How much? A guide for commissioners and composers

How much? A guide for commissioners and composers I am often asked how much a commissioner should expect to pay a composer for a new piece of music. For example, a recent email: “Dear Matthew, I was wondering if you happened to have a copy of the current Australia Council suggested commissioning rates?  I am looking at launching a Commissioning Project for our Centenary and need to pull together a budget for the Executive.” A few of things about this. Continue reading How much? A guide for commissioners and composers

Why is no-one vomiting in timpani any more?

The last two Tuesdays I have been mentoring composers as part of the Ku-Ring-Gai Philharmonic Orchestra’s Australian music program.  This is an excellent opportunity for emerging Australian composers to hear their orchestral pieces workshopped by a community orchestra.  It’s a long-standing commitment to Australian music by a community organization that understands the importance of nurturing an art form. One of the composers, Solomon Frank, is a 2nd year student at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.  He wrote a piece in which the Continue reading Why is no-one vomiting in timpani any more?

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 Music on the instrumentation and choir sizes. — There is nothing quite like singing in a choir, as so many people Continue reading It is better to be feared than loved – Premiere Performances

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+ Festival in August, 2014. Here is an article from the Sydney Morning Herald on the new piece, and the festival. Continue reading Premiere of “Resonance” at Synaesthesia+, MONA (Tasmania)

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 that when the curtain rises on a new ballet work, I understand the complete honour to be a composer.  This Continue reading Japan Premiere of “Faster” by National Ballet of Japan