ComposersElliott Gyger

Collaborating on The ANAM Set with ANAM musician Thomas St John VIC bassoon

Elliott Gyger holds degrees in composition from the University of Sydney (BMus Honours, 1990) and Harvard University (PhD, 2002). His composition teachers have included Ross Edwards, Peter Sculthorpe, Bernard Rands and Mario Davidovsky. His work explores a purely musical sense of drama and narrative, and the multilayered interplay of music and text, in a fluent and highly refined lyrical modernist idiom.

Major works include concertos for E flat clarinet (A wilderness of mirrors, 1996), celesta (Angels and Insects, 2010), tenor saxophone (Smoke and Mirrors, 2014) and prepared piano (From Joyous Leaves, 2015); an hour-long solo piano cycle for Michael Kieran Harvey inspired by Dante, Inferno (2013); and six vocal chamber works for Sydney ensemble Halcyon. He has collaborated with librettist Pierce Wilcox on two critically acclaimed works for Sydney Chamber Opera: adaptations of David Malouf’s novel Fly Away Peter (2015), and Peter Carey’s Oscar and Lucinda (2019), the latter named as Dramatic Work of the Year in the 2020 Art Music Awards. His “dialogue for orchestra” on air (2011) was awarded the Sydney Symphony 80th Anniversary Composition Prize, receiving its first performances with the SSO under Vladimir Ashkenazy in March 2012. He is a three-time finalist for the Paul Lowin Song Cycle Prize, winning the 2013 award with giving voice (2012).

Elliott is also active as a conductor, teacher and writer on new music. He is currently Associate Professor of Music (Composition) at the University of Melbourne.

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