Composers & WorksEmma Greenhill

for violin & piano
Composed for Grace Wu
First performance: 17 Nov 2021

Performed at the ANAM Set Festival by
Grace Wu (violin) and Louisa Breen (piano)

The ANAM Set · Emma Greenhill's ‘Metamorphosis’ performed by Grace Wu | The ANAM Set

Program note:
After meeting Grace, she told me her favourite period of music to play was Romantic, so I wanted to include a beautiful melodic section for her to enjoy. However, this past year has seen a lot of hardship for so many in the world and I found that this was reflective in all the ideas I began writing which were all very ominous and dark. This got me thinking about life; without darkness we have no light, without light there is no dark. We can’t experience happiness without pain and all emotions are fleeting; dark and light. The life-cycle of a butterfly perfectly encapsulates these opposing themes of ‘darkness and light’ which is where Metamorphosis emerged. Butterflies literally go into darkness asa chrysalis and emerge into the light as a beautiful creature! But most don’t live for long - some only for a single day - so this beauty and joy is so fleeting. The first movement represents the chrysalis and the second, the birth of the butterfly. The last movement represents the death of the butterfly which on the surface sounds morbid, but actually represents much more emotional complexity. The butterfly has fulfilled its duty within the life cycle of finding a mate and laying its eggs, and the butterflies’ successful children will continue to perpetuate this cycle. Therefore, I wanted to represent this movement with a sense of joy and completion, whilst still having an underlying sense of sadness.

About the composer:
Emma Greenhill, born 1995, is a Sydney based composer, arranger and violinist. She completed a Bachelor of Music (composition) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2017 where she studied under Paul Stanhope. In 2017, Emma won the Watermark composition prize, where her composition Paper Boats was played by all 4 finalists in the Kendall national violin competition. In 2014 Emma won the Verge Awards "Best Composition” prize and in 2012 was the recipient of the James Eastern Memorial Prize. Emma’s experience as a music teacher has inspired her to write more pedagogical pieces in a solo and ensemble setting. One of her compositions for beginner violin will be included in the new AMEB violin series 10, due for release later this year. In January of 2020 Emma became a represented pedagogical artist through the Australian Music Centre, and in April of 2020 Emma was commissioned by Trinity Grammar School to write a piece for their junior school choir and string ensemble. Later that year, Emma was commissioned by Karen Carey to write a piece for the ‘Symphony For Life” foundation –an orchestra set up to target children in disadvantaged communities. In November of 2020, Emma was commissioned by James Blackford to write a new piece for a project seeking to expand the repertoire for trumpet and euphonium, funded by Create NSW. This piece, Insomnis, is currently being recorded and will be due for release this year. Emma regularly arranges music for local artists and events, composes music for Sydney-based chamber groups and for advertisements and indie films.

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