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Paul Stanhope : Represented Artist

'My music presents the listener with an optimistic, personal geography, whether a reaction to the elemental aspects of the universe or the throbbing energy of the inner city.'

Random Audio Sample: Agnus Dei : (Do not stand at my grave and weep) by Paul Stanhope, from the CD Lux Aeterna

Photo of Paul Stanhope

Photo: Jason Catlett


Artist website: http://www.paulstanhope.com

Paul Stanhope is a Sydney-based composer, conductor and educator. His compositions have had prominent performances in the UK, Europe, Asia as well as North and South America. After studies with Andrew Ford, Andrew Schultz and Peter Sculthorpe in Australia, Paul was awarded the Charles Mackerras Scholarship which enabled him to study at the Guildhall School of Music in London in 2000.

In May 2004 Paul's international standing was confirmed when he was awarded first place in the prestigious Toru Takemitsu Composition Prize. He has been awarded four APRA/Australian Music Centre Art awards in Instrumental, Orchestral, Choral and Vocal music categories and was also the first composer to receive a Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship in 2013 and 2014.

Orchestral and instrumental music hires can be organised through Devirra Music at hire@devirra.com.

In 2010 Paul was Musica Viva Australia's featured composer, receiving nation-wide performances by the Pavel Haas Quartet, the Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge and the Atos Piano Trio from Berlin. Paul's music has also been featured at the Vale of Glamorgan Festival (Wales) in 2009, The City of London Festival in 2011 and at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in 2016. In 2018 a new Piano Trio was premiered by eight competing trios from around the world as part of the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition.

2014 saw the premiere of Jandamarra: Sing for the Country, a music-drama based on the life of the Western Australian Indigenous resistance hero in collaboration with librettist Steve Hawke and members of the Bunuba nation in North Western Australia. Written for large choral and orchestral forces as well as singers, actors and dancers from the Bunuba Community, it was premiered by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (SSO) and Gondwana Choirs and has since had a return performance in October 2019, presented by the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Jandamarra has been recognized as a milestone in Australian composition.

Paul's Piccolo Concerto was featured in performances by the Melbourne, Adelaide and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras in 2013 and was released on an ABC Classics recording the following year. This work was followed by a Cello Concerto 'Dawn and Darkness' composed in 2016 for the SSO and an award-winning Trombone Concerto premiered by the West Australian Symphony Orchestra in 2017.

2020 has been a year of interruption around the world: planned premieres for a new Violin Sonata and a Requiem having been disrupted due to the restrictions placed on performance due to the Covid-19 crisis. It is hoped that in 2021 these new works will find some form of release.

Paul is an Associate Professor of composition as well as Artistic Director of choral programs at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney and, since 2014, has been the Artistic Chair of the Australia Ensemble at UNSW.

Paul Stanhope — current to November 2020

Studied with

Peter Sculthorpe (1995 - 1999)


Collaborated with

Sydney Chamber Choir (1995 - current)

Kammer Ensemble (2007 - current)


Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Digital sheet music sample Ocean Planet : for orchestra (2022) Commissioned by Vicki Olsson for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra's 50 Fanfares project
Digital sheet music sample Requiem : for soprano and tenor soloists, offstage soprano solo, SATB Choir, winds, percussion and harp (2021) Commissioned by The Russell Mills Foundation.
Violin Sonata : Machine Codes (2021) Commissioned by Vicki Olsson for performance by Musica Viva Australia.
Digital sheet music sample Out of Darkness: Dawn : for clarinet trio (2021) Commissioned by Julian Burnside for performance by Ensemble Liaison.
Giving Ground : for string orchestra (2021) Commissioned by Australian Chamber Orchestra.
Digital sheet music sample This is Our Home : Ngindaji ngarragî muwayi : for SSAA choir and wind symphony (2019) Commissioned by Hunter Singers.

Analysis & Media

- Document: Program note for Paul Stanhope's "Certain Resonances"

- Article: Dawn of a new world symphony

- Video: "At the Top" from Songs of Innocence and Joy by Paul Stanhope and Michael Leunig.

- Video: PhoSpheric variations

- Video: Lux aeterna, by Paul Stanhope

- Video: Saxophone quartet "Ockham's Razor"

- Video: Deserts of Exile

- Video: Where the spark is