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Nigel Sabin : Represented Artist

Random Audio Sample: Inner-city counterpoints : for clarinet, viola (or violin), cello and piano by Nigel Sabin, from the CD Tapestry

Photo of Nigel Sabin

Nigel Sabin studied composition with Richard Meale in Australia and David Del Tredici in New York. He holds a first class honours degree in music from the University of Adelaide and a PhD in music from the University of Queensland. He has received several awards and fellowships including a Churchill Fellowship, an Australia Council Composers' Fellowship, an Australia Council International Study Grant, a Jacobena Angliss Award, and an Arts WA Fellowship. Sabin's instrumental compositions receive regular broadcasts on Australian radio and have been performed by most of Australia's symphony orchestras and leading ensembles. They have also received performances in Europe, Japan and the USA.

Sabin's music is influenced by the American minimalists and shows a command of traditional harmonic practice coupled with rhythmic buoyancy. It is sometimes humorous and has variously been described as 'engagingly nutty', 'evocatively poetic' and 'sure to convert the enemies of contemporary music'. Several of his works are available on CD.

Sabin has also pursued a career as a clarinettist and has performed throughout Australia as a clarinet soloist and orchestral musician with various orchestras and ensembles, including the Adelaide, Tasmanian, Western Australian and Queensland Symphony Orchestras, the Seymour Group, and Magpie Musicians. He was a founding member and driving force behind the innovative and award-winning chamber music ensemble, Perihelion. Perihelion developed a unique repertoire that reflected a postmodern sensibility with a distinctly Australian flavour. The ensemble commissioned a large body of work from Australian composers, among them Ross Edwards, Elena Kats-Chernin, Gerard Brophy, Roger Smalley, and Michael Smetanin. Recording and touring were central to the ensemble's activities, and the group released several recordings which were critically acclaimed for artistic excellence and innovative programming.

From 1995-96 Sabin was composer in residence with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra at which time he wrote his first symphony. Other orchestral works completed during his residency include New York Souvenirs for viola and orchestra, Love Songs for trumpet and orchestra, and An Australian Holiday for clarinet and orchestra. Sabin was invited to take up a teaching post at the Western Australian Conservatorium of Music in 1997. He remained there until 2000 at which time he moved to Sydney where he continues to pursue diverse interests.

Nigel Sabin — current to January 2019

Studied with

Richard Meale (1979 - 1980)

David Del Tredici (1992 - 1993)


Influenced by

Vincent Plush (1986 - 1987)

Richard Mills (1994 - 1995)


Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Bright shining synchronicities : chamber ensemble (2000) Commissioned by Youth Music Australia.
An Australian holiday : for Bb clarinet, string orchestra and percussion (1997) Written as part of a composer residency with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra
Symphony : full orchestra (1996) Commissioned by Queensland Symphony Orchestra.
Love songs : for trumpet in C and orchestra (1994) Commissioned by Queensland Symphony Orchestra.
Digital sheet music sample Summer music : viola solo (1991) Commissioned by Perihelion.
Inner-city counterpoints : for clarinet, viola (or violin), cello and piano (1989) Commissioned by Perihelion.