Robert can't dodge success in Hollywood
Adelaide music graduate Robert J. Kral has won a major award in Hollywood for his work on an animated children's TV series.
The Annie Awards are Hollywood's leading awards for film and television animation. Mr Kral, a graduate of the University of Adelaide's Elder School of Music, won the award for Best Music in an Animated Television Production.
The award recognises his music for the Warner Bros. series Duck Dodgers, which is broadcast to 160 countries around the world (including Australia) on the Cartoon Network.
Mr Kral has made a name for himself in Hollywood, having also worked on the music of acclaimed television series such as Angel, Miracles, and Sliders.
"The Annie award offers me a chance to stand out from the crowd, which is a big one in Los Angeles," Mr Kral told the Adelaidean.
The talented South Australian-born composer took an important step in the direction of success when he enrolled in the Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Adelaide's renowned Elder Conservatorium of Music.
Mr Kral attributed the experimental as well as the traditional aspects of his music to veteran musicians like Grahame Dudley, Tristram Cary, Peter Brideoake and Richard Meale, who were all on staff at the university when he was pursuing his studies.
"The University of Adelaide provided particularly important tuition in the areas of orchestration, as was taught by Tristram Cary, and opportunities to experiment with music and film, improvisation and drama in the composer workshops held by Grahame Dudley," Mr Kral said.
"Under Peter Brideoake I studied composition, while under Richard Meale I refined my atonal writing skills which come in handy in today's dramatic film and television scores," he said.
The important contacts that Mr Kral made during his time at the university eventually led him to Hollywood. He met talented Los Angeles-based film and television composer Lolita Ritmanis through then Elder Conservatorium staff member Edgar Kariks, and was thus en route to LA.
Mr Kral also appreciates the music scene in Adelaide, and advised budding University of Adelaide musicians to make the most of their time at the university.
"Adelaide is small enough that it is possible for a composer to have his or her finger directly on 'the pulse', yet it is big enough to generate excitement, and is more than capable of holding very big and exciting events," he said.
"For upcoming musicians studying at the university, the Elder Conservatorium abounds in creative people. Spend time with these people and they will lead you to other opportunities around the nation," he said.
Story by Sukhmani Khorana