67 Australian Composers Announced for The ANAM Set


ANAM is delighted to announce the sixty-seven Australian composers who will be participating in THE ANAM SET, arguably one of the biggest commissioning projects every undertaken in Australia, and certainly the biggest undertaken by the national training institution. Each of the composers has been commissioned to write a six minute work with one of ANAM’s sixty-seven young virtuoso musicians, with each new work to be performed in 2021.

Demonstrating a remarkable diversity of backgrounds, genres and career paths, the list includes a number of Australia’s most revered figures – such as Brett Dean, Ross Edwards, Elena Kats-Chernin, Paul Grabowsky and Richard Mills, experimental composers Samantha Wolfe (currently studying at Yale), Cat Hope and Anthony Pateras, and brilliant new composers including Kitty Xiao (currently based overseas) and 22 year old Alexander Voltz.

Alexander Voltz said: “The ANAM Set is like a census of contemporary Australian art music. Whereas in the past it has been customary to commission individual composers, here we see individuality represented by a broad, national collective. That's exciting, and humbling to be a part of. This is one of Australia's most important contemporary art music projects to date. For the international community, it is a portfolio of what this country's creators can do.”

Kitty Xiao said: “As an Australian living overseas during 2021, it has been especially meaningful to be able to make creative connections with Australian musicians. It’s an incredibly challenging time for many, and to be able to be part of a creative project which is nurturing these connections in a time of separation and isolation is incredibly valuable.”

The composers have been identified via a range of initiatives: fifteen composers enthusiastically accepted ANAM’s invitation to be included in The ANAM Set; ANAM’s musicians and faculty nominated composers to be involved; and a public Expression of Interest process was undertaken resulting in a further 212 submissions of interest. ANAM Artistic Director Paavali Jumppanen and faculty then had the challenging task of selecting only sixty-seven composers and pairing them with ANAM musicians.

Over the next five months the composers will embark on a close collaborative creative partnership with each of ANAM’s 2021 musicians, together developing the works that will be first revealed to the world in a variety of performances at the beautiful Abbotsford Convent from August to November this year.

Artistic Director Paavali Jumppanen said: “To be part of bringing a new composition to life can be among the most profoundly satisfying acts we can do as musicians. The ANAM Set collaborations mark a unique opportunity to be part of creating something completely new; for our musicians to be involved in every part of the process from the first conversation with a composer to the premier performance of the final work. Grateful to all the goodwill that has carried us here, we embark on this project with tremendous excitement and filled with creative energy!”  

A dedicated series of presentations showcasing The ANAM Set is in the planning stages for the end of 2021 and discussions are underway to film the performances ­– connecting the work of these composers and performers with regional, remote and international communities.



Created to demonstrate the resilience, power and vibrancy of the arts community following the disruptions of 2020 and supported by the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund – an Australian Government initiative, The ANAM Set is a bold and exciting initiative that will result in over 6.5 hours of new Australian music.

Image: ANAM cellist James Morley and Liza Lim, Professor of Composition and Sculthorpe Chair of Australian Music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
Photo by Pia Johnson

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