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David Slater : Associate Artist

... it's filled with light and space. I never want audiences or players to go home wondering what it was all about, remembering little of the experience but bewilderment.

Random Audio Sample: No leaves to blow : for flute and piano by David Slater, from the CD Selected works by AMC represented artists

Photo of David Slater

Photo: Meryn Slater


David Slater is an Australian composer, conductor and music educator who lives and works in Europe, based in Vienna. When in Australia he resides on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.

He was born in Sydney and began his musical studies on clarinet, but quickly turned his main attention to composition. Before beginning tertiary studies he had already completed a number of chamber, choral and orchestral works.

After completing studies in Sydney with legendary Australian composers Peter Sculthorpe and Ross Edwards he took up scholarships to study in Germany with Helmut Lachenmann and Brian Ferneyhough. His work ranges from the concert hall to TV, film and advertising, and includes solo, chamber, choral and orchestral music. He receives regular commissions and his work is performed throughout the world.

A number of David's works were composed specifically for the NSW HSC examinations in Music Performance and are suitable for a range of examinations across Australia. These include pieces for Flute, Clarinet, Bassoon, Trombone, Harp, Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass.

Mr Slater is an experienced conductor with an extensive repertoire spanning the Baroque to the present day. After studying conducting in Germany, on return to Australia he was mentored by the Chief Conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Stuart Challender. He founded and directed several orchestras, choirs and ensembles, and has conducted on 4 continents. His regular schedule includes engagements in Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Italy and Slovakia, with notable events in Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden and Russia.

He has taught at universities and colleges in 3 Australian states and is now a regular guest at international music festivals, where he conducts masterclasses, gives lectures and sits on international juries. His ability to connect with ensembles of all ages and skill levels makes him much sought-after as a guest conductor, where he strives to help ensembles delve into the composer's intention for each work, and discover deeper, authentic approaches to interpretation of the score.

He has won major awards for composition, conducting and service to music, including the Symphony Australia Prize, the National Award of the Orchestras of Australia Network and Australia Day awards. He has published articles on music and music education and represents Australia on the Honorary Board of the World Choir Council.

In recent years he has been appointed as Artistic Director of a number of significant events in various European countries. David invites you to visit his website to discover more about his work: http://bonvillemusicservices.com/

Of his work Slater says: 'Rhythmic complexity, melodic simplicity and resonant harmonies are fused in my music. Earlier, inevitably, it was heavily influenced by European approaches and a degree of cynicism, resulting in dark, chaotic sounds. Now it's filled with light and space. I never want audiences or players to go home wondering what it was all about, remembering little of the experience but bewilderment.'

David Slater — current to February 2023

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Digital sheet music sample The farce we must all play : concerto for piano and orchestra (2016) Commissioned by Anthony Baldwin.
Digital sheet music sample Piano trio : Yesterday, today and tomorrow : piano trio (2016) Commissioned by Maryann Gou and Angela Shin
Lamentations : for bassoon and piano (2012) Commissioned by Chloe Lethlean Higson
Digital sheet music sample Summer haze : soprano voice with piano (2010) Commissioned by Fiona Treloar.
Digital sheet music sample A breath of wind from the wings of madness : for baritone saxophone, percussion and double bass (2008) Commissioned by Jonathan Byrnes.
Scherzo and chorale : saxophone quartet (2004) Commissioned by the Nexas Quartet