M y generation of Australian composers was different to the preceding one, they didn’t wear suits and ties, didn’t work on the staff of the ABC, got jobs at universities, composed for newly formed ad hoc ensembles, and most of all had writers like Roger Covell or Maria Prerauer to champion them in public.

As it turned out, I wasn’t like any of them either. For a start, after 11 years as a loyal, self-effacing second...

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