Chronology Arts have released the 2016 results of their Australian Composer List Project, the product of a survey of Australian artistic decision makers involved in new music. Artistic directors and curators were asked to nominate composers they feel show promise and should be more performed and commissioned.
“Once the list is finalised we approach the composers recommended the most frequently, offering to be included in a promotional USB and website,” the Chronology Arts website explains. “The USB is sent to the artistic decision makers who contributed to the process, as well as an international network of potential commissioners.”
According to Chronology Arts, the survey had over 40 qualified respondents between September and December last year. The published list comprises nine emerging and ten established composers.
The emerging composers for 2016 are Michael Bakrnčev, Andrew Batt-Rawden (publisher of Limelight and a board member of Chronology Arts), Jakob Bragg, Lisa Cheney, Annie Hsieh, Lisa Illean, Kate Neal, Lachlan Skipworth and Joe Twist. The established composers listed are Brett Dean, Ross Edwards, Mary Finsterer, Elliott Gyger, Matthew Hindson, Elena Kats-Chernin, Liza Lim, Paul Stanhope, Nigel Westlake and Carl Vine.
The list provides an insight into which emerging composers have attracted the attention of the country’s artistic decision makers, with many already receiving commissions at home and abroad. Mary Finsterer’s opera Biographica premiered as part of the Sydney Festival in January while a new work by Michael Bakrnčev will premiere as part of the A Sunburnt Country project in Antwerp in May. Lisa Illean’s Land’s End was commissioned for the inaugural concert of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s SSO at Carriageworks series in 2016, curated by the orchestra’s Artist in Residence Brett Dean – whose new opera based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet will premiere at Glyndebourne in May.
“The Australian Composer List Project is a way of promoting, getting commissions for, and building capacity of lesser known Australian composers,” Chronology Arts says on its website. “This project is a way of us consolidating a very specialised knowledge base and using it to build composer careers in a very concrete way.”