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Stephen Lalor : Represented Artist

Random Audio Sample: Troika : string trio by Stephen Lalor, from the CD Troika

Photo of Stephen Lalor

Photo: Prudence Upton


Dr Stephen Lalor's compositions Ethnicities of Sound were described as 'sophisticated, compelling, cosmopolitan music compositions... beautifully rendered and replete with new sounds and virtuosic techniques that are deeply embodied by a musician-composer who is a specialist in the field of plucked instruments...' (Dr Aileen Dillane, University of Limerick, Ireland)

'A very beautiful and beautifully crafted work' - Dr Jim Bates, conductor of US premiere of Stephen Lalor's 'Australis Suite', Center for the Performing Arts, Illinois State University October 12 2019

"Stephen Lalor's 'Waltz' & 'Antipodie' (1994) exude a cool, Satiesque aloofness" - Australian Piano Music of the 20th Century (Sitsky,L; Praeger Pulishers, Westport, CT, USA 2005)

Apart from PhD in Composition (USyd) Lalor studied at UNSW (MMus Musicology) and the Tchaikovsky Conservatorium in Kiev where he undertook postgraduate studies in composition with Prof. Gennady Lyashenko, conducting (Y.V. Tarnopolsky) and mandolin/domra (with N.T. Lysenko).

His compositions include opera, music theatre, musicals, ballet, film, choral, vocal, theme and instrumental music. This music has been performed by major bodies including Opera Australia, the Melbourne Festival, the Queensland Ballet and Opera House Choral Concerts; it has been recorded and broadcast nationally by the ABC. His work sits outside the mainstream of Australian composition, due to his early training outside the Australian academic music system, and his international performing career across classical and world music.

A selection of Stephen Lalor's music is published by Trekel Verlag, Hamburg. Representative pieces are in the collections of the Médiathèque Musicale Mahler (Paris) & the US Library of Congress.

In Australia, his music has often been performed in Sydney Symphony chamber music series and Opera House Night Lounge concerts. Recordings of his music are frequently broadcast on ABC Classic FM. In 2017 the SSO's Chanterelle String Quartet recorded the CD Music of Stephen Lalor, and the Sydney Morning Herald's review characterised the composer as 'a multi-lingual music-maker' whose music is 'moody, folk-flavoured, ranging from powerful, soulful lyricism to the wistful, catchy ride of Flying' (SMH, 10 March 2018). His music has drawn effusive praise from ABC Classic FM presenters, performers and conductors.

In 2003-04 Stephen Lalor was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to research the implementation of popular and world music courses in European conservatoriums and universities.

Lalor's music reflects a combination of his formal training and extensive experience in all forms of performance and interpretation at international level. In Australia he has collaborated with a range of artists in concert, from the Tawadros and Grigoryan brothers to Taraf de Haidouks and violinist Fiona Ziegler. He has featured on several ABC Classics CDs.

A plectrum-instrument specialist, Lalor guests as principal mandolin, guitar (& related instruments) with orchestras throughout Australia & abroad, featuring as solo mandolinist on CD releases of the Mahler Symphonies and Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet (SSO/Ashkenazy), Gelmetti's Cantata Della Vita, and several Opera DVD and CD releases e.g. Don Giovanni (OA) and L'Amour Jaloux (Pinchgut Opera).

Recent tours have been with the Australian Chamber Orchestra in 2016 (London, Copenhagen, Edinburgh Festival, Tanglewood) and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (Shanghai and Beijing, September 2017). His October 2017 performance (electric guitar) with the SSO in Brett Dean's Fire Music at the Sydney Opera House was acclaimed in Limelight magazine. 2018/19 sees Stephen performing & recording with the Singapore Symphony, Malaysian Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, Opera Australia & The Australian Ballet as well as chamber concerts and a Chatswood Concourse Concert of his own music. In 2020 Stephen is recording his arrangements of the Beethoven mandolin pieces for ABC Classic FM (published by Trekel Verlag Hamburg), and doing seasons/tours as a guest soloist with Opera Australia & The Australian Chamber Orchestra.

He has performed with a range of ensembles & orchestras at all the major Australian festivals, as well as the Edinburgh, Tsaritsyn (Moscow), Bulgakov (Moscow) & Montreux Jazz Festivals as well as Tanglewood (USA).

His CD Plektra was reviewed by Prof Robert Margo (Boston University) in the Journal of the Classical Mandolin Society of America, August 2014: 'Plektra, a seven-member ensemble, is the brainchild of Stephen Lalor... All of the music on the CD is arranged or composed by Lalor. The playing is highly polished, with very tight ensemble and beautiful sound throughout.'

Stephen Lalor has performed and conducted concerts of his own music at BDZ Eurofest (Europe's major classical mandolin and guitar ensemble festival) and at the 2010 & 2014 BDZ festivals he also performed solo sets of his own music, the only Australian to have been invited to do so.

As well as films and soundtracks, Stephen Lalor has performed and recorded with Aboriginal groups including the Stiff Gins and the Black Turtles. Former Head of Contemporary Performance at The Australian Institute of Music, he was also for several years the only non-indigenous permanent staff-member at Sydney's Eora Centre for Aboriginal Studies, Visual & Performing Arts in Sydney.

Stephen Lalor — current to November 2020

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Orbit : mandolin ensemble (2020) Commissioned by Plektra Mandolin Ensemble.
Hand-Painted Soundscapes : for mandolin orchestra (2017) Commissioned with the generous support of Mrs Eileen Wright for the Melbourne Mandolin Orchestra’s 50th Anniversary celebrations in 2017
Digital sheet music sample Adelaide dances : for mandolin orchestra (2016) Commissioned for the 2017 Adelaide Mandolin Festival
Winter collection : three movements for mandolin orchestra (2015) Commissioned by Federation of Australasian Mandolin Ensembles.
Australis suite : for mandolin orchestra (2013) Commissioned by the Federation of Australasian Mandolin Ensembles
Atherton Tableland waltz : movement II from The Brisbane Suite for mandolin orchestra (2009) Commissioned by Federation of Australasian Mandolin Ensembles.

Analysis & Media

- Video: Ballade and Autostrada waltz

- Video: Trio "Campanella" by Stephen Lalor.