Soundstream Emerging Composers Forum, presented by Soundstream and the Musicological Society of Australia

Wednesday November 30, 7.30pm
Studio 520, ABC Collinswood Centre, 85 North East Road, corner Rosetta Street, Collinswood SA

Soundstream presents five world premieres by Australia’s exciting new generation of leading composers. The sublime voices of Deborah Kayser and Anthony Zatorski will be complemented by cello, clarinet, and toy/prepared piano. After the concert, three of the composers will be awarded $5000 commissions, the highest awards for emerging composers in Australia.
Broadcast partner, ABC Classic FM

Deborah Kayser      Soprano
Anthony Zatroski    Baritone
Mitch Berick           Clarinet/Bass Clarinet
Simon Cobcroft      ‘Cello
Gabriella Smart      Toy Piano/Prepared Piano

Admission free, registration required at TRYBOOKING
Further information:

Go to “Listen & Watch” and relive the George Crumb masterpiece:

“Music for a Summer Evening” (Makrokosmos III) (1974 ) in 5 movements
Performed by Soundstream Collective- Elder Hall, Adelaide, South Australia July 23 2015

Tamara Anne Cislowska & Gabriella Smart – Pianos
Amanda Grigg & Andrew Penrose – Percussion


October 10: Hidden Sounds from the Z Ward
Saturday, 6:30pm – 9:00pm
Z Ward, Old Glenside Hospital
BOOK TICKET more information

October 17: Six Grands on Stage
Saturday, 8pm
Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Sydney
BOOK TICKET more information

October 18: Chamber Music Adelaide at Ngeringa Cultural Centre
Sunday, 12.30pm – 4.30pm
BOOK TICKET more information

October 19: Stalker – a performance with a film about a journey to a room
Adelaide Film Festival
Monday, 7:00 pm – 10:04 pm
Freemasons Balcony, North Terrace. Adelaide
BOOK TICKET more information




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George Crumb’s 20th century masterpiece, Makrokosmos 111 for two amplified pianos and percussion, hints at a divine power in the universe through an exotic and ethereal soundscape. Also featured are two commissions inspired by Makrokosmos 111 by James Rushford and 2014 Soundstream Emerging Composer recipient Samuel Smith, as well as a transcription of JS Bach by Tristram Cary.

Tristram Cary Ricercare from Musical Offering for two pianos (arr. From JS Bach)
James Rushford Necrology
Samuel Smith New Work
George Crumb Music for a Summer Evening (Makrokosmos III)

Amanda Grigg and Andrew Penrose, percussion

Tamara Anna Cislowska and Gabriella Smart, pianos

Thursday 23rd July 6.30pm

Elder Hall, North Terrace, Adelaide

Bookings at

Download the Elder Perspective brochure here.


What a fantastic week.

Twenty nine budding composers applied with five being short listed to workshop their pieces with Jan-Bas Bollen (Amsterdam), Melody Eotvos (Bloomington, Indiana) and Stephen Whittington (Adelaide) as the mentoring composers.

The week culminated with the Soundstream Collective consisting of flautist Geoffrey Collins, violinist Sophie Rowell, cellist Simon Cobcroft, and pianists Ashley Hribar and Gabriella Smart, Clarinet Peter Handsworth and percussion … performing the 5 works:

“As Rendered” – Michael Terren

“Trio I” – Alex Chilvers

“Things are Become New” – Samuel Smith

“Mapping Australia” – Daniel Portelli

“Two Fingers” – John Pax

Composers Samuel Smith, John Pax and Daniel Portelle were commission recipients.



Along with Jeff Brownrigg, I reckon that the one enduring symbol of the colonial period is not the billycan, but the piano. As a rock is shaped by external forces, pianos have come to appropriate different meanings according to the reshaping of history. This is the fascinating element that is the starting point of my story. It involves the creation of 16 new works by composers around the world, inspired by the narrative surrounding the colonial piano. My sincere thanks to Jon Rose and Ross Bolleter for sharing their vast knowledge on this subject.


