The 5 Cs of (arts) grant applications


From 2009-2013, in my role as Chair of the Music Board of the Australia Council for the Arts, I assessed over 2000 grant applications. This included reading thousands of pages and listening to countless hours of support materials – which was a rare privilege, and extremely illuminating re. the vast range of musical activity occurring around Australia. Based on this experience, Continue reading

Thank you, Peter Sculthorpe (1929-2014)

Photo of Peter and I, ca. 2008, by Adrienne Sach.

Peter Sculthorpe was my teacher, mentor and friend since I started learning with him in 1987. In addition he is without doubt one of the most original and unique composers that Australia has ever had. The following is the text of a speech given at him memorial service at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, 29 October 2014. Just like so Continue reading

It is better to be feared than loved – Premiere Performances


I have completed a new, large work for the Sydney Philharmonia Festival Chorus and the Sydney Youth Orchestra, which will be premiered in the Sydney Opera House on 8 and 9 October, 2014.  The lyrics come from the writings of Niccolo Machiavelli, whose image is placed above this post. Following are the program notes.  Or go here for information from Faber Continue reading

Premiere of “Resonance” at Synaesthesia+, MONA (Tasmania)


Imagine writing a piece for orchestra where the players are in different rooms, can’t hear one another, where there is no conductor for everyone and where you can’t predict where the audience will be at any one time. That was the starting point for “Resonance”, a new 18 minute piece written for the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra to open the Synaesthesia+ Continue reading

Japan Premiere of “Faster” by National Ballet of Japan


This April, the National Ballet of Japan presented the Japanese premiere of my ballet, Faster, choreographed by David Bintley, with the music performed by the Tokyo Philharmonic, conducted by Paul Murphy. The ballet explores the topic of sport: from the heroics and achievements of competition, to the agony of injury, to the limits of human endurance. I have often said Continue reading