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Keyna Wilkins : Associate Artist

Keyna Wilkins' compositional process is based on improvisation and connected to her personal spirituality exploring astronomical concepts and celestial landscapes within a diverse range of musical styles and structures. Universe and Universality.

Random Audio Sample: Let's Be Grey (duos including didjeridu) by Keyna Wilkins, from the CD Chasing Stars to the Mother Tree

Photo of Keyna Wilkins

Photo: Phyllis Wong - Phyllis Photography


​Keyna Wilkins is a pioneering Australian/British composer-musician at home in many musical worlds. She was one of three finalists in the Australian nation-wide APRA/AMC Art Music Awards for Excellence by an Individual (2018) and her works have had numerous international performances. Characterised by an ongoing fascination with astronomical phenomena and the incorporation of jazz harmonies, improvisation, electroacoustic elements and dance forms into her compositions, her works are engaging, diverse and linked to her personal spirituality. Her music has been described as 'arresting, genre-blurring, disquieting music with massive depth and high drama' by The Sydney Morning Herald.

Published by Wirripang, her works have been performed in USA (concert series at Universities of South Carolina, Vandebilt and Georgia), Asia (Singapore Saxophone Symposium), UK (Bristol Victoria Rooms, Bridgwater Arts Centre), Croatia (World Saxophone Congress, Zagreb), Ireland (Cork School of Music), Germany (Hildesheim Audimax Theatre), as well as Australia (Sydney's City Recital Hall, Art Gallery of NSW, Royal Easter Show Main Arena, Melbourne's Preston Town Hall, Melbourne Conservatorium Melba Hall, Adelaide's Univeristy Henze Room and Beamont House, Brisbane Conservatorium) by artists and ensembles such as Preston Symphony Orchestra (Melbourne), Australasian Saxophone Quartet, Collide Trio (Melbourne), Ensemble Muse (Sydney), Sydney Conservatorium Sax Orchestra, Spanish Encounters International Piano Symposium Ensemble, flamenco ensembles Pena Flamenca and Arrebato and soloists saxophonist Joseph Lallo (AUS), pianist Elodie Sablier (France), flutist Alison Mitchell (UK/AUS), Kosmas Lapatas (Greece) as well as performing her own works as a soloist and in her ensemble, Ephemera. She has four tunes in The Australian Jazz Realbook and writes music for independent films.

In addition, Wilkins is a versatile improvising flutist and pianist. With international classical training (Bristol University UK, Bath Spa University UK, Hildesheim University Germany, Sydney Conservatorium) she has branched into jazz, experimental live theatre, flamenco fusion and improvisation in a wide range of ensembles. In 2019 she will present solo recitals of her compositions and improvisations at the Australian Flute Festival and Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference.

In 2015 she formed her own trio, Ephemera, and after a series of successful shows around Sydney, were invited to feature at the Sydney International Women's Jazz Festival in 2017 and at Extended Play Festival of New Music at City Recital Hall in 2018. In 2017 Ephemera released their debut album Orbits and Riffs to critical acclaim. In the same year she presented her Keys Across the Sky solo piano album as a lecture/recital at the Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference held at Adelaide University and launched her flamenco and jazz-infused solo flute album, Air in Motion, at the Flute Tree Studio (Leichhardt).

In 2013 Sydney Conservatorium Spanish Encounters Piano Symposium commissioned her to devise one of her own pieces Luna Llena for their ensemble, and Marquez Laundry Theatre Company commissioned her to write the music for the abstract play Fred and Ginger at Sydney Fringe Festival. Other highlights include opening the Adelaide Fringe Festival with Flamenco Australia in 2012 and opening the Picasso Exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW with French noir trio Les Violettes in 2011.

Having completed her Master of Music Composition at Sydney Conservatorium in 2016 under the supervision of Professor Anne Boyd and Dr Rosalind Page, she also studied composition with Sadie Harrison (Bath Spa University, UK), Jessica Wells and Martin Wesley-Smith (Sydney Conservatorium), jazz piano with Oliver Gross (Hildesheim University, Germany) and flute performance with Nicholas Vallis Davis, including completing her MA Flute Performance at Bristol University in 2008 and BAMus in 2003.

Keyna Wilkins — current to January 2019

Studied with

Tenzin Cheogal (1999)

Jessica Wells (1999)

Martin Wesley-Smith (1999)

Sadie Harrison (2001 - 2002)

Anne Boyd (2012 - 2015)

Rosalind Page


Collaborated with

Elsen Price (2013 - current)

Jenna Cave

Will Gilbert

Joseph Lallo

Byron Mark

Gumaroy Newman

Carl St Jacques


Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for
2018 Art Music Awards: Award for Excellence by an Individual Finalist activities in original art music throughout 2017 as a composer-musician including releasing three original albums.

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Celestial Emu : Didgeridu Concerto (2020) Commissioned by The Metropolitan Orchestra.
Digital sheet music sample Dunes of Pluto : for solo double bass (2018) For Elsen Price
Melbourne by Night : A Suburban Symphony (2018) Commissioned by the Preston Symphony Orchestra
La Luna Sobre Tierras Catalanas (quintets: flute, percussion, piano, violin, cello) (2013) Commissioned by Sydney Conservatorium for "Spanish Encounters - Spanish Piano Music Festival" Oct 2013