Linda Kouvaras

Professor Linda Kouvaras is a musicologist, composer and pianist. She holds a continuing position in Music at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, the University of Melbourne, and publishes in contemporary music, both classical and popular, focusing especially on Australian music, postmodernism and gender issues in music.

After several years in the late 1970s and early 1980s playing in rock and New Wave/Punk bands and for theatre productions, Linda resumed classical piano studies in the UK in 1984, returning to complete her studies at the Faculty of Music, University of Melbourne, under A/Profs Ronald Farren-Price and Max Cooke, culminating in a Masters Degree in Piano in 1991. Her research work was supervised by Dr Brenton Broadstock, Dr Naomi Cumming, and historian Dr David Goodman and led to her PhD in Musicology in 1996.

Recordings of her works and piano performances appear on Move Records, ABC, Cicadia and Irida Classical labels, and on independent release. Her compositions are played at recitals and festivals nationally and internationally. She has full composer representation with APRA-AMCOS and also publishes with Reed Music. Her solo CD is Kouvaras: PianoWorks (Move Records, 2000) and the most recent CD recording to feature her music is “Art and Life”; “Sleeping Girl”, Myrsini Margariti, Soprano, Effie Agrafioti, Piano, on Greek Muse (Athens: Irida Classical, 2020). A three-CD release of her Chamber Music is planned for recording through Toccata Classics (London), 2022.

Did you know?

There are about two hundred active composers in Victoria. Bit by bit we will add information about them here.

In the meantime, you can check out composers at the Australian Music Centre website.

Katy Abbott

The music of Katy Abbott (1971) leads the listener through a narrative of sound, exploring concepts of home, place, connection and human nature, frequently exhibiting a cheeky humour and cleverly juxtaposing contemporary flavours on traditional settings. 

Abbott’s compositions have been performed, published and recorded around the world, brought to life by many of leading Australian chamber ensembles including HalcyonThe Song Company, Syzygy EnsembleFlinders Quartet and Sydney, Adelaide, Tasmanian and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras. Her works have been performed in UK, Europe, Asia and the USA and featured in many Australian and International music festivals.

Michael Bakrnčev

Multi-award-winning Michael Bakrnčev is one of Australia’s most highly driven and successful young composers.

Michael was awarded  a highly coveted Australian Postgraduate Award (APA), studying with acclaimed composers Elliott Gyger and Brenton Broadstock.

Bakrnčev’s music has been performed extensively throughout Western and Eastern Europe, USA, Canada and Australia.

Nat Bartsch

 

Nat Bartsch is an ARIA-nominated, multi-award-winning Australian pianist and composer who creates lyrical, ethereal work that explores the space between classical and jazz genres. Her sound is influenced by Australian piano luminaries Luke Howard and Andrea Keller, studies with ECM pianists Tord Gustavsen and Nik Bärtsch, and the indie heroes of her upbringing: Sufjan Stevens, Elbow and Radiohead. She has released seven recordings of original music, toured domestically and internationally, and collaborated with some of Melbourne’s finest artists.

Nat also composes chamber music, with commissions for Plexus Collective, Solstice Trio, The Muses Trio, Matt Withers & Sally Whitwell.

Dr Calvin Bowman

Dr Calvin Bowman is a distinguished composer and performer who has been a prominent figure in Melbourne and the wider Australian classical music scene for many years. A Fulbright scholar and Doctor of Musical Arts from Yale University, his major focus is the composition of art song, with his ‘Touch the Air Softly’ nominated for numerous awards.

He is a laureate of the Ned Rorem Award for Song Composition, the Diana Barnhart American Song Competition, the English Poetry and Song Society Artsong Award, and been commissioned and performed widely by ensembles throughout Australia, the UK and the USA.

 

Deborah Cheetham

Deborah Cheetham AO, Yorta Yorta woman, soprano, composer and educator has been a leader and pioneer in the Australian arts landscape for more than 25 years. In the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, Cheetham was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), for ‘distinguished service to the performing arts as an opera singer, composer and artistic director, to the development of Indigenous artists, and to innovation in performance’.

Cheetham’s list of commissions for major Australian ensembles continues to grow, including works for the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Australian String Quartet, West Australian Symphony Orchestra String Quartet, Rubiks Collective, Plexus Ensemble, Flinders Quartet and the Goldner Quartet.

Lisa Cheney

Lisa Cheney (b.1987) is an Australian composer of acoustic and acousmatic music, hailing from Queensland and now living in Melbourne. Her body of work incorporates orchestra, chamber, voice, acousmatic collaborations, arrangements and works for theatre and ballet.

Her music has been commissioned and performed by The Southern Cross Soloists, The Australian Voices, Queensland Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra, Plexus, Syzygy, Sydney Antiphony, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Ballet amongst others.

Mary Finsterer

MARY FINSTERER is a composer whose practice extends from the concert stage to the screen. Credits include her award–winning opera, Biographica. Presented by Sydney Chamber Opera and Ensemble Offspring in association with Carriageworks, it enjoyed a sold-out at Sydney Festival in 2017. Film credits include Shirley Barrett’s feature film South Solitary, her score of which was a finalist in the Film Critics Circle Awards. Fellowships include a NUFFIC Royal Netherlands Government award and Churchill Fellowship.

