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Alan Lawrence : Represented Artist

Random Audio Sample: The instant burst of clamour (quartets: flute, clarinet, percussion, piano) by Alan Lawrence, from the CD Braneworlds

Photo of Alan Lawrence


Alan Lawrence was born in 1949 in Hertfordshire, thirty miles north of London. His childhood musical activities centered around violin (which he studied from the age of eight) and guitar (which he began learning at the age of thirteen). Compositions during his school years included a number of chamber pieces, choral works and a Christmas cantata for chorus and wind band. At the age of eighteen he wrote the score for an amateur animated film - this being his first experience of writing incidental music for film and television.

After studying composition (with John Lambert) and guitar at the Royal College of Music, he pursued a career as both a composer and a performer. He worked as a session musician and occasionally appeared as a soloist, but the greater part of his work was in the theatre, both as composer and player, and for a number of different companies, including the Old Vic Theatre Company. He worked with the Old Vic in London and on tour in the UK and internationally. It was with this company that he first came to Australia in 1979. Since then he has written music for a number of Queensland Theatre Company productions including three of the popular Shakespeare in the Park series.

In 1987 Lawrence decided to concentrate entirely on composing. He established a recording studio in central London, writing and producing music for many television productions ranging from current affairs to comedy via the arts. He wrote music for many short films and a number of award-winning animations. He also composed and produced music for major exhibition spaces in Britain and Europe including the Museum of London and Granada Studios.

In 1997 he closed his studio and resolved to devote his energies entirely to the writing of music for concert performance. With his wife, Australian actress Carol Burns, Lawrence returned to Queensland. Since then he has composed a variety of orchestral and chamber works performed in Australia and in England - among these: Chromatograph (Queensland Orchestra - Brisbane, 2003); Encryption II for oboe and percussion ensemble (Duncan Tolmie and Isorhythmos - Brisbane, 2003); Jacques Pasquier rencontre Yvonne Audette ici for clarinet and string trio (Richard Haynes and ensemble - Queensland Art gallery, 2005); Composition with Eames Chair for solo clarinet (Andrew Harper - Dukes Hall, London, 2006); and Offshore (So-la Voce Chamber Choir - Brisbane, 2009). In 2009 he completed a one-act opera The Hoop of the World with a libretto by David Harsent.

Since writing The Hoop of the World Lawrence has written music for a number of Queensland theatrical productions. He has also engaged in research and writing on the subject of theatre. Recently he has composed new pieces for the AMEB percussion syllabus and has completed the first two pieces of his Kattrin Trilogy, a series of works for solo performer and quadraphonics, the first of which received its first performance, given by David Montgomery, at the Queensland Theatre Company - Bille Brown Studio, on 24 November 2014. His latest work, The Instant Burst of Clamour, was premiered by the Kupka's Piano ensemble at the State Library of Queensland on 16 May 2015, and he is providing sound and music to run alongside the Queensland Theatre Company 2015 production of Samuel Beckett's Happy Days.

Lawrence was a 2002 Composer Affiliate of the Queensland Orchestra and has a PhD in composition from the University of Queensland.

Alan Lawrence — current to May 2015

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
The instant burst of clamour (quartets: flute, clarinet, percussion, piano) (2015) Commissioned by Kupka's Piano.
Digital sheet music sample "x,y" : for percussion ensemble (2005) Commissioned by Isorhythmos Percussion Ensemble.
Digital sheet music sample Chromatograph : for orchestra (2002) Commissioned by Queensland Orchestra.
Digital sheet music sample Jacques Pasquier rencontre Yvonne Audette ici (quartets: oboe, violin, viola, cello) (2002) Commissioned by the "Music Past and Present" concert series, London
Digital sheet music sample Adopted ratios : for percussion duo (2002) Commissioned by Karak Percussion.