Visiting artists

Pianists onstage in Llewellyn Hall

Distinguished Artists in Residence

Since its foundation as the Canberra School of Music in 1965, The ANU School of Music has established itself as one of the nation's finest institutions for the training of music performance.  Alongside this core work, it has also developed significant areas of speciality, and in 2015 the School commemorates and celebrates five particular fields of music in which the School has made, and continues to make, a world-leading contribution to Australian, and global, musical culture.

These are:

  • Digital Sonic Arts (continued by Samantha Bennett and Alec Hunter)
  • Historically Informed Performance Practice (continued by Erin Helyard and David Irving)
  • Indigenous Australian Music History (continued by Aaron Corn and Wanta Jampijinpa)
  • Australian Classical Music History (continued by Kate Bowan and Peter Tregear)
  • Composition (continued by Larry Sitsky also now Calvin Bowman, Alec Hunter and Johannes Luebbers)

Five leading figures in each of these fields, all who have made significant contributions to the ANU School of Music in their own right, have been invited to be 50th Anniversary Distinguished Artists in Residence for 2015.  They are:

Stephen Wild: Indigenous Australian Music History

Residency Dates: 23–27 March 2015

Stephen Wild

Stephen has been a School of Music faculty member since 1990. His primary area of research is Australian Indigenous music, with fieldwork experience in central Australia and Arnhem Land, NT, with subsidiary interests in the musics of Asia and the South Pacific.

As an ethnomusicologist he approaches music as a universal phenomenon rather than just a Western one, and as embedded in culture and society rather than as patterns and structures of sounds in themselves. His aim is to promote informed development of knowledge and ideas through reading, listening, performing, analysing, discussing, presenting and writing.

Wild's accomplishments in his field are extensive: he is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, a Member (and former Research Director) of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Vice President of the International Council for Traditional Music, Chair of the Study Group on the Musics of Oceania, former President of the Musicological Society of Australia, and a former Council Member of the Society for Ethnomusicology.

Wild has edited three CDs on Aboriginal music, two books and three academic journals (Musicology Australia, Australian Aboriginal Studies, Yearbook for Traditional Music), contributed to the Oxford Companion to Australian Music, the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music: Australia and the Pacific, and the Currency Companion to Music and Dance in Australia. He has published numerous articles in academic journals and chapters of books.

Encountering the World of Music: The University’s Widening Acknowledgment of Music beyond the Western Canonic Repertoire

2015 Public Lecture Series: Milestones in Music

Thursday 26 March 2015, ANU School of Music

» Read Stephen Wild's public lecture Encountering the World of Music in full


George Dreyfus: Composition

Residency Dates: 13 April

George Dreyfus

One of Australia's best known composers, especially because of the theme from the TV series Rush, George Dreyfus was awarded the APRA/AMC Award for Distinguished Services to Australian Music in 2013.
George Dreyfus was born in Wuppertal, Germany in 1928 and migrated to Australia with his brother and parents in 1939. After formal education at Melbourne High School, he commenced his professional musical career as a bassoon player with the orchestra of Her Majesty's Theatre, joining the ABC's Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in 1953.

Dreyfus left the MSO in 1965 to become a freelance composer, supporting himself by writing film and television music and maintaining a lively public profile through his activities with the ISCM (Melbourne), the George Dreyfus Chamber Orchestra, the GEKKO Opera Company and other performing groups. His public persona was transformed in 1974 when his Theme from Rush became a best-selling chart success. His compositions include four operas, two symphonies, choral and chamber music, and many film scores.
In recent years Dreyfus has found new outlets for his composing, conducting and performing skills in community involvement. His Australian Folk Mass has been performed throughout the country and in Germany (2011 and 2013), as has his music for brass band. He has worked extensively with amateur musicians of all ages, and successfully presented a number of large-scale public performances.

He has been the recipient of various awards and fellowships: at: the Australian National University in Canberra (1967–68); the German Academy Villa Massimo in Rome (1976); Mishkenot Sha'ananim in Jerusalem (1980); and the Conservatoria of Tienjin (1983), Shanghai (1987) and Nanjing (1991). He received the Don Banks Fellowship (1991), and was made a Member of the Order of Australia (1992) for his services to music. He has published four books of auto biographical writings 'The Last Frivolous Book' (1984). Being George and liking it (1998), Don't ever let them get you (2009) and Brush Off! (2013).

