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Anne Cawrse : Represented Artist

I seek to create connections between composer, performer and audience, and take inspiration from stories, art, nuance, and the fragility of the human condition.

Random Audio Sample: Advice To A Girl : for soprano or mezzo soprano and string quartet by Anne Cawrse, from the CD Advice to a girl

Photo of Anne Cawrse

Photo: Emma Luker


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

Anne Cawrse is an award-winning Australian composer of acoustic solo, chamber, orchestral and vocal works.

Cawrse's music blends soaring, lyrical melodies, dexterous rhythmic interplay and an unpredictably colourful harmonic palette. She is particularly fond of discovering the expressive musical potential hidden within the words of female writers.

Growing up in the small rural town of Freeling in South Australia, Cawrse moved to Adelaide to pursue studies in composition at the Elder Conservatorium of Music. In 2008 she completed her PhD in Composition under the supervision of Graeme Koehne and Charles Bodman Rae. Cawrse's penchant for text setting has made her the most commissioned composer of the award-winning Adelaide Chamber Singers (five commissions since 2005) and a highly revered art song composer, with notable performances by Greta Bradman, Lorina Gore, Emma Horwood, Robert Macfarlane, Kate Macfarlane, Cheryl Pickering and Bethany Hill.

Cawrse is highly sought after as an orchestral and chamber music composer, with major commissions from the Adelaide and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras, the Australian String Quartet, Plexus Ensemble, the Adelaide Wind Orchestra, the Benaud Trio and the Zephyr Quartet. Her first opera, Innocence, was developed with Singular Productions and the State Opera Company of South Australia with support from an Arts SA Major Commission grant. Suite from Innocence was premiered in June 2021 by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra at 'She Speaks', a mini-festival curated by Anne which celebrated female composers. 'She Speaks', in collaboration with the ASO and the Elder Conservatorium of Music has continued in 2022 and 2024, bringing diverse works by female composers to audiences in Adelaide.

Most recent awards include the 2021 APRA/Australian Music Centre Art Music Award for Chamber Work of the Year for A Room of Her Own (Australian String Quartet), the South Australian Luminary Award for sustained contributions to composition and education, and a 2022 Prelude Composer Residency. Previously, Cawrse's choral work On Earth As In Heaven (Adelaide Chamber Singers) received the South Australian State award at the 2018 Art Music Awards, and her 2021 and 2008 orchestral works The Rest Is Silence and Musaic (both Melbourne Symphony Orchestra) were finalists in the Orchestral Work of the Year categories.
In 2022 The Rest is Silence was shortlisted for the Paul Lowin Orchestral Prize; in this year, she also held the South Australian Prelude Residency in North Adelaide. Other notable awards and grants include the Bishop Memorial Commission, the Momentum III Covid-19 Sue W Special Commission, the Albert Maggs Award for Composition, and finalist in the Australian Women in Music Awards (Classical Music) in 2023.

Meaningful musical collaborations include works for Katie Noonan's vocal quartet AVE, guitarist Alex Tsiboulski, pianists Michael Ierace, Stefan Cassemenos and Leigh Harrold, Sharon and Slava Grigoryan, and percussionist Claire Edwardes. A favourite in new music circles in Adelaide, Cawrse gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of many of the preeminent music organisations in her hometown. Alongside the aforementioned groups, she has received multiple commissions from Various People Inc., is a frequent contributor to the chamber music programs of The Firm New Music Concert series, and has been regularly performed by the Elder Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra.

Cawrse is a casual lecturer at the Elder Conservatorium of Music in Adelaide. She has tutored composition privately, at tertiary and senior secondary level, and as part of the ASME Young Composer's Program (2015) and the Australian Youth Orchestra's Composition program (2021-2023).

Anne Cawrse — current to November 2023

Teacher/Influence on

Jesse Budel (2010 - 2012)

David John Lang (2009 - current)

Robert McIntyre (2021 - 2022)

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for
2022 Art Music Awards: Work of the Year: Choral Finalist A Gathering
2022 Art Music Awards: Work of the Year: Large Ensemble Finalist The Rest Is Silence
2022 Paul Lowin Orchestral Prize Highly Commended The Rest Is Silence
2021 Albert H Maggs Composition Award First Prize A Room of Her Own
2021 Art Music Awards: Work of the Year: Chamber Music Winner A Room of Her Own
2021 Art Music Awards: Luminary Award - State/Territory Award Winner: South Australia Sustained contribution to the new music culture of Adelaide through composition and education
2020 Momentum Commissions MOMENTUM III - Sue W COVID-19 Special Commissions Grounded
2018 Art Music Awards: State Awards Winner: SA State Award On Earth as in Heaven
2018 Art Music Awards: Work of the Year: Vocal/Choral Finalist On Earth as in Heaven

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Digital sheet music sample Snapshots of Love and Life : for soprano, violin, cello and piano (2023) Commissioned by Seraphim Trio.
Digital sheet music sample Dare to Declare : Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra (2023) Commissioned by Adelaide Symphony Orchestra for performance by Claire Edwardes.
Digital sheet music sample Dare to Declare : Concerto for Marimba and Concert Band (2023) This arrangement commissioned by Knox Grammar School, the University of Western Australia Conservatorium of Music, and Dr. Anna Reid.
Digital sheet music sample unfurl : for oboe and viola (2022) Composed for the 2022 ReClassified Festival
Digital sheet music sample Carmen Perpetuum : Six Metamorphoses after Ovid (2022) Commissioned by Celia Craig.
Dance Vignettes : for solo marimba (2021) Commissioned for Rhythms of Change (Project). Commissioned with assistance from the APRA AMCOS Creative Recovery Fund, and the Modest Expectations Foundation