Nurturing the next generation of composers
This two-year initiative, starting in 2023, will offer a unique opportunity for four selected students to create new works that explore the intersection between words and music.
The program, initially conceived by Associate Professor Stephen Mould and led by Associate Professor Paul Stanhope, will see selected students supervised by some of Australia's most accomplished composers, including Professor Liza Lim, Associate Professor Damien Ricketson, Carl Vine AO, and Professor Matthew Hindson AM.
Over the two-year period, students will create a range of pieces, including art songs, a scene from a musical, a choral work, and more, culminating in the composition and performance of a new Chamber Opera in collaboration with NIDA in 2024.
Unafraid to tackle any genre, Oliver John Cameron's compositions are informed by music theatre, pop and modern classical aesthetics. He completed a Bachelor of Music (Composition) with Honours at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2015 and is currently the composer-in-residence at Meriden School. Oliver's musical, 'The Colour Orange', received awards at the Sydney and Adelaide Fringe Festivals, he placed third in the Willoughby Symphony Young Composer Award 2022 and his work 'five lullabies for uncertain times' won the Willgoss Choral Prize in 2021.
Aija Draguns is a composer and conductor from Sydney, with a special passion for vocal music. Her compositions are inspired by her Latvian heritage, specifically from the folk and choral genres. Aija holds a bachelor and honours degree in composition from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. In 2022, Aija’s music premiered in the Sydney Opera House with her children's opera “Max and Moritz”, and in Sydney Town Hall with her orchestral work “Lavender Paper Cranes”, performed by Sydney Philharmonia Orchestra. As well as composing, Aija regularly conducts community choirs and orchestras, and is the 2022-23 Create NSW conducting fellow with Sydney Youth Orchestras
Jessica is a performer, composer and new music advocate. An APRA/AMCOS Art Music award winner and recipient of a Fellowship from AIM for ‘Outstanding Achievements & Services to the Australian Music & Performing Arts Industry’, Jessica’s musical career has traversed opera, pop, early music, jazz and musical theatre and has seen her perform at all major Australian venues as well as multiple festivals throughout Europe and Asia. Having released two solo experimental pop albums to critical acclaim and several art music commissions, Jessica aims to explore cross-genre compositional practices that incorporate contemporary pop production techniques into new classical compositions to invigorate the element of storytelling, particularly within the operatic genre.
Hao Zhen is a composer, media artist, and pianist. As a Chinese-born musician, her creativity draws inspiration from Eastern and Western aesthetics. Her musicoften explores the interplay between fragmentation and unraveling, highlighting the non-linearity of time. Her media practices focus on experimental documentaries and stop-motion.