The piano took on a cult-like status in colonial Australia. Settlers revered it as a genteel symbol of their heritage, because it represented the best aspects of their forsaken culture. While other physical necessities such as furniture and housing could be improvised, the piano’s complex structure made replication impossible under harsh Australian conditions. Pianos were transported by camel, bullock and horse to all known areas of the Australian terrain. It was been estimated that around 700,000 pianos were imported to Australia by 1888, an extraordinary statistic even by prevailing European and Anglo-Irish standards.

Pianos from colonial Australia still exist in varying states of decay: Individually in remote parts of Australia; as collections in un-airconditioned warehouses in Nowra (NSW) and Sorrel (Victoria); in Ruined Piano Sanctuaries in rural Western Australia; and in museums. They are a remarkable and fundamental part of Australian history that is fading away, largely undocumented, with the weathered demise of each ruin.

The history of those pianos that exist today remain sketchy, to say the least. Take the case of the Bechstein piano recently acquired by the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. It was a showpiece created specifically for the Sydney International Exhibition in 1879, where it won first prize. After the Exhibition closed in 1880, the piano’s whereabouts disappeared. It is reputed to have been owned by Geoffrey Tozer. The exact model was also owned by Liszt, and presides in his house in Weimar.

The existence of serial numbers and brand make it relatively easy to trace the origins of the maker. In the case of some (such as the piano residing in the Governor’s House in Pt Arthur Penitentiary Museum and the piano that once belonged to Robert Louis Stevenson), it’s relatively easy to trace their history for given periods of time.

Myths have coalesced around these pianos’ existence. The first piano to arrive in Alice Springs still exists in the Telegraph Station, and was reputed to have arrived on camel back. Apparently aboriginals abhorred the piano, perceiving it as a symbol of white man’s ‘bad fella stuff’. This is hardly surprising, given it was deified as a symbol of white cultural supremacy in colonial Australia (and its associated cruelty through ethnic cleansing). Ironically, Ross Bolleter says that it may have been aboriginals who were among the first people to play the early pianos, citing the example of Fremantle, which was such a treacherous landing point that many of the early pianos were simply dumped at the foreshore, leaving them exposed to the curiosity of the locals.

Soundstream supports the next generation of composers through the Emerging Composers Forum (ECF).

Australia has a formidable collection of internationally renowned composers. It’s vital that we support our next generation of composers through creating professional opportunities in which to practice their art. The ECF raises the profile and careers of emerging composers by supporting them to create new works through close collaboration and mentoring by internationally recognised composers.

“…when a young composer shows me a score… I’m looking to be surprised, because surprise wakes me up to the world, surprise makes me see something or feel something in a way I never before expected… how often are we bowled over, how often have we been forced to stop all other discursive mind wandering and just sit there in astonishment, listening or looking in rapt amazement? What does it take to move us from our customary place? (… the word “ecstasy” literally means: ek-stasis- to be moved out of one’s place.) And that is what we want when we confront a work of art, whether it’s a completely new creation or an impassioned performance of masterwork from the past.” – John Adams

The inspirational words of esteemed composer John Adams ring true in this age of economic rationalization, where human needs are reduced to the menial. It is in this climate that we need the arts more than ever, to create a sense of wonder and inspire others to view life outside of their ‘customary place’. From this perspective, Soundstream supports the next generation of composers through the Emerging Composers Forum (ECF).

The inspirational words of esteemed composer John Adams ring true in this age of economic rationalization, where human needs are reduced to the menial. It is in this climate that we need the arts more than ever, to create a sense of wonder and inspire others to view life outside of their ‘customary place’.

A final concert of the works will be held on 4th November, performed by Soundstream Collective. Commissions of $5000 and $2000, and another of $1500 sponsored by Winston Music, for the creation of a new work and its performance in 2015 by Soundstream Collective, will be awarded.

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