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Becky Llewellyn : Represented Artist

Llewellyn's music takes people to inner spaces to discover, to reflect and be moved. She hopes to invoke music's power and beauty to entice listeners into revisiting vistas in their emotional home.

Random Audio Sample: Last poems : three songs on death and dying by Becky Llewellyn, from the CD Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 113.

Photo of Becky Llewellyn

Photo: Naomi Clarke

Becky Llewellyn writes as a witness to the world's pain and beauty. She delights in using the power of music to connect with her listeners. Llewellyn is interested in the symbolic meanings of music and uses a simple approach to create complex emotional shades that reflect our human experience.

Llewellyn was born in 1950 and grew up in Minnesota in a large musical family. She migrated to Australia in 1969 at the time of the Vietnam War and has created a rich life in Australia since that time. She has worked professionally as a special education teacher and, for 20 years, as a disability access consultant in addition to her composing career. Llewellyn has two children, two step-children and six grandchildren.

Llewellyn began composing in the mid-1980s. She studied with Graeme Koehne at the Adelaide Elder School of Music. In 1991, with fellow composers of ACME New Music Company, Llewellyn hosted the first Composing Women's Festival in Adelaide, a ground-breaking celebration of Australian composers in many genres including Indigenous women's music from Central Australia. The Festival went on to be celebrated in several other Australian cities.

In 2002, Move Records released Milerum's Basket, featuring a selection of her works from the 1990s. She received her Master of Music in 2007 from the University of Adelaide. In 2008, her sacred music cycle, Soul Architecture, was featured on the CD, Syntony, from Adelaide's a cappella ensemble. Her works for chamber ensemble, choir, orchestra and solo performers have delighted audiences in Australia, the US and UK.

As her major project for her Master's, Llewellyn wrote the libretto and score for The Portrait, a chamber opera performed by Co-Opera. As a musical tribute to the Adelaide-born World War II war artist, Stella Bowen, it explores the joys and disillusionments in her relationship with the writer Ford Madox Ford. She was commissioned by Co-Opera to develop the project in 2003 which was interrupted when her husband died in May 2004. From February to May 2005, Llewellyn wrote the opera which Co-Opera presented as three work in progress performances in July. The Portrait had its world premiere at the Adelaide Festival Centre Space Theatre in February 2006 and a 20-person tour of the orchestrated version had seven performances NSW, ACT and Victoria in September 2006. The final performance is filmed and available on DVD.

Llewellyn has completed a new piece of sacred music called Reformation Liturgy: St Stephens Service. Its premiere was on 29 October 2017, the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The work has the traditional form of a mass and has proved easy to teach local congregations who worship wtih a sung liturgy. It is scored for organ and flute/trumpet, choir and also chamber ensemble.

Becky is currently a mentor in the Summers Night Project with Soundstream and Tura New Music.

Becky Llewellyn — current to April 2018

Collaborated with

Ryszard Pusz (1986 - 2006)


Studied with

Graham Abbott (1990)


Influenced by

Mary Mageau (1991 - 1993)


Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Digital sheet music sample Antiphon for God the Father (mezzo-soprano with string quartet) (2019) Commissioned by Kelvyn Prescott for his wife Ruth's funeral in February 2019
Kali's Laugh (revised) (quintets: flute, saxophone, percussion, piano, cello) (2018) Commissioned by Cat Hope and Gabriella Smart as part of the Summers Night Project 2018
Digital sheet music sample Merri Berri Waltz : for the National Carillon of Canberra (2017) Commissioned as part of the Australian Miniatures project
Digital sheet music sample The Portrait : a musical tribute to Stella Bowen (2006) Commissioned by Co-Opera's General Manager, Brian Chatterton
Rothko's red : full orchestra (2003) Commissioned by Graeme Koehne for performance by Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.
The Church-floor : from Soul architecture (2002) Commissioned by Syntony.

Analysis & Media

Book: Women of note : the rise of Australian women composers / Rosalind Appleby.