxford University Press, Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB), Terra Australis and Warner/Chappell, and performed in most states of Australia as well as Italy, Austria, Britain, Germany, Russia, France, and the USA.
Austin-Phillips's major composition include The Melbourne Symphony, performed by the Melbourne Youth Orchestra in May 2008; Psalm 150 for chorus and orchestra; the song cycle Five Australian Landscapes, premiered by Merlyn Quaife and Amir Farid in 2012; cantata 100 Days for SATB choir and orchestra; and Sinfonietta no. 2 for mandolin orchestra. His recent compositions also include The Hobbiton Suite for junior strings, harp/piano and percussion; as well as a number of works for SATB choir; a series Seven Menuettes [songs about food] for children's voices and orchestra/piano; and a suite for solo piano.
Eric Austin-Phillips had a long career in music education, working for three decades at the University High School in Melbourne. He was a founding member of the Melbourne Youth Music Council, and adjudicated on youth music grant applications for the Australia Council for the Arts and for the Dandenong festival of Youth Music and Art.
His awards and honours include an Australia Council Fellowship and the Dorian Le Gallienne Composition Award.
Eric Austin-Phillips died at the end of May 2019 after a short illness.
Awards & Prizes
|1971||Dorian le Gallienne Composition Award||Recipient|