A pivotal role in award-winning composer’s career

Anna Cawrse

Anne Cawrse is an award-winning Australian composer of acoustic solo, chamber, orchestral and vocal works, based in Adelaide. She currently teaches second-year composition students at The University of Adelaide.

To Anne, “Elder Hall is such a special and beautiful space with a lovely acoustic.”

“I have had many premieres there over the years, starting right back when I was a student at the Elder Conservatorium.”

Now a highly sought after orchestral and chamber music composer, Anne wrote a ballet suite for orchestra in her Honours year and the Elder Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra performed it at an evening concert in Elder Hall in 2002.

More recently, in 2020 the Australian String Quartet premiered Anne’s work, A Room of Her Own, at Elder Hall. Anne intended for this work to go on a national tour but, unfortunately, COVID intervened.
“I did win a couple of rather lovely awards last year for A Room of Her Own – the 2021 APRA AMCOS Art Music Award for chamber work of the year, and the 2021 Albert H Maggs composition award. It’s been wonderful to have that national recognition for the piece.”

“I’m often delighted and surprised about how much you can learn about yourself, and music more broadly, from teaching,” Anne said.

“It’s really rewarding, and the one-on-one lesson scenario we have is quite unique. There are not a lot of opportunities at uni to spend that amount of time with one person.

Anne says of her teaching career: “It’s very grounding and illuminating helping students along their journey and hearing different perspectives and thoughts about music.”
Anne has recently released her first album, most of which was recorded in Elder Hall with some of Adelaide’s finest chamber musicians. “It has taken a few years to put it together, but I’m really proud of the end result,” said Anne.

The album includes works for string quartet, soprano and guitar demonstrates the range and scope of Anne as a composer.

Story written by Bianca Chaptini
Photo credit: Angus Northeast

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