Cyrus Meurant : Associate Artist
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Photo: The Road Less Travelled
Artist website: https://cyrusmeurant.com/
Cyrus Meurant's music has been performed internationally and featured in an array of collaborative contexts. From opera and dance theatre in Europe through to the concert hall and the health sector in Australia, his music has been described as evocative, hypnotic, wistful, deeply rich and hauntingly beautiful. A prolific composer and performer, he has written music for organisations such as The Australian Ballet, Divadlo F.X. Šaldy (Czech Republic), Theatre Basel (Switzerland), the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Signal (USA), NIDA, Orchestra Victoria, Momentum Ensemble, Omega Ensemble, Syzygy Ensemble, Nexas Quartet, Arcadia Winds, Alleyne Dance (UK), Dance Makers Collective, the National College of Dance, the National Youth Ballet Company, the Adelaide Festival, the Sydney Symphony Fellows, the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Beaumont Care.
Meurant studied composition and violin at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney, and with teachers including Anne Boyd, Ross Edwards, Matthew Hindson, Richard Meale and Ronald Thomas. He won both the Frank Albert Prize for Music and the Sarah Teresa Makinson Prize for Composition and later studied at the Conservatoire de Paris on a Churchill Fellowship with Frédéric Durieux, as well as at the Royal Academy of Music, London. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney. In 2020, Meurant was recognised as one of Australia's 'Outstanding Composers' by international music magazine Interlude.
In 2018, his opera Herakleitos premiered at the Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Germany, performed by the Kreuzberger Kamerata conducted by Rebecca Lang, whilst his score for the ballet Le Petit Prince, (after Antoine de Saint-Exupéry), with choreography by Margaux Thomas, was premiered by the Divadlo F. X. Šaldy to critical acclaim, and repeat seasons, with Meurant as solo violinist. His work, Vessel, commissioned by the Australian Chamber Orchestra, was also taken on tour directed by violinist Pekka Kuusisto.
In 2020, the Canberra Symphony Orchestra premiered When I stand before thee at the day's end at the National Portrait Gallery, featuring concertmaster Kirsten Williams as soloist. The work received a standing ovation along with glowing reviews and was finalist for 'Work of the Year: Large Ensemble' at the 2021 APRA AMCOS Art Music Awards. Other orchestral works include Tableaux (Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, dir. Martyn Brabbins), Underworld (Orchestra Victoria, dir. Richard Mills), All things come into being and pass away (Momentum Ensemble, dir. Ariel Zuckermann) and The Fall for soloists, chorus and orchestra commissioned for the POW Requiem on the occasion of the 80th Anniversary of The Fall of Singapore (presented by the Flowers of Peace in association with the Australian War Memorial).
Meurant's 2016 album Monday to Friday, commissioned for Beaumont Care, garnered national media coverage for its contribution towards research of music in the treatment of dementia and would go on to receive international recognition as a nominee for 'Innovation of the Year - Dementia Solution' at the Asia Pacific Eldercare Innovation Awards held in Singapore in 2019. Meurant's work in the health sector continued in 2022 and 2023 as musical director for To Whom I May Concern, a theatre work which gives voice to people living with dementia. Presented by the Australian Chamber Orchestra at The Neilson, Pier 2/3 in association with Group Homes Australia, Dementia Australia and the University of New South Wales, the score included selections from Meurant's String Quartet, his song cycle Stray Birds and Monday to Friday.
In 2019, Meurant released the EP Four Pieces as a limited edition 10-inch vinyl record, featuring Andrew Smith on soprano saxophone and the composer on electric organ. In 2020 Meurant released Sortie for solo piano, featuring the composer on piano. Courtesy of funding from Create NSW, Meurant then completed a Sonata for solo violin which was released as an EP in 2022 featuring the composer on violin. The sonata featured in the National Youth Ballet Company's Au revoir mon ami which toured New South Wales during the same year with choreography by Brett Morgan and Timothy Gordon. Courtesy of funds from the Seaborn, Broughton and Walford Foundation Meurant recently composed the extended work Music for Dance for his own ensemble, adding to a series of dance scores which includes: The Spartans, Pars Pro Toto, KLASH, Wild Life, Fusion, As time goes by, Curtain-raiser and Verity.
As an arranger Meurant has worked for Anne Sofie von Otter, Terry Riley, Kamran Ince, The Presets and Synergy Percussion. In 2015 his arrangements for Taryn Fiebig and Richard Tognetti were featured in the Australian Chamber Orchestra's Helpmann Award-winning Reflections on Gallipoli, directed by Neil Armfield (Winner for Best Symphony Orchestra Concert). Meurant also performs on violin and keyboards as part of The Cyrus Meurant Ensemble.
Cyrus Meurant — current to November 2023
Awards & Prizes
|Art Music Awards: Work of the Year: Large Ensemble
|When I stand before thee at the day's end
|Concerto for bassoon and chamber ensemble (chamber orchestra with woodwind soloist) (2023)
|Commission administered by the Australian Cultural Fund
|Ghazali : for voices and chamber orchestra (2023)
|Commissioned by the Flowers of Peace in association with the Australian War Memorial
|Pas de deux : for solo piano (2022)
|Commissioned for National Youth Ballet Company.
|The Fall : for soloists, chorus and orchestra (2022)
|Commissioned by the Flowers of Peace in association with the Australian War Memorial for the POW Requiem.
|The Fall : for soprano saxophone and strings (2022)
|Commissioned by the Flowers of Peace in association with the Australian War Memorial.
|Verity : for violin and piano (2022)
|Commissioned by Ars Musica Australis for the Contemporary Ballet Youth Company Z.