Four young composers from across Australia are competing to have their compositions performed by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in its 2008 Metropolis Series.

In a free concert on Tuesday 5 February, hear an ensemble of MSO musicians under the baton of MSO Principal Trombone, Brett Kelly perform new works by Nicole Murphy (Qld), Robert Dahm (Vic), James Rushford (Vic) and Paul Castles (NSW) at the Iwaki Auditorium, ABC Southbank, 8pm.

Following their performance, a panel of three experts including composer Brenton Broadstock, the MSO’s Director of Artistic Planning Huw Humphreys and conductor Brett Kelly will choose a maximum of two new works. The two selected composers have the chance to further refine their works over the coming months before receiving their world premieres in the Orchestra’s contemporary music series in the first (30 April) and final Metropolis (10 May) concerts later this year.

The four participants – all under the age of 30 – are in the final stages of one of the MSO’s Young Artist Development programs, the Cybec 21st Century Australian Composers Program. Since August 2007, they have been working with their mentors in composing a new work for an ensemble of MSO musicians. They have met with MSO musicians to discuss their compositions and have been working closely with Brett Kelly, MSO Principal Trombone and conductor of the Finals concert, since late last year.

Now in its fifth year, the MSO’s Cybec 21st Century Australian Composers Program provides the opportunity for young composers to write a work for the MSO and be mentored by some of Australia’s most recognised composers. For the 2007-08 program Brenton Broadstock, Nigel Butterley, Stephen Leek and Chris Dench have been working with the young composers providing compositional guidance and advice.

Initiated by Melbourne based composer and conductor, Brett Dean (whilst Artist in Residence with the MSO) and MSO staff, the aim of the Program remains the same since its inception - to discover and nurture the most original and innovative young compositional voices in Australia. It is an annual program of continued development for young composers, designed to encourage works that challenge the norm, that push boundaries and offer new directions for orchestral and mixed ensemble composition. The program is an integral part of the MSO’s young artist development initiative.

Since its inception, the Program has offered more than 14 young composers the chance to have their works performed in the MSO’s Metropolis Series. Previous participants have included young composer, Julian Langdon who won last year’s Melbourne Prize Development Award. Past mentors have included Brett Dean, Richard Meale, Georges Lentz, Ross Edwards, David Harris and Andrew Ford.

The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Cybec 21st Century Australian Composers Program is generously supported by the Cybec Foundation.


Venue: Iwaki Auditorium, ABC Southbank Centre
Date/Time: Tuesday 5 February, 8pm
Free Concert

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