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Biography: One of Australia’s best known and most performed composers, Ross Edwards has created a distinctive sound world based on deep ecology and awareness of the need to reconnect music with elemental forces and restore its traditional association with ritual. His music, universal in that it is concerned with age-old mysteries surrounding humanity, is at the same time connected to its roots in Australia, whose cultural diversity it celebrates, and from whose natural environment it draws inspiration, especially birdsong and the mysterious patterns and drones of insects. As a composer living and working on the Pacific Rim, he is conscious of the exciting potential of this vast region.
Edwards has composed prolifically in most musical genres. Works for the concert hall sometimes require special lighting, movement, costume and visual accompaniment – notably his Fourth Symphony, Star Chant, his oboe concerto Bird Spirit Dreaming and his saxophone concerto Full Moon Dances. His Dawn Mantras greeted the new millennium in an international telecast from the sails of the Sydney Opera House. Recently completed works include Frog and Star Cycle, a double concerto for saxophonist Amy Dickson, percussionist Colin Currie, and the Sydney Symphony; Zodiac for the Houston Ballet; Entwinings, for the Australian Chamber Orchestra; Bright Birds and Sorrows, a quintet for Amy Dickson and the Elias String Quartet; Dances of Life and Death for the Sydney Conservatorium Wind Symphony; a Piano Quartet for the Australia Piano Quartet; Lake Dreaming, for the Brown and Breen Piano Duo; De Spiritu Sancto, for The Song Company; and Singing the Love, for The Choir of King’s College Cambridge.
Sponsored by: Jean-Paul Bierny and Chris Tanz, Wendy and Elliott Weiss