Anne Boyd House composer

Professor Anne Boyd AM is one of Australia’s most distinguished composers and music educators. Her undergraduate studies were in the Department of Music at the University of Sydney, where Peter Sculthorpe was her earliest and most influential composition teacher.

The award of a Commonwealth Scholarship enabled her to undertake a PhD in composition at the University of York (1969-72), where her supervisors were Wilfrid Mellers and Bernard Rands. In 1990, Boyd became the first Australian (and the first woman) to be appointed Professor of Music at the University of Sydney. Before this, she was the Foundation Head of the Department of Music at the University of Hong Kong (1981–90) and taught at the University of Sussex (1972–77).

The hallmarks of her musical style are its transparency, gentleness and delicacy, attributes which reflect her long involvement with Asian traditions, especially those of Japan and Indonesia. 

Two solo CDs of her music are Meditations on a Chinese Character (ABC Classics, 1997) and Crossing a Bridge of Dreams (Tall Poppies, 2000).

Her most recently commissioned works include Ganba for Baritone Saxophone and piano (2011), Kabarli Meditation for solo piano (2012), Daisy Bates at Ooldea, a chamber opera (2012) and String Quartet No 3 (2015).  She is currently exploring a collaborative ‘Two Ways’ approach in a trilogy of music theatre works on significant Australian women, all of whom worked closely with Aboriginal people (Daisy Bates, Olive Pink and Annie Lock).

Professor Boyd was honoured with an AM in the Order of Australia in 1996, an Honorary Doctorate from the University of York in 2003, the Distinguished Services to Australian Music Award at the APRA-AMC Classical Music Awards in 2005 and the 2014 Sir Bernard Heinz Award for service to music in Australia.

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