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Trevor Jones (1932-2012) : Associate Artist

Photo of Trevor Jones

Trevor Alan Jones was born in Sydney in 1932. He studied at the NSW State Conservatorium of Music (1949-1955), and at the University of Sydney (1954-1955), completing a BA and an MA, both with first class honours. Upon graduation he received the University of Sydney's University Medal.

In 1955 he went as a Saltonstall Fellow to Harvard University, USA, to study musicology and composition, before continuing his studies in musicology at King's College, Cambridge, in 1956. In 1957 he attended the Royal College of Music, London, where he studied composition, conducting and the harpsichord continuo. He also studied conducting privately with Sir Eugene Goossens.

Jones was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Busby and Sydney Moss Scholarships (University of Sydney), a Fulbright Travel Award (USA) and, several times, the Frank Albert Prize (University of Sydney).

Formerly a professional bassoonist, harpsichordist and recorder player in Sydney and Perth, Trevor Jones held a number of teaching posts in Australian tertiary institutions. In 1954 he took up a position as teaching fellow while a research student in the Department of Music at the University of Sydney, becoming a temporary lecturer there in 1958 and 1959, after his return from the USA and Europe. He was Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Western Australia from 1960 to 1965, and in 1965 became the Foundation Professor of Music and Chairman of the Department of Music at Monash University in Melbourne, a position which he retained until his retirement in 1988.

Jones's compositions include works for choir, for example his Four Goliard Songs and Elegy; instrumental chamber works, songs and incidental music for documentary films. His Fugue in Jazz Rhythms won first prize in the Recorder Society of NSW's 1963 Composers' Competition.

His major area of research and publication was ethnomusicology, with a particular emphasis on Australian Aboriginal music. Jones contributed the article on the didjeridu in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. He was also interested in music education, and carried out research into English wind music of the Jacobean period.

Trevor Jones served on several committees, such as the UNESCO National Advisory Committee for Music, the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies' Ethnomusicology Committee (1964-1976), and the ABC Music Advisory Committee (1966-1969).

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Cantata zoologica : for mixed choir and wind quintet (1963) Commissioned by Choir of Sydney University Musical Society.