Composers win major SA awards

Wednesday, 28 June 2006

Elder Conservatorium of Music alumni John Polglase and Natalie Williams are the dual winners of the inaugural Schueler Composition Awards for 2006.

Created to encourage new works for performance by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (ASO), the awards - worth $5000 each - have been established through a generous donation from Norman and Carol Schueler, in honour of Mrs Gogo Schueler, Mr Schueler's mother.

Mr Polglase is a lecturer in the Elder Conservatorium of Music and a University alumnus, graduating with a Bachelor of Music, First Class Honours (Composition) in 1985. He is currently doing his PhD in musical composition and is the holder of a Commonwealth-funded Australian Postgraduate Award.

Natalie Williams is a Melbourne-based composer (originally from the Barossa) who graduated from the Elder Conservatorium of Music with First Class Honours (Composition and Musicology) in 1998. Two of her recent works have been commissioned and premiered by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Natalie has been awarded a major doctoral scholarship by the School of Music at the University of Indiana in Bloomington, one of the top music schools in the US. She will leave Australia in September to take up this four-year appointment.

In announcing the awards, Professor Charles Bodman Rae, the Director and Dean of the Elder Conservatorium of Music, said an outstanding calibre of submissions was received for the inaugural awards.

"The exceptionally high standard shows that South Australia really is a 'hot spot' for top-class compositional activity in Australia," he said.

"It is important for us to ensure that new orchestral repertoire of a high quality is created here. We are blessed with a superb orchestra in the ASO and very able and inventive composers.

"We are delighted to acknowledge the very generous and enlightened gesture of the Schueler family in promoting the creation of new orchestral works with a connection to South Australia. This is a wonderful initiative that makes a valuable contribution to the artistic life of our State," Professor Bodman Rae said.

The panel of judges for the awards comprised Mr Arvo Volmer, Music Director of the ASO, Professor Graeme Koehne, Head of Composition at the Elder Conservatorium, and Professor Bodman Rae.


Contact Details

Professor Charles Bodman Rae
Elder Professor of Music and Dean
Elder School of Music
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 3681

Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762