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John Rotar : Associate Artist

Photo of John Rotar

Photo: Ronan King-Rose

John (b. 1995), described by Limelight magazine as a 'young, talented and innovative composer', is an up and coming composer and conductor based in Brisbane, Australia. John's eclectic oeuvre spans from the ridiculous to the sublime; from folky Slovenian string quartets to Ambient Electronic Gregorian Chant and from Big Band Charts to large works for Symphony Orchestra. Across this varied body of work the music is characterised by a strong sense of attachment and commentary on the institutions and history of music; it is a music which is full of life and always strives to emotionally communicate to and resonate with those who are willing to listen.

Growing up in a musical family, John's passion for music started at an early age, after starting piano at age six John turned his hand to composition at eight and at twelve had his first orchestral work performed by the Bundaberg Youth Orchestra. Since then John has had over 130 works commissioned, recorded or performed, including by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Camerata - Queensland's Chamber Orchestra, the Australian Youth Orchestra, The Australian Voices, Southern Cross Soloists, Queensland Ballet Academy, Expressions Dance Company, Flinders String Quartet, Queensland Youth Orchestras, UQ Symphony Orchestra among many others. John has held compositional residencies with Queensland Youth Orchestras, Flinders String Quartet, The Australian Voices, Camerata - Queensland's Chamber Orchestra as well as being the arranger/composer in residence with the Southern Cross Soloists since 2014.

Johns work has also garnered such awards as the 2013 National Wagner Society competition, 2015 Artology Fanfare Prize, 2015 Percy Briar Memorial Prize, 2016 Jean Bogan national piano composition prize, 2017 UQ composition Prize, 2018 Künstlerhaus Boswil International choral composition competition, 2021 Cybec 21st Century composers program, 2021 The ANAM set project as well as being a finalist for the 2021 Queensland Music Awards as well as numerous other awards and scholarships. ​

John is also an active performer and is the current Artistic Director and Conductor of The Australian Voices as well as the organist at the historic All Saints Church in the CBD of Brisbane.

John Rotar — current to July 2023

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Digital sheet music sample Coonarr (quintets: clarinet, piano, violin, viola, cello ) (2022) Commissioned by Omega Ensemble.
Digital sheet music sample Plains Baked Golden in the Morning Light : for string orchestra (2021) Commissioned by Camerata - Queensland's Chamber Orchestra.
Digital sheet music sample Shīghratā : for orchestra (2021) Commissioned by MSO as part of the Cybec 21st Century Australian Composers' Program