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Michael Whiticker : Represented Artist

Random Audio Sample: Boinko the Billio (solo piano) by Michael Whiticker, from the CD Piano games

Photo of Michael Whiticker


Born in Gundagai, New South Wales, Michael Whiticker studied composition in Sydney and Berlin, beginning his Bachelor of Music in 1979 at the NSW Conservatorium, and completing his Doctorate of Creative Arts at the University of Wollongong in 1998.

As a composer Whiticker views each new work as an opportunity to explore an untried aspect of his own potential and in doing so avoids pursuing a tried and true formula for musical success. Each of his compositions, while stamped with his own idiosyncratic gestures, sounds refreshingly new and different.

Stylistically, much of his music owes a debt to his 'rock' background, such as in the strong riffs that occasionally burst into prominence in Redror (1989), and in other works which cross the boundary separating art and more popular musical culture. Works in this category include Min-ame (1988) for bass clarinet, flute and piano, and the raunchy orchestral composition Between Blue Rocks (1992).

Michael Whiticker has also enjoyed success with a number of his works, which, on the surface, appear quite different in style. He has written two chamber operas, The Bamboo Flute (1982) and Gesualdo (1987), both of which were performed by the Australian Opera to critical acclaim. Other works explore extended techniques and sonorities of particular instruments. A number of his solo works, some in combination with pre-recorded parts, such as In Prison Air (1988) for guitar and tape, exploit the maximum capabilities of both instrument and performer.

Whiticker has received commissions from Germany, Canada, Sweden, Korea and Holland, and has had numerous works funded through the Music Board of the Australia Council. His music has been featured in festivals such as the 1985 ISCM World Music Days and the 1991 Paris Rostrum, and, in 1992-93, he was appointed Composer-in-Residence with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Between 1994 and 1998, Whiticker was active as a lecturer in composition, firstly at the University of Western Sydney and subsequently at James Cook University.

From 1997 he lived in Townsville, North Queensland, but in 2010 began to spend more time on the Sunshine Coast and in Brisbane. He works as a freelance composer, music technologist, improviser, workshop facilitator and arts event manager. He directs his own studio, the Sound Space, which offers a range of arts workshops and professional recording facilities to the local community. In 2001 he held a position as Director of Aspirations / Inspirations, a Centenary of Federation project, and the following year was appointed Event Manager and Director of the 2002 Thuringowa River Festival. In 2005 he was appointed Executive Officer and then Artistic and Production Director of the Music Centre North Queensland, a position from which he resigned in 2010 to spend more time in South-East Queensland.

Michael Whiticker — current to September 2010

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Haiku (solo koto) (2008) The In Repose project, driven by Sydney-based photographer Mayu Kanamori in 2006.
In repose : for bass koto and backing (2006) The In Repose project, driven by Sydney-based photographer Mayu Kanamori in 2006.
The Sound Garden : chamber ensemble : for juvenile performer(s) (2000) Resulting from a project commissioned by Thuringowa Council, Qld.
Bonemap : (yet to be assigned) (2000) Commissioned by Bonemap.
Digital sheet music sample She calls to the wind : concert band (1999) Commissioned by Nepean Valley Concert Band.
Digital sheet music sample Between now and forever : concert band (1999) Commissioned by Nepean Valley Concert Band.

Analysis & Media

- Program note: Man, The Skin Cancer of the Earth Michael Whiticker

- Review: The Song Company GreenConcert 18 July 1991

- Program note: Michael Whiticker Purgatario - Paradiso

- Program note: Michael Whiticker On Slanting Ground 1988

- Review: The Song Company Australian Made with Italian Glasss

- Program note: Purgatorio-Paradiso

- Review: The Song Company

- Review: Australian Made wirth Italian Glass 20 March 1992

- Review: Taking artistic licence - Song Company Modern Art Series September 18

- Program note: As Water bears Salt

- Review: The Song Company 18 October 1992

- Review: Lament for A The Song Company 21 March 1993

- Review: The Song Company: Music and the Environment 23 April 1993

- Review: Australian Made with Italian Glass: The Song Company 20 March 1992