Ross Edwards : Represented Artist
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Photo: David Roche
Artist website: http://www.rossedwards.com
Influences, styles: Landscape and Nature
Publisher website: https://www.wisemusicclassical.com/composer/5558/Ross-Edwards/
Ross Edwards AM (b.1943) is an Australian composer of a wide variety of music including orchestral and chamber music, choral music, children's music, opera, ballet and film music. His distinctive sound world reflects his interest in deep ecology and his belief in the need to reconnect music with elemental forces, as well as restore its traditional association with ritual and dance. He also recognises the profound importance of music as an agent of healing. His music, universal in that it is concerned with age-old mysteries surrounding humanity, is at the same time connected to its roots in Australia, whose cultural diversity it celebrates, and from whose natural environment it draws inspiration, especially birdsong and the mysterious patterns and drones of insects.
As a student at the Universities of Sydney and Adelaide, Edwards was fortunate in having among his teachers such luminaries as Richard Meale, Sándor Veress and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, with whom he later undertook postgraduate studies in London. During vacations he was an assistant to Peter Sculthorpe, gaining valuable insight into the working life of a composer. Returning to Australia, he became a lecturer in The Sydney Conservatorium's School of Composition, remaining there until 1980, when he began to freelance as a composer. For seven years he and his his wife Helen, a piano teacher, lived with their two children in the coastal village of Pearl Beach, north of Sydney, a crucial time for Edwards, as the sound world of the adjacent national park had a profound influence on the formation of his musical language. Today he is based in Sydney. He is an Honorary Adjunct Professor of Composition at the Sydney Conservatorium within The University of Sydney.
Reclusive by nature, Ross Edwards has been less interested in following a conventional career path than with responding to the inner dictates of his vocation. Far from being isolationist, however, his music is widely performed and represented at major international music festivals. Today, its surface accommodates an eclectic outlook with oblique references to many universal cultural symbols in what he describes as an "intuitive search for unity within diversity". Some of his works for the concert hall allow for a visual component, notably his Fourth Symphony, Star Chant; others - such as the instrumental concertos Bird Spirit Dreaming, Full Moon Dances and Frog and Star Cycle - for lighting, movement and costume. His Dawn Mantras greeted the new millennium in a global telecast from the sails of the Sydney Opera House to universal acclaim. Recent works include Zodiac, for the Houston Ballet, Dances of Life and Death for the Sydney Conservatorium Wind Symphony; Singing the Love, for The Choir of King's College Cambridge; Four Inscapes, for the Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival; String Quartet No. 4, Ridley Gold, the Australian String Quartet, Orison for solo cello, Vespers for Mother Earth, a large-scale work for voices and instruments commissioned by the Judith Neilson Institute, and a cello concerto for David Rowden and the Omega Ensemble of Sydney .
Ross Edwards' music is published by Wise Music G. Schirmer Australia Pty Ltd.
Ross Edwards — current to June 2023
Awards & Prizes
|2017||Art Music Awards: Work of the Year: Orchestral||Finalist||Frog and star cycle|
|2015||Art Music Awards: Award for Excellence by an Individual||Winner||for his contribution to Australian chamber music|
|2013||Art Music Awards: Work of the Year: Orchestral||Finalist||Full moon dances|
|2013||Paul Lowin Song Cycle Prize||Highly Commended||Five senses|
|2012||Art Music Awards: Work of the Year: Orchestral||Finalist||Spirit Ground|
|2012||Art Music Awards: Work of the Year: Vocal/Choral||Finalist||Sacred kingfisher psalms|
|2007||Classical Music Awards - Instrumental Work of the Year||Winner||Piano trio|
|2005||Classical Music Awards - Orchestral Work of the Year||Winner||Arafura dances|
|1997||Order of Australia||Member of the Order||For service to music as a composer|
|1989||Don Banks Music Award||Recipient|
||Madegascan song : chamber orchestra||Commissioned for Sydney Soloists.|
||Koto dreaming (music theatre)||Commissioned by the Australian Institute of Eastern Music, for the 2003 Festival of Asian Music and Dance, Sydney|
|Miracles : for SATB unaccompanied choir||Commissioned by Gondwana Choirs.|
|A Little Waltz for Kirsten : Violin solo (2020)||Written as part of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra's 2020 Australian Miniseries.|
|Vespers for Mother Earth (octets: 8 voices) (2020)||Commissioned by Judith Neilson.|
|Halcyon : saxophone solo (2020)||Written for Amy Dickson's Solo Sessions|
Analysis & Media
- Document: Ross Edwards
- Document: Composer profile – Ross Edwards, A Natural Way
- Program note: Ross Edwards' "Maninyas: Concerto for Violin and Ochrestra"
- Document: Ecstatic Dance/Edwards
- Article: Dawn of a new world symphony
- Article: In Meditative Mode
- Article: Risks in offering Ross Edwards to the young
- Review: The Song Company 18 October 1992
- Program note: Flower Songs Ross Edwards
- Program note: Martin Wesley Smith 50th Birthday Concert
- Program note: Southern Cross Chants
- Review: The Song Company Songs, Signs and Stars
- Program note: Ross Edwards' "Raft song at sunrise"
by Ross Edwards
Source: the score of this work
- Program note: Ross Edwards' "Water Spirit Song"
by Ross Edwards
Source: the score of this work
- Video: The tranquil mind, by Ross Edwards