Composing hits the right note for music student

Tuesday, 1 July 2003

A love of composition has given a University of Adelaide music student the chance to have her work performed by a major national orchestra and to work with one of Australia's best composers.

Esther Toh, 18, will travel to Darwin later this week to be South Australia's Young Composer at the Australian Society for Music Education's National Conference.

There, she will have her work An Equal Eternity performed by the Darwin Symphony Orchestra as part of the conference's Young Composers Concert, and will also take part in workshops with Peter Sculthorpe, one of Australia's most esteemed composers.

Esther, who is in her first year studying double bass at the University of Adelaide's Elder School of Music, freely admits that performance is her first love, with composition a relaxing side attraction. She composed An Equal Eternity for her Year 12 music studies at Pembroke in 2002.

"I'm really concentrating on my double bass playing at the moment, because I am aspiring towards a career in performance," Esther says. "Even in Year 12 last year composition was more a hobby than anything else for me, so to be selected as the Young Composer for South Australia is a real surprise and an honour."

Elder Professor of Music and Dean of the Elder School of Music Professor Charles Bodman Rae says Esther's achievements bode well for her future musical endeavours.

"Esther is obviously a very talented student: she received a 20/20 Merit for solo performance in Year 12 and is now studying at the Elder School of Music on a scholarship, and her compositional ability is already good enough for her to be receiving recognition," Professor Bodman Rae says. "Having students of her calibre choosing to study at the Elder School of Music also shows that we continue to be one of the country's pre-eminent educational institutions for music."


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Esther Toh

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The University of Adelaide
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The University of Adelaide
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