News & Stories

Alumni composers look to world stage

Study | Research | Newsroom

Two University of Tasmania alumni are among just six composers selected to represent Australia at a prestigious international contemporary music showcase.

Music graduates Angus Davison and Dominic Flynn have had pieces selected for possible presentation at the International Society for Contemporary Music’s World New Music Days festival taking place in South Africa from November.

Angus completed a Bachelor of Music in 2015 and has had his music performed in Australia, Europe and the US. He now teaches at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Composer Angus Davison
Alumnus and composer Angus Davison

He was rewarded for his small ensemble piece Nigel, about a seabird that falls in love with a statue of another bird.

“Once, many seabirds lived on New Zealand’s Mana Island, but introduced species wiped them out,” he said.

“In an attempt to re-establish a colony, conservationists planted stone birds on Mana and broadcast birdcalls through speakers. The plan failed - almost.

“One gannet, Nigel, settled on the island. He fell in love with a stone bird, choosing it as his mate. He built it a nest and there, in solitude, lived out his life.”

Dominic, who completed his Bachelor of Music (Hons) in 2020, is currently a PhD student at the University.

His piece, Gorge, was commissioned by the Australian National Academy of Music and written for fellow alumnus and trumpeter Darcy O’Malley.

“I’m currently at a point in my practice where one of my priorities is to make the most out of working with musicians,” he said.

“I really enjoy getting to know who I’m working with and writing music in close collaboration with the performers, who often provide invaluable insight into their instrument, their playing, their tastes.”

The six Australian selections will be considered by the International Society for Contemporary Music for performance at the World New Music Days event in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Composer Dominic Flynn
Alumnus, PhD student and composer Dominic Flynn

“I was lucky to receive a great start to my tertiary education at the Tasmanian Conservatorium where I had some wonderful teachers and classmates," Angus said.

Dominic said his collaborative approach to creating music had been fostered during his time at The Hedberg.

“These are personal and professional connections which I hope will continue for many years to come,” he said.

“Many of my regular collaborators are musicians I met while at UTAS and I owe a lot to those fellow students with whom I’ve had countless important conversations, and who have undoubtedly shaped who I am as a person and composer.”

More information about the University of Tasmania’s Music courses is available here.