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Alex Turley : Associate Artist

Photo of Alex Turley


Artist website: http://alexturley.com/

Alex Turley is an award-winning Australian composer of contemporary classical music. Acclaimed as an "exciting emerging talent" (Limelight Magazine) and building a reputation as a strong collaborator, Alex has worked on diverse musical projects with the Sydney and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras, Genesis Owusu, Rufus Du Sol, Electric Fields, Ngaiire, Sangam and Ripple Effect. He has also been awarded a Creative and Performance Leadership Fellowship from the Forrest Research Foundation to undertake 18 months of creative research in Western Australia in 2023-24.

In 2022, Alex won the position of Young Composer-in-Residence with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, through which three pieces for orchestra were commissioned: Lungs, an exploration of breath in music; ANIMALIA, a companion suite to Saint-Saëns' Carnival of the Animals; and River. Other significant recent works include Mirage, a piece for brass ensemble designed to be spread out across the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall and commissioned through the Sydney Symphony Orchestra's 50 Fanfares Project; and Agam, a suite of three orchestral pieces developed in collaboration with South Asian artist collective Sangam for performance at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl.

Alex travelled to Larrakia country in 2021 to work on Barra-róddjiba, an orchestral collaboration with rock band Ripple Effect and Kunibídji elders of Maningrida for the Darwin Symphony Orchestra. This piece was written by sending sound files back and forth between Maningrida and Melbourne and was lauded as an "innovative cross-cultural performance" (Limelight).

Alex regularly works outside genre boundaries and has created orchestral reimaginings for artists including Rufus Du Sol, Genesis Owusu, Ngaiire, Electric Fields, Eskimo Joe, Emma Donovan & Paul Grabowsky, Lucy Durack, Swing on This, Anthony Callea, Addison, ELAURA, Ag Johnson, Nomad, HVSH. In 2022 his show with Electric Fields and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra was described as an "effervescent, electronic neo-soul song cycle...sonically painted live by the limitless textures of the most profound musical organism" (Beat).

Alex has been commissioned to create new art music for the Sydney, Melbourne, Darwin and Perth Symphony Orchestras, Omega Ensemble, Forest Collective, Arcadia Winds, the Brisbane Music Festival, Golden Gate Brass, Intercurrent, Argo, the Kodaly Institute of Australia, Soundstream Collective, Grey Wing Ensemble, Australian National Academy of Music, Voyces and Gondwana Choirs.

The orchestral work City of Ghosts was featured in the 2016 Metropolis New Music Festival and praised as "an accessible, brilliant piece of music" (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) and possessing a "refined sense of texture and atmosphere" (Partial Durations). The piece has since been arranged for wind orchestra and published through Murphy Music Press. The chamber piece Zero Sum Game was commissioned through Omega Ensemble's 2021 CoLAB Composer Accelerator Program and was subsequently programmed in the ensemble's 2022 national tour Ex Machina. The work was described as an "exciting aural landscape...alternatively driving and luxuriating, the young composer taking the compositional turns with ease" (Limelight). Alex won the 2022 Arcadia Winds Composition Prize, demonstrating a "strong command of the wind medium" and subsequently writing the wind quintet In Flow.

Alex completed a Master of Music (Composition) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with a research project exploring approaches to musical temporality and timelessness in composition. This followed undergraduate studies in composition at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts with a First Class Honours Thesis investigating the work of Tōru Takemitsu. He is the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships, including the Henderson Postgraduate Scholarship from the University of Sydney, John & Margaret Winstanley Award, Edith Cowan Excellence Scholarship, and in 2021 he was a finalist in the APRA AMCOS Professional Development Awards.

Alex's theatre credits as composer and sound designer include Australian Open (bub./Kings Cross Theatre), Very Nice Pot Plants to Purify The Air and Enrich Your Life (Theatre Works), We Are Gods (NIDA), Minus One Sister (SALT./The Blue Room Theatre/Studio Underground) and TILT (WAAPA/The Blue Room Theatre).

Alex Turley — current to March 2023

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
River : full orchestra (2023) Commissioned by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Digital sheet music sample In Flow : for wind quintet (2022) Commissioned by Arcadia Winds.
Digital sheet music sample Zero Sum Game : for clarinet, violin, viola, cello and piano (2021) Commissioned by Omega Ensemble.
Digital sheet music sample Lungs : for orchestra (2021) Commissioned by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Digital sheet music sample Mirage : for brass ensemble (2021) Commissioned by Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
Digital sheet music sample Nowhere In Particular : for viola and electronics (2021) Commissioned by The ANAM Set.