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Becky Llewellyn : Represented Artist

Llewellyn's music takes people into inner spaces to discover, to reflect and be moved. She invokes music's power and beauty to entice listeners into their own inner worlds.

Random Audio Sample: Kali's Laugh (revised) (quintets: flute, saxophone, percussion, piano, cello) by Becky Llewellyn, from the CD Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 113.


Photo of Becky Llewellyn

Photo: Claude Raschella

Becky Llewellyn is an Australian composer with wide-ranging interests and styles, always with lyricism at the heart of her music. A fully represented composer at the Australian Music Centre, Llewellyn has worked in major classical music genres for some of Australia's top musicians and is increasingly comfortable writing for non-professional musicians. Humour is a recurrent theme she enjoys exploring in-between more serious works.

Llewellyn migrated to Australia in 1969 and has made her home in Adelaide. She has been active in the disability rights movement through her first husband Richard Llewellyn's involvement and has worked for decades to make Adelaide Australia's most accessible city. She raised two step-children, two children and now shares in the joys of several grandchildren with her second husband, Marty Cielens.

In 1991, Llewellyn instigated the first Composing Women's Festival in Adelaide which went on to other cities throughout the '90s and formed a new awareness of women's talent in Australia. Her involvement is chronicled in Rosalind Appleby's Women of Note, the rise of Australian Women Composers.

As a story-teller, she also employed her skills to critical acclaim as librettist, composer and arranger for her chamber opera, The Portrait, a musical tribute to Stella Bowen. This was commissioned and toured in four states by Co-Opera. She has a BA Hons (Drama), studying with the legendary Wal Cherry at Flinders University Drama Centre and in composition with the equally legendary Graeme Koehne with whom she did her undergraduate and Masters of Music (Composition) study at the Elder Conservatorium of Music.

Peace Prayer is her offering for faith-based services and peace vigils based on a Ukrainian folk tune. This year, she has also written an equally evocative Palestine Prayer before hostilities commenced.

She has particularly enjoyed choral writing, including the mesmerising Whales Weep Not! for choir, marimba and percussion with the marimba maestro Ryszard Pusz. This work takes listeners through an underwater excursion with whales. It has all the hallmarks of Llewellyn's empathy with a subject, turning it into a poetic meditation on voices, bells and what it is to be a mammal.

Active in church music-making, Becky has written several Psalm-settings and a full liturgy setting, Reformation Liturgy, as well as anthems for small choirs.

This year she has transcribed her chamber orchestra piece O, Wonder!, based on 9 antiphons of Hildegard of Bingen into more accessible formats: soprano and piano or soprano and string quintet. She is working on a commissioned art song, Fern, at the moment.

Llewellyn has composed music in 'the spaces between', a familiar story for women in the arts. A voracious reader in art, culture, politics, history and indigenous issues, her musical response is informed by an eclectic view of our place in time. She made use of the pandemic to write her memoir, 'Handicapped' about her 32 years as a carer and composer. The book will be launched in early December. Contact Becky for pre-release copies at b.llew@internode.on.net.


Becky Llewellyn — current to November 2023

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 Fern : for Mezzo Soprano, Bb Clarinet and Piano (2024) Commissioned by Anna Day for her mother Alison's 70th birthday
Digital sheet music sample Barossa Girl : string quartet tribute to Ruth Prescott (2021) commissioned by Kelvyn Prescott OAM as a tribute to his wife Ruth
Digital sheet music sample Magnificat : St Nicolas Canticles for SAB Choir and Piano (2020) Commissioned for the Quire St Nicolas, an Anglican choir in Adelaide in which Ewart and Becky both sing.
Digital sheet music sample Nunc Dimittis : St Nicolas Canticles for SAB Choir and Piano (2020) Commissioned for the Quire St Nicolas, an Anglican choir in Adelaide in which Ewart and Becky both sing.
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

Analysis & Media

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