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William Barton : Represented Artist

Random Audio Sample: United We Win (soprano with string quartet) by William Barton, from the CD Glad Tomorrow

Photo of William Barton

Photo: Keith Saunders

William Barton has been playing yidaki (didgeridoo) for over 20 years. He first started to learn the instrument in Mount Isa, far North Western Queensland, working from an early age with traditional dance groups and fusion/rock jazz bands, orchestras, string quartets and mixed ensembles. He has been touring internationally since the age of 15, and he made his debut as soloist with a professional orchestra when he was 17 years old. He has composed works and appeared as soloist with some of the world's most prestigious orchestras.

My passion is to create a journey for people through music and present to them a diversity in musical styles with the didgeridoo and engage with audiences about the uniqueness of Australia. It has been a specific passion of mine to work closely with classical music and composers to develop and sustain music for the didgeridoo in this environment, William says.

Some highlights of Williams' career include: G'day USA tour with Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall); City of London Festival; commission to write and perform the world premiere of a new work written for members of Berlin Philharmonic (Sydney Opera House, 2010); private concert presentation for Queen Sofia of Spain; World Expo Shanghai; Una Notte Australiana (An Australian Night) at the Vatican Museums, Rome; Asia Pacific Cities Summi, Korea; Beijing 2008 Olympics Opening Ceremony; Anzac Day, Anzac Cove (Turkey); London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Festival Hall; Timeless Dancers - Queensland Ballet European tour, with music by Barton; 40-minute work composed for the Leigh Warren and Dancers, premiered at Womadelaide; tour of Italy with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

William Barton has an Honorary doctorate from the Griffith University (2009) and the Sydney University (2010). He has won and an ARIA award for the best classical album (with Kalkadungu, 2012) and a Sydney Theatre Award for the Best Score in a Mainstage Production, in 2018 for Long Forgotten Dream.In 2003 he shared the Freedman Classical Fellowship with pianist Tamara-Anna Cislowska.

He is also Ambassador for Australian Made Australian Grown campaign; 'Friend Of Australia' (Tourism Australia); Lord Mayor's Fellowship recipient (Brisbane City Council).

(williambarton.com.au / AMC)

Biography provided by the composer — current to 2019

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Square Circles Beneath the Red Desert Sand (quintets: didjeridu, 2 violins, viola, cello) Commissioned as part of Quartet & Country
Gift - Our Breath of Life (sextets: string, woodwind) (2022) Commissioned by Omega Ensemble.
Kalkadungu : for soloist (voice, electric guitar, didjeridu) and orchestra (2007) Commissioned by Maggie Gray, Roger Allen.

Analysis & Media

- Article: Breaking Sound Barriers

- Article: Cry of the earth

- Video: Barton & Hindson - Kalkadungu