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Nadia Burgess : Associate Artist

Burgess believes her compositional style has evolved as a fusion of western art music with jazz, pop and South-East African music...

Random Audio Sample: African Suite : for jazz orchestra by Nadia Burgess, from the CD African suite

Photo of Nadia Burgess


Nadia Burgess (nee Lindemann) was born in South Africa in 1958 and is of German and Dutch descent. She graduated with a B.Mus.Ed. majoring in piano performance from the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, in March 1981, her mentor being Prof. Japie Human.

She appeared as soloist with the PACOFS Symphony Orchestra in performances of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue in 1980, and the contemporary Concerto by Laurie Potgieter in 1982. She moved to Sydney in 1983 and became an accredited private teacher with the NSW State Conservatorium of Music.

Nadia has performed as solo pianist in Sydney for many years. She has also performed as accompanist and with several ensembles. She recorded a jazz trio CD album with Craig Scott and Dave Goodman in 2000. She returned to further study at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2001, where she studied jazz with Judy Bailey, Gordon Brisker, William Motzing, Paul McNamara and Craig Scott. She completed the Associate Diploma in Jazz Studies at the end of 2002, followed by a Master of Music (Composition) under the supervision of American composer/arranger William Motzing during 2003-2004.

Her compositions - for small and large jazz ensembles, chamber ensembles, and piano - have been performed at various venues in Australia and South Africa. Since 2011, her compositions have been performed/recorded by the Ku-ring-gai Philharmonic Orchestra; the Sydney Conservatorium Orchestra, Wind Symphony, Saxophone Orchestra and Jazz Orchestra respectively; the Sydney Symphony Fellows; the Divergence Jazz Orchestra; the Sydney Camerata and David Groves; Nathan Henshaw and Tim Fisher; Jason Noble; the Melbourne Composers Big Band; the University of Melbourne Saxophone Ensemble; and the University of NSW Jazz Orchestra.

The Sirens Big Band included her composition The Music In My Dreams on their 2012 debut album Kali and the Time of Change. Her Suite for String Quartet was recorded by the Odeion String Quartet in 2018 for their album Colours of the Free State. In April 2022 her Blue, Black and White, Concerto for Jazz Quartet and Orchestra was premiered in Perth by the WAAPA Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jon Tooby and jazz quartet led by Jamie Oehlers.

Nadia is a recipient of an Australian Postgraduate Award and graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy in December 2015, having studied composition with Matthew Hindson and Carl Vine at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

She believes her compositional style has evolved as a fusion of Western art music with jazz, pop and South-East African music. Her compositions include sections open for improvisation or notated solos for instrumentalists in the style of jazz improvisations. She has been influenced by the music of, amongst others, Stefans Grové, Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays, Maria Schneider, and Carl Vine.

Nadia Burgess — current to April 2022

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Elegy for Bass Clarinet and Piano : bass clarinet with piano (2020) This composition is the result of the composer's participation in Ensemble Offspring's Hatched Home Academy program 2020
Herman's hut : string quartet (2016) Commissioned by Odeion String Quartet.
Ode to Laurie : piano and string quartet (2016) Commissioned by Odeion String Quartet.
Sonata for tenor saxophone and piano : saxophone with piano (2013) Commissioned by Nathan Henshaw.
In motion : for saxophone orchestra (2012) Written for Michael Duke and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Saxophone Orchestra
Anticipation : for string quintet (2011) Written for the SSO Fellows as part of a joint project between the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the SSO and the Museum of Contemporary Art.