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Sandra France : Associate Artist

Random Audio Sample: What Goes Around Comes Around (quartets: 3 clarinets, bass clarinet) by Sandra France, from the CD Second door on the left


Artist website: https://sandrafrance.com.au

Sandra France is an Australian composer, based in the nation's capital, Canberra. Her unique compositional voice reflects a broad, eclectic taste in music, resulting in highly original and identifiable works in which lyrical melodies and innovative textures are at the forefront.


In 2008 France was awarded the ACT Creative Arts Fellowship, the most highly sought-after grant for the arts in Canberra. This award facilitated the development, in collaboration with librettist, Helen Nourse, of her opera From a Black Sky, which was selected in 2010 by Melbourne Opera as part of their inaugural program, NOVA (New Opera Ventures Australia). From a Black Sky received its fully staged and orchestrated world premiere in September 2013, at the Street Theatre, Canberra, as part of the Canberra 100, Centenary Celebrations. It was subsequently shortlisted for Work of the Year: Vocal, in the 2014 Art Music Awards.

Her latest work, Flight Memory, is a collaboration with renowned Australian playwright, Alana Valentine. The work recounts the tragic story of Australian genius engineer, David Warren, inventor of the Black Box, the flight recorder in every aircraft around the world. Commissioned by the Street Theatre, Canberra, Flight Memory received its world premiere in 2019. The multi-award nominated jazz song suite featured jazz vocalists Liam Budge, Leisa Keen and award winning Michelle Nicolle.

France has been commissioned by several of Australia's leading classical musicians and her compositions are regularly performed in concerts and for broadcasts on ABCfm. In 2017 she was commissioned by Synergy Percussion to be part of the 40 Under 40 initiative, a project that featured 40 Australian Composers who responded to the 40th anniversary of the cutting-edge ensemble. Set to video, 2X+1 received its world premiere at Yellow House Gallery, Sydney, in 2018.

Sandra France's CD, "Fluctuating States of Calm", Tall Poppies label, is a collection of her major instrumental works (TP177). France currently teaches music for the ACT Education Department and is published by Alfred's Publishing, Australia.


Sandra France — current to September 2020

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for
2014 Art Music Awards: Work of the Year: Vocal/Choral Finalist From a Black Sky

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Flight Memory (small jazz ensemble with vocalist) (2019) The Street Theatre
2X + 1 : percussion quartet (2015) Commissioned as part of Synergy Percussion's 40th Anniversary commissioning project 40under40
Heritage overture (2001) Commissioned by Sydney Symphony Sinfonia.