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Stephen Lalor : Represented Artist

Random Audio Sample: Bukovina odyssey : for string quartet by Stephen Lalor, from the CD Chanterelle String Quartet

Photo of Stephen Lalor

Photo: Prudence Upton


Dr Stephen Lalor completed his PhD (composition) at the University of Sydney in 2014. His PhD 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)

He previously 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 by the ABC over a period of 30 years. 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 in the USA by Drake Mabry Publishing, and in Europe 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 is frequently performed in Sydney Symphony chamber music series and Opera House Night Lounge concerts. Recordings of his music are heard 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).

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 with the Singapore Symphony, Malaysian Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony and Opera Australia as well as chamber and Baroque concerts.

He has performed with a range of ensembles & orchestras over the past two decades 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.'

Dr 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. He is the former Head of Contemporary Performance at the Australian Institute of Music, and was also the only non-indigenous permanent staff-member at Sydney's Eora Centre for Aboriginal Studies, Visual & Performing Arts in Sydney.

Stephen Lalor — current to August 2019

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
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.
Brisbane suite : for mandolin orchestra (2009) Commissioned by FAME (Federation of Australasian Mandolin Ensembles) 2009

Analysis & Media

- Video: Ballade and Autostrada waltz

- Video: Trio "Campanella" by Stephen Lalor.