Melbourne Symphony Orchestra today announced Matthew Laing as its 2021 Cybec Young Composer in Residence.
Laing, who is also a violist, will participate in a year-long program unique to the MSO, which provides the Young Composer in Residence the opportunity to create contemporary classical works for orchestra.
Working with established Australian composers and members of the MSO, Laing will be commissioned to write a number of works for the Orchestra’s 2021 season. The program is designed to benefit emerging artists through hands-on, in-depth professional development opportunities, creating important career pathways for emerging Australian composers.
Upon accepting the new position, Laing said that writing for an orchestra of the calibre of the MSO is a dream for any composer.
‘I’m absolutely delighted to follow my participation in the Cybec Young Composer Program this year as the 2021 young composer in residence. Having played viola as a casual musician with the orchestra for a number of years now it also means a lot to be able to write for my colleagues and friends, and share my work with friends and family in my home city.’
The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra also announced its 2020 Cybec Young Composers with Alexander Turley (VIC), Sam Wu (VIC), Georgia Scott (NSW) and Alexander Voltz (QLD) as this year’s participants. Each participant will spend 12 months working with a mentor and attending workshops with the MSO. They will each create a 10-minute work for orchestra, which will be performed in showcase to be held in early 2021.
Since the program was introduced in 2003, over 60 young composers from across Australia including Ade Vincent and Mark Holdsworth have had their work commissioned and performed by the MSO. Many of these composers have continued on to enjoy a widely diverse creative career, with the MSO offering several subsequent commissions to graduates of the program.
The Cybec Foundation also supports MSO’s Assistant Conductor, a position currently held by Nicholas Bochner, who is also the Orchestra’s Assistant Principal Cello.