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Paul Turner : Associate Artist

'To compose music is to speak. It is a way of interacting with one's community and should be done with elegance and respect. The sound is all important.'

Photo of Paul Turner

Photo: Lucien Turner


Paul Turner was born in Morwell, Victoria in 1948. He grew up in the south-east corner of that state, acquiring a modest ability as a pianist and an interest in composition before moving to Melbourne where he eventually completed a Master of Music degree in Composition at Melbourne University in 1979.

Turner's curriculum vitae is sprinkled with music-related activities: he played clarinet for the Australian Army towards the end of the Vietnam years; he has taught music in various guises; he has worked as a musician and composer in theatrical and dance productions; he was a composer-in-the-community in Hamilton, Victoria in 1981; and he wrote many reviews of musical performances in the late 1980s while living in Adelaide.

Turner claims his most satisfying and aesthetically pleasing compositional experience to date was his part in composing and performing a large collection of very short pieces for saxophone and piano with colleague Neil Turner at the Centre for Aboriginal Studies in Music at the University of Adelaide in the early 1990s.

After 1994, Paul Turner retreated from compositional activity. He taught music at Port Augusta Secondary School for four years and transitioned to teaching mathematics, first in Port Augusta and then in Canberra, until his retirement from teaching. After a long break, he is once again active as a composer.

Paul Turner — current to September 2021