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David Paterson : Associate Artist

Photo of David Paterson

Photo: Theo Moustakas

David's compositional quest began at the age of 7 with a series of short Bagatelles for solo piano. Soon after these first works were completed, the tutelage of Trevor Pierce was to guide and encourage a formidable body of work consisting of over a hundred solo violin caprices after Paganini (One of which was awarded a 'highly commended' in the 1996 'Sydney Morning Herald Young Composer Awards'), several sets of short piano pieces, a number of pieces for various chamber ensembles, movements for a Piano Concerto, Violin and Viola Concerto and two Violin Concertos to name but a few.

The proliferation of David's enthusiasm for the art form was to take a more focussed approach at the age of 12 when he was placed under the mentorship of the late Richard Gill. For the following years, David's compositional output consisted mainly of compositional exercises in harmony and counterpoint, which laid the basis for a number of works in the style of the past masters, most notably J.S. Bach. It is during this time that David entered Newington College as a music scholar where he was awarded the annual prize for composition for 5 consecutive years. After transferring to the Royal College of Music (London) from the Sydney Conservatorium in 2004, David interacted with composers Jonathan Cole, Kenneth Hesketh, Louis Andriessen and Mark-Anthony Turnage during a focussed development of his own compositional vernacular. In addition to his activities at the RCM, David was invited to study with Rolf Martinsson as a guest of the Malmö Academy of Music (Sweden) for a short period in 2006.

David has become established as one of the next generation of critically acclaimed Australian composers with past commissions including: Introduction and Rondo for small orchestra (Sydney Symphony Orchestra Sinfonia) 2009, The Legend of Nintendo for String Quartet (Ensemble Urbane) 2012, Tasting Notes (Tarrawarra Estate Yarra Valley) 2014, Septet (Melbourne Ensemble for ABC Classics) 2020, Quartettsätze, Scherzo, and String Quartet No.1 (Australian String Quartet) 2016, 2020, and 2022 respectively.

"Paterson's new work proved a revelation - attractive tonal music that seems to spill off the page. . . Interesting use of dynamic contrasts, neat cross rhythms and strong melodies showed this work to be a cut above. . ."

- Steve Moffatt (Limelight, 2022)

". . . the second movement Adagio Tranquillo was an outstanding source of musical magic."

- Julie McErlain (Classic Melbourne, 2022)

"David… demonstrate[s] a firm command of technique…"

- David Barmby (Artshub, 2019)

"David's… contrasting movements [were] attractively coloured with rich harmonic depth."

- Maxim Boon (The Age, 2019)

David Paterson — current to December 2022

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Digital sheet music sample String Quartet No.1 : string quartet (2022) Commissioned by Australian String Quartet. Commissioned with the generous support of Michael Rowe and Bernard Ryan in celebration of the birthday of Patricia Davidson.
Digital sheet music sample Scherzo : string quartet (2020) Commissioned by the Australian String Quartet as part of their Encore project with generous support from the Robert Salzer Foundation
Digital sheet music sample Septet : for clarinet, bassoon, horn, violin, viola, cello, and double bass (2020) Commissioned by ABC Fresh Start Fund. Commissioned by the ABC Fresh Start Fund for ABC Classic
Digital sheet music sample Quartettsätze : string quartet (2016) Commissioned by Stephen Newton for performance by Australian String Quartet.
Digital sheet music sample In Aeternum : for violin and piano (2015) Commissioned by Angela Thiel in loving memory of her Grandfather, Andrew Oswald.
Digital sheet music sample Phantasmagoria : for solo violin (2009) Commissioned by Monica Curro for the VOLUME series