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25 February 2015

Chris Williams the inaugural NLA Creative Arts Fellow

Chris Williams Image: Chris Williams  

Composer Chris Williams has been named the Friends of the National Library of Australia's inaugural Creative Arts Fellow. A graduate of Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Williams recently completed a Master's degree in Composition at the University of Oxford.

Williams's work has been performed in Australia and internationally by ensembles such as the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, The Song Company, the BBC Singers and The Australian Voices. In 2012 he was one of only six composers worldwide to be selected by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies to attend his Advanced Composition course in the UK.

Senior Curator at the National Library and Secretary to the NLA's Fellowship Advisory Committee, Robyn Holmes, said that, although the committee had been overwhelmed by the calibre of the applicants from across many art forms, Williams's project was outstanding.

Applicants were invited to create a new artistic work using or inspired by the Library's collection.

'Chris's project is Discovering The Desolate Kingdom - exploring the imaginary cultural space of Nigel Butterley's "lost opera",' Robyn Holmes said. 'He plans to compose a musical response to this incomplete opera, held in Butterley's manuscript papers in our collection. Butterley is amongst the most significant composers of his generation and the opera was originally conceived for the Australian Opera around 1970. Chris's Fellowship project will celebrate the composer's 80th birthday.'

As the 2015 Creative Arts Fellow, Williams will undertake a four-week residency at the National Library in Canberra and receive the sum of $10,000. He is currently working as a composer in the UK but is expected to take up his fellowship in April. He will give a public presentation on the development of his composition while in Canberra.

AMC resources

Chris Williams - AMC profile
Nigel Butterley - AMC profile
National Library of Australia - Creative Arts Fellowship (2014)

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