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Neil Kelly : Represented Artist

Music exists in time and outside of time. It exists in darkness and it gives light. It is both plastic and intangible.

Random Audio Sample: Gamut (solo piano) by Neil Kelly, from the CD Australian piano miniatures

Photo of Neil Kelly

Photo: Steve Kelly

Neil Kelly's composition work includes the production of printed scores, public performances, installations, radio broadcasts, commissions, arrangements, soundtracks, operas, publications and recordings. His output concentrates on both multi-spatial acoustic music and multi-artform activities, and includes works for string quartet, piano trio, theatre, choir and folk ensembles, as well as electro-acoustic and multimedia performances.

Kelly has wide experience as a conductor, bass player, record producer and musical director. His music has been performed by artists including Jane Manning, Keith Humble, Michael Kieran Harvey, Errki Veltheim, Freshwater Trio, Peter Clinch Quartet, Speak Percussion, Graeme Leak, Arditti Quartet, Astra, Jauna Musika, Flux String Quartet, Blezdinga and Barney McAll. His The breath of empty space for choir, soloists, guitars and instrumental ensemble will be premiered by Astra Chamber Music in Melbourne in October.

Kelly was lecturer in composition and contemporary music theory at Latrobe University in 1990-2000. His research included a cross-disciplinary study of the music of Alban Berg and fin-de-siécle Vienna. In 1999 he co-founded the art music group Slave Pianos which have presented works across Europe, North America, South East Asia and Australasia. Their multi-artform trilogy, on the life and work of George Maçiunas et al, was presented in Vilnius, Melbourne and Berlin (2004-2007). Kelly is currently co-operator of Run Stop Sound, a professional recording studio. He runs Neil Kelly Music from his home studio where he supervises and mentors composer/performers.

His current composition interests and projects centre around the superimposition/integration of disparate source materials, guitars, cold war musics, the folk music of Eastern Europe, automated musical instruments including gamelan and piano, and the intersections between visual art practice and musical composition.

Neil Kelly — current to March 2023

Studied with

Tristram Carey (1976 - 1978)

Richard Meale (1976 - 1977)

Keith Humble (1988 - 1990)

Lawrence Whiffin (1990 - 1995)


Collaborated with

John McCaughey (1990 - 2020)

Rohan Drape (1999 - 2020)

Barney McAll (2005 - 2006)


Teacher/Influence on

Tamara Friebel

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Digital sheet music sample 60 cycles : the breath of empty space : SATB choir with chamber ensemble (2011) Commissioned by Astra Chamber Music Society.
Digital sheet music sample East : aubade for flugelhorn and piano (2010) Commissioned for 'Constellation' installation by Madeline Flynn and Tim Humphrey