Composition Conference

Something of an Australian first will be held at NECOM from 9 – 11 October next year when the Conservatorium hosts a Composition Conference over two and a half days. Music teachers, music specialists, song-writers, amateur composers and tertiary students will be able to attend workshops and lectures by six internationally-published composers, with best-selling composer Christopher Norton headlining the field. Norton will give workshops on jazz theory and piano writing, and talk about his new Jazz Syllabus especially programmed as a course of study for young instrumentalists. Joining him at the Conference will be award-winning Australian composer, Mr Bruce Rowland, best known as the composer of such iconic soundtracks as “The Man From Snowy River” and “Phar Lap”. Also from a Film & TV background is young Melbourne composer, Amy Bastow, who was recently selected to co-write the soundtrack to James Cameron’s “Deepsea Challenge”. Dr Ralph Hultgren is considered Australia’s most respected composer of concert band works, and he will talk about the initial stages of developing a theme and getting your ideas down on paper. Andy Firth, one of the world’s most virtuosic clarinet and saxophone players, will explain jazz harmony basics, and offer tips on writing and arranging for reed instruments. Lending her expertise in string and choral writing will be Sarah Hopkins, internationally-renowned composer of works like “Past Life Melodies” and “Honour the Earth”.

Between them, the six key presenters will offer insights into composing for orchestra, voice, solo instrumental, piano writing, film and TV scoring, electronic music, jazz, and the music business.

Anyone interested in attending should visit for more information, or head to to register. Early bird fee is just $350 which covers access to all workshops, Conference dinner (with cricket legend Matthew Hayden as guest speaker), entry to NECOM’s “Snowy River Concert Event” on the Friday evening, 11 October, and all morning teas, lunches and afternoon teas.

NECOM is also calling for submissions from suitably-qualified tertiary students, lecturers or music specialists to present papers and topics of interest during the conference. The central ideal of the conference is to “teach others how to teach composition” and to share a wide range of compositional styles over the three days. To have your presentation considered, please email the CEO at [email protected] by Friday 1st March 2019.