I was born in Northern Ireland, have just finished 15 years of teaching composition at the University of Wollongong, am a composer and conductor with an international reputation and am Musical Director of the Sydney Male Choir.
I've been Visiting Composer at Universities and schools and my music has been performed in Australia, the USA, the UK, France, China, Italy and Puerto Rico by international concert artists including Beverley Rinaldi, soprano, Alan Baer (principal tuba of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra), Kevin Orr, David Goldblatt, Stephen Manes and Duncan Gifford, pianists, Adam Meyer, trombone, Susan Collins, violin, Harold Levin, viola, The Manes Duo, Lotte Latukefu, mezzo-soprano, and Sydney-based ensembles Kammer, Touchbase and Charisma.
My compositional interests include music for orchestra, the theatre (including dance), the voice and the church, the combination of electro-acoustic and acoustic resources especially in real time, the exploration of virtuosity and indigenous Australian music.
I've conducted in festivals and concerts all over the world and am ready for a great 2011!
April 24th, World premiere of "Absence" for String Quartet and absent violinist to be premiered in New York. April 25th, conducting the Sydney Male Choir at the televised Anzac Day Dawn Service at the Cenotaph, Martin Place, Sydney April 28th conducting the Sydney Male Choir at St Matthews Anglican Church, West Pennant Hills April 29th World premiere of "Just Before It Snows" for viola and piano by Brett Deubner, viola and Amanda Harburg, piano. Here's the poster for this last one!
The Mayans may have thought we'd not get past this year, and if we don't, I'm not sure I'd be too unhappy. 2011 had a lot going for it, with some fabulous premieres and travel to places like Thailand to hear my music, and the knowledge that pieces were being played in Japan, Singapore, the USA, UK and France as well as all over Australia. The highlight of all of this (in a year which was full of lights on the top shelf!) was surely the premier of "A Kiss Before The World's End", my concerto for Viola and Symphonic Wind Ensemble, played by Brett Deubner, viola and the Grainger Wind Symphony, conducted by Roland Yeung. The links to the two videos follow:
Parts 2 and 3
However, the premiere of Laura's and my two short operas by Opera Prometheus in November has to be right up there too! Both of these pieces seem to have legs for further performances. The US premiere for "A Kiss Before The World's End" is scheduled for 28th October in Omaha, Nebraska, and there are possible further performances of the operas in Australia and the US.
2012 seems to be even bigger than its predecessor however, with the performances already mentioned above, two major recording projects now mooted (one for all my piano music and one for my low brass music), two new concertos (possibly three!) as well as other chamber works AND a big year with the Sydney Male Choir
It's started already: the publicity for the premiere of my concerto for Viola and Symphonic Winds called "A Kiss Before The World's End", written in memory of my friend and former student, Daniel Pearl, who was beheaded by Al-Qaeda in Pakistan in 2002. Along with my string quartet "Absence", this work forms my tribute to Danny as we approach the tenth anniversary of his death on 1st February 2012.
Both of these pieces are scheduled to be performed this year, with "Absence" to be premiered in October in Los Angeles and "Kiss" to receive its first performance by American viola virtuoso Brett Deubner and the Granger Wind Symphony, conducted by Roland Yeung at Melbourne's Iwaki Auditorium on Saturday 3rd December, 2011.
Yes, it's the BIG one for the year. In a year of great concerts, this is the one that stands out as the Sydney Male Choir takes over the Sydney Town Hall on Sunday, 4th September at 2 pm. As it's Father's Day, the concert's theme is "A Father's Life and Love", and it will focus on pieces that reflect the full experience of being a father ‐ from the love and devotion he has to his partner in life to the stresses and joys of dealing with what makes him a dad ‐ kids!
Bookings can be made through the choir's website. Get in early to avoid being disappointed!
Yes, Peter Sheridan has done it again - created a marvellous CD and work of art called "Monologues and Dialogues" on the legendary Move Records label. He has recorded my "Serenade" for contrabass flute. Click here to order! I can't tell you the excitement I get when this happens! Someone other than my wife thinks my music is good! :)