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Maria Grenfell : Represented Artist

Grenfell's work takes much of its influence from poetic, literary and visual sources and from non-Western music and literature.

Random Audio Sample: On a moonlit night : a recluse plays his pale white ch'in by Maria Grenfell, from the CD Eat chocolate and cry

Photo of Maria Grenfell

Photo: Anthony McKee


The music of composer Maria Grenfell (b. 1969) has been described as "expansive, effusive and energetic", "magic," "refreshingly groovy" and "brilliantly crafted." Born in Malaysia, she completed composition studies in Christchurch, New Zealand before undertaking further studies at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Maria Grenfell's work takes much of its influence from poetic, literary and visual sources and from non-Western music and literature.

Winner of the Tasmanian State Award for Ten Suns Ablaze in 2013, and Spirals in 2018 at the Australian Art Music Awards, Maria's orchestral music has been commissioned, performed, or recorded by all the major symphony orchestras in Australia, and her chamber music is played regularly around the world. Maria composed her first film score for the documentary Quoll Farm in 2020. Recorded by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, it was a finalist for an Australian Guild of Screen Composition 2021 award for Best Music for a Documentary. In 2023 she completed her second film score, Living with Devils, also for the TSO.

Maria mentors emerging composers through various programs including the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra's Australian Composers' School, the Composing Women program (Sydney Conservatorium), and the Australian Society for Music Education (ASME) Young Composer Program. She has undertaken two international composer residencies: in 2013 she was Visiting Professor of Composition at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, and in Fall 2019 she was Kerr Composer in Residence at Oberlin Conservatory, Ohio.

Maria lives in Hobart with her husband, guitarist David Malone, and they have two children. She is an Associate Professor and Co-ordinator of Composition at the University of Tasmania Conservatorium of Music.

Maria Grenfell — current to August 2023

Collaborated with

Kenneth Young (1996 - current)

Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (1998 - current)


Teacher/Influence on

Angus Davison

Scott McIntyre (2010 - 2013)

Thomas Misson

Simon Reade (1998)

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for
2022 Momentum Commissions MOMENTUM 2022
2018 Art Music Awards: Work of the Year: Orchestral Finalist Spirals
2018 Art Music Awards: State Awards Winner: TAS State Award Spirals

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Digital sheet music sample Silhouettes : for string quartet (2023) Commissioned by Flinders Quartet.
Digital sheet music sample Bitter Tears : for piano trio (2022) Commissioned for Musica Viva Australia in honour of Barry Jones' 90th birthday by a group of his friends.
Stings and Wings : marimba solo (2021) Commissioned as part of a project to increase the marimba repertoire by women composers and aimed at advanced school-level difficulty.
Digital sheet music sample Gaudete Fanfare : for brass (2021) Commissioned by Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Commissioned by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra as part of their Fifty Fanfares project, supported by the Neilson Foundation.
Digital sheet music sample Little Puggle's Song : A Musical Story (2021) Little Puggle's Song, a Musical Story, was commissioned by Orchestra Victoria, music to accompany the reading of Little Puggle's Song, a children's book by Vikki Conley, with illustrations by Helene Magisson.
Wall of Flames : for piano trio (2020) Commissioned by ABC Fresh Start Fund.