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Graham Hair : Represented Artist

Random Audio Sample: Frenzy and folly, fire and joy : concert study after John Shaw Neilson for solo clarinet in B flat by Graham Hair, from the CD X

Photo of Graham Hair

Graham Hair divides his time between Scotland (where he is Professor of Music at the University of Glasgow) and Australia (where he is Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University in Canberra). He also usually visits the United States each year to undertake composer residencies.

Recent works include Into the Shores of Light for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Wild Cherries and Honeycomb commissioned by the Scottish International Piano Competition, Lament for Santa Sophia (10 part-choir and electro-acoustic sound) commissioned by Scotland’s professional choir, Cappella Nova, and Dances and Devilment and Sunlit Airs, a Millennium Commission from ABC Classic FM. During 2003 – 2005 he is an Australia Council Composition Fellow, which is funding him to write several works for Australian soloists, ensembles and choirs. Other recent (2001-2005) funding includes five grants from the Arts and Humanities Research Board (UK), three from the British Academy, and grants from the Carnegie and Potter Trusts and the Scottish Arts Council.

Many of his compositions are for solo women's voices (SSA or SSAA), either unaccompanied or (more often) accompanied by solo instrumentalist (piano, harp, percussion, cor anglais), ensemble or orchestra. Recent projects included Seven Words (1999, 45’, SSAA/cor anglais) for Voiceworks (Sydney) and O Venezia (2004-2005, 45’, SSAA/harp), one of several works on Venetian themes, for the women’s voices of the Halcyon Ensemble (Sydney), Pandora’s Vox (Boston) and the composer’s own ensemble, Scottish Voices (Glasgow).

He is also interested in research. One current topic is perception-based strategies for microtonal composition and performance, including projects in collaboration with ‘systematic’ musicologists Richard Parcutt (University of Graz, Austria) and Emery Schubert ( University of NSW), composer Greg Schiemer ( University of Wollongong), and clarinettist Ingrid Pearson (Royal College of Music, London).

Graham also writes words about music, with a particular interest in regional, transplanted and post-colonial musics. This includes various aspects of Australian, New Zealand, Scottish and American music, and the music of ‘Hitler’s émigrés’. Books have included a Guide to the Don Banks Collection in the National Library of Australia, Meeting Place (a monograph on Don Banks) and a book of essays. Three symposia which he edited and to which he contributed (Loose Canons, on Australian women composers, Modernism in Australian Music, 1950 – 2000: Eight Case Studies and The Music ofThomas Wilson, on the leading Scottish modernist) were published in 2004. A monograph The Music of Matyas Seiber (Hitler émigré, 1905-1960, long resident in London) is in preparation.

Biography provided by the composer

Teacher/Influence on

Mark Isaacs (1982 - 1984)

Ruth Lee Martin (2000 - current)

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for
1973 Albert H Maggs Composition Award First Prize
1966 Dorian le Gallienne Composition Award Recipient

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Under Aldebaran (solo piano) (1984) Commissioned by Sydney International Piano Competition.
Colours of rain and iron (trombone with keyboard) (1979) Written at request of Simone de Haan

Analysis & Media

- Review: Desire Divine The Song Company 28 July 1998