Composers & WorksHarry Sdraulig

for piano
Composed for Caleb Salizzo
First performance: 14 May 2022

Performed at the ANAM Set Festival by
Caleb Salizzo (piano)

The ANAM Set · Harry Sdraulig's ‘Watch’ performed by Caleb Salizzo | The ANAM Set

Program note:
It has been over a decade since I last wrote a work for solo piano, even though I have incorporated piano into more recent chamber works very frequently. I was drawn to the idea of composing a work entirely on one basic pulse, with tempo fluctuations achieved through lengthening or shortening of note values or by basic metric modulations. The title, Watch, can be interpreted from multiple viewpoints: time and pulse is a strong thematic thread throughout the piece, but I was also inspired by the concentrated, ‘watchful’ focus that pianists often bring to performing metrically-precise passages. I composed one such passage for the beginning and ending of this piece.

About the composer:
Harry Sdraulig is a prolific Sydney-based composer. He has collaborated with many renowned organisations and artists including Yo-Yo Ma and Kathryn Stott, the Sydney, Melbourne, Queensland, Tasmanian and Canberra Symphony Orchestras, Musica Viva Australia,the Goldner and Orava Quartets, the Australian String Quartet, Australia Ensemble, Streeton Trio, Ensemble Q, PLEXUS, and the Syzygy Ensemble, among many others. In recent years, Harry has achieved wider industry recognition winning various awards including the Adolph Spivakovsky Award, Glen Johnston Composition Award, Frank Albert Prize for Music, 2020 Arcadia Winds Composition Prize, Australian Postgraduate Award, the 2020 Stefan Kruger Scholarship, and the 2019 Albert Scholarship. His piccolo concerto for Lloyd Hudson and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, entitled Icarus, was a finalist in the Work of the Year: Large Ensemble category of the 2020 APRA AMCOS Art Music Awards. Harry's work may be described as contemporary art music, drawing upon and extending the Western classical tradition in new ways. His approach often juxtaposes passionate melodic lyricism with moments of intricate rhythmic interplay and drive, supported by an extended and rich harmonic palette which draws influences from classical, jazz, and occasionally popular musical styles. The motivic structures and expressive frameworks found in Harry’s music ensures a degree of approachability for classically-trained musicians and audiences.

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