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Elizabeth Younan : Associate Artist

Photo of Elizabeth Younan


Elizabeth Younan (1994) is an Australian-Lebanese composer from Sydney. She was a featured Australian composer of Musica Viva's 2020 and 2018 International Concert Seasons, where her String Quartet No. 2 (2020) and her Piano Sonata (2018) received their worldwide premieres by the Chen Family Quartet and Van Cliburn silver medallist Joyce Yang, respectively. Elizabeth's Piano Sonata was a finalist in the 'Instrumental Work of the Year' category at the 2019 Australian Art Music Awards.

Accolades include the Jean Bogan Youth Prize for her Five Persian Preludes (2014), the 102.5 Fine Music and Willoughby Symphony Young Composer Award for her Clarinet Concerto (2016), two Willgoss Prize Commissions in association with The University of Sydney and The University of New South Wales (2020), the Kendall National Violin Competition's Watermark Composition Prize for her Microsonata No. II for Violin and Piano (2020), and an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award for her Woodwind Quintet No. 2, "Kismet" (2021). Elizabeth's Woodwind Quintet No. 1, "Shoreditch Grind" (2015) was the winner of Quintet Attacca's inaugural international Call for Scores.

Elizabeth has recently been announced as the 2021-2022 Layton Emerging Composer (Australia Ensemble UNSW), is one of the commissioned composers of both the Sydney Symphony Orchestra's 50 Fanfares Project and the ANAM Set, and has written for principal players of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Music in Composition with First Class Honours (2015) and a Master of Music (2018) from The Sydney Conservatorium of Music, The University of Sydney ("The Con"), where she studied with composer Carl Vine AO. Whilst at The Con, Elizabeth was awarded the Ignaz Friedman Memorial Prize (2014) and the prestigious Australian Postgraduate Award (2016-2018) as part of her Masters degree. Elizabeth recently graduated from her composition studies at the renowned Curtis Institute of Music, which all students attend on full scholarship. She held the Jimmy Brent Fellowship, and upon graduation received the Charles Miller "Alfredo Casella Award" for excellence in composition. Elizabeth is the first female Australian composer to be admitted to Curtis and is only the second Australian composer to gain acceptance in its history. She studied with Dr. Jennifer Higdon, Dr. David Ludwig, Dr. Richard Danielpour, and Dr. Amy Beth Kirsten.

Elizabeth Younan — current to June 2021

Studied with

Carl Vine (2014 - 2018)

Richard Danielpour (2018 - 2021)

Jennifer Higdon (2018 - 2021)

David Serkin Ludwig (2018 - 2021)


Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for
2019 Art Music Awards: Work of the Year: Instrumental Finalist Piano Sonata

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Poem : violin with piano Commissioned as part of the Momentum III Sue-W Covid-19 Special commissions
Digital sheet music sample Fantasia : for viola : viola solo (2019) Composed for the 2019 Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival
Digital sheet music sample Interwoven : String Quartet No. 1 (2019) Commissioned by Cathy Brown-Watt for performance by Musica Viva Society of Australia.
Piano Trio : piano trio (2018) Composed to fulfil requirements of study at the Curtis Institute of Music
Digital sheet music sample Piano Sonata (solo piano) (2018) Commissioned by Julian Burnside for performance by Musica Viva Australia.
Digital sheet music sample Electors of Middlemarch : for solo percussionist (2017) Composed for the Sydney Conservatorium of Music 'Composing Women' program.