Robyn Holmes: Australian Classical Music History

Residency Dates: 27–31 July 2015

Robyn Holmes

Robyn Holmes is Senior Curator, Pictures & Manuscripts, and formerly Curator of Music and Head of the Music and Dance Branch at the National Library of Australia. She also holds the positions of Deputy Chair of the Music Council of Australia and President of the International Association of Music Libraries and Archives.

She has played a major role in envisaging and directing one of the most significant developments in the preservation and propagation of Australian music, the online service Music Australia. She has also taken scholarship from the confines of musicological academy to the public arena in numerous talks, conferences, performances and publications.

David Worrall: Digital Sonic Arts

Residency Dates: 17–21 August

David Worrall

David Worrall (b. 1954, Australia) is Adjunct Senior Research Fellow in the School of Music. He studied music composition at the Universities of Sydney and Adelaide with Peter Sculthorpe, Ross Edwards, Richard Meale and Tristram Cary. He has won various awards and held composition and research fellowship positions in Australia, UK, Europe and the USA.

From 1979–1985 David taught at the Faculty of Music at Melbourne University where, in 1981, he designed and taught the first undergraduate course in computer music in Australia. In 1986 he was appointed Director of the Electronic Music Studios at the Canberra School of Music. He established and became the Foundation Head of the Australian Centre for the Arts and Technology (ACAT) at the ANU in 1989, a position he held for over a decade. During that time ACAT offered the first Australian postgraduate degrees in Electronic Arts.

David has held artist-in-residence and visiting fellowship positions in universities in Australia, UK, France, Spain and the USA. He was a founding member of the Music Council of Australia (MCA) and the Electronic Music Foundation and has served on a number of organisational boards, including the Australia Council's Music and Innovative Projects (later Mixed Media) Boards, the Australian Music Centre and as president of the Australasian Computer Music Association. In 2009, the MCA awarded him honorary life membership "in recognition of his exceptional contribution to its activities."

His creative practice encompasses a number of endeavours: instrumental and electroacoustic composition, sound poetry, sound and multimedia/polymedia installations including the design and construction of portable event theatres (PETs), as well as the development of software for frameworks for music composition, text transformation and the sonification of information in large or high-frequency multivariate datasets, which was the subject if his PhD.

David is currently Creative Research Fellow with the Experimental Audio Research (EAR) Group, International Audio Laboratories, Fraunhofer-Institut für Integrierte Schaltungen in Germany. He is a Regional Editor for the journal Organised Sound (Cambridge University Press) and a Board Member of the International Community for Auditory Display (ICAD).

Anna Freeman: Historically Informed Performance Practice

Residency Dates: 29 September – 4 October 2015

Anna Freeman

Born in Australia in 1954, Anna grew up playing trumpet, and graduated from the University of Melbourne (Victorian College of the Arts) on the instrument in 1976, with honours. Her first musical engagements ranged from playing with symphony orchestras, brass bands, big bands and television bands, to recording motion picture soundtracks and television advertisement jingles.

Anna's accolades on the trumpet are extensive and international. She plays various styles of music, particularly new and historic music. A foremost specialist of virtuoso baroque (valveless) trumpet playing, Anna's musicianship and exceptional technique have earned her an international reputation for the interpretation of music from the 17th and 18th centuries. Anna has also performed a number of contemporary compositions written especially for her and dedicated to her (Larry Sitsky's "Dagh" for solo trumpet).

As a classically trained musician, and while building a career as a soloist and chamber musician, Anna has also held a range of orchestral and lecturing positions across Australia and Europe. She has made numerous recordings as well as published works for the baroque and modern trumpets.

A highly respected teacher and clinician on modern and historic trumpet playing, her passion and talent for music has led to her conducting and training professional orchestras, baroque ensembles, brass ensembles, wind ensembles and brass bands. She currently holds the position of Professor of Trumpet and Brass Chamber Music at the Cologne University of Music in Germany.


Updated:  12 June 2013/Responsible Officer:  Head, School of Music/Page Contact:  Development Officer