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Con announces new postgraduate composition initiative

14 October 2022

Words, Text, Voices, Music

After the huge success of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s Composing Women program, the Con will be running a limited, 2-year project for selected students commencing in 2023.

Entitled “Words, Text, Voices, Music”, the four selected applicants will write new works over two years, all based around the intersection between words and music.

These new works will include art songs, a scene from a musical, a choral work and other pieces – all leading up to the composition of, and performance of, a new Chamber Opera presented in conjunction with NIDA in 2024 for the celebration of the 110th anniversary of the Conservatorium.

Head of School and Dean of the Sydney Conservatorium, Professor Anna Reid, has been instrumental in getting this initiative off the ground. 

“The Composing Women program has demonstrated the incredible level of music composition talent in Australia, including an incredibly successful partnership with Sydney Chamber Opera.  Now is the time to focus on further developing a specific area of music practice, all leading up to four new chamber operas for 2024.”

The selected applicants will also be conducting research into the intersection of music and text as part of their postgraduate Composition research degree.

Associate Professor Paul Stanhope

Associate Professor Paul Stanhope

Associate Professor Paul Stanhope will be heading up this exciting new program.  Stanhope is an award-winning composer whose most recent triumph is as the winner of “Choral Work of the Year” at the 2022 Art Music Awards, for his monumental choral work, Requiem.

Associate Professor Stanhope is excited about the possibilities this new program will bring to Australian music.

“Music and text have existed together as far as humans have existed.  The possibilities are endless, and through this program that will have new music created, workshopped and performed, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and its partners will be setting up Australian music for the future”, he said. “I am enthusiastic to lead this innovative new opportunity for four of Australia’s brightest creative minds.”

The four selected students will be supervised by a selection of Australia’s most accomplished composers in words, text and music, including Associate Professor Stanhope, Professor Liza Lim, Associate Professor Damien Ricketson, Carl Vine AO and Professor Matthew Hindson AM.

Composers interested in doing the Words, Text, Voices, Music program should apply to start either a Master of Music (Composition) or Doctor of Musical Arts in March 2023.  Successful applicants to this special initiative will need to be resident in Sydney for the course of the two year program.  Applications are open to any potential students who have an undergraduate degree in music composition.

Applicants will need to go through the standard application process for postgraduate degrees, including providing a composition portfolio and a research proposal for consideration for entry.


Interested in taking your music career to the next level? Explore our research degrees.

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