She has been the featured composer in the ABC Classic FM Pedestal Programme and numerous portrait concerts including ANAM Australian Voices, Melbourne Recital Centre and Ensemble Offspring at the Sydney Opera House. Other accolades include Paul Lowin Orchestral Prize, IRCAM|Ensemble Intercontemporain Award and numerous Australian Art Music Awards. She has represented Australia in five International Society for Contemporary Music Festivals.

Stuart Greenbaum

Having studied composition with Broadstock and Conyngham at the University of Melbourne, Stuart Greenbaum holds a position at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music as Professor and Head of Composition. He is the author of over 230 works including 23 sonatas, 7 string quartets, 5 piano trios, 7 concertos, 5 symphonies and 2 operas.

Greenbaum’s music is heard regularly in Australia and abroad. Nelson, a 3–act opera with libretto by Ross Baglin, was presented in London in 2005 and premiered in full at the 2007 Castlemaine State Festival. Their second opera, The Parrot Factory, received a 5-show season in 2010 staged by Victorian Opera at The Malthouse. Major choral works include The Foundling (1997) and Brought to Light – Symphony No.5 (2020), commissioned by Cantori New York and From the Beginning commissioned for the sesquicentenary of the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic in 2003.

Luke Howard

Australian Music Prize long-listed composer Luke Howard has been described as “absolutely heavenly” (Mary Anne Hobbs, BBC Radio 6) and his music as “an ambient masterclass” (Musos’ Guide), but words cannot capture the potency of Howard’s enthralling compositions. A pianist since childhood, Howard has scored films and performed with artists as diverse as Lior and Jeff Mills, capturing audiences with contemporary classical arrangements that curl and twist around the boundaries of a particular emotion. Though wordless, Howard’s songs perform a function unique to music as a medium – that of evoking without describing, bringing listeners to a feeling which defies articulating.

Alice Humphries

Alice Humphries is a highly versatile and eclectic composer working across and in-between the contemporary classical, jazz, and experimental worlds. Her music has been described as “bursting with life and fun, as well as great, great beauty” and “deeply thought-provoking…offering both moments of incredible intensity and sublime serenity.” Her output includes electro-acoustic, chamber, and orchestral music, as well as music for dance, documentary and film. She seeks to create evocative, immersive, and engaging sound worlds that take inspiration from natural phenomena, and intersections between humanity and nature.

Gordon Kerry

Gordon Kerry is a composer and writer based on north-eastern Victoria. In 2021 his work has been featured in an extensive tour by the Omega Ensemble (Clarinet Quintet), at the Adelaide Festival’s Chamber Landscapes Series (Clarinet and Viola Quintets, and in concert with the Australian Chamber Choir (Seven Last Words). Forthcoming performances include his Sinfonia concertante with Alison Mitchell, Irit Silver and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra; Christchurch Monody for The Marais Project, a new Mass and a Violin Sonata for Musica Viva.

Recent works include music for Plexus, Elysian Fields, Acacia Quartet and Halcyon; his Piano Trio No.3 for Firebird Trio, The Snow Queen (his fourth opera, to a libretto by John Kinsella) for Victorian Opera, a violin concerto, and a Second String Quintet for the Australian String Quartet and cellist Pieter Wispelwey. Other operas include Midnight Son (to Louis Nowra’s libretto) for Victoria Opera and Medea (to Justin Macdonnell’s libretto). His orchestral music includes works commissioned by the ABC, BBC, Symphony Australia, and the Australian and Sydney Youth Orchestras and includes seven concertos, a symphony and various tone-poems. He was ANAM’s inaugural composer-in-residence in 2008.

Ian Munro

Ian Munro is one of Australia’s most distinguished and awarded musicians with a career that has taken him to thirty countries in Europe, Asia, North America and Australasia. As a composer, Ian is the only Australian to have been awarded the Premier Grand Prix at the Queen Elisabeth Competition for Composers (2003).

Since 2003, his works have been frequently heard all over Australia, with broadcasts on the ABC and BBC. Commissions from the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra through a Symphony Australia residency led to ‘Blue Rags’ (2005), ‘Drought & Night Rain’ (2005) and ‘O Traurigkeit’ (2006), written for soloist Sue-Ellen Paulsen (cello). In 2011 he was Featured Composer for Musica Viva’s international season, in which his piano trio ‘Tales from Old Russia’ (2008), String Quartet no.1, Clarinet Quintet and Piano Quintet no.2 were toured by the Eggner Trio, Brentano Quartet, Sabina Meyer and the Modigliano Quartet, and the Goldner Quartet with Munro as soloist.

Clare Strong

Clare Strong (née Johnston) is an Australian composer and piano and theory teacher based in Melbourne. She has a Masters of Music in Composition from the University of Sydney where she was one of four participants in the inaugural National Women Composers’ Development Program run by the Sydney Conservatorium. She holds a Bachelor of Music in composition and piano from the University of Melbourne and an AMusA in piano.

Her works have been recorded by PLEXUS, the Goldner String Quartet, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and other soloists and duos.