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Four emerging Australian composers have been selected to participate in the MSO's 2022 Cybec 21st Century Australian Composers Program.

This annual program sees four emerging composers commissioned to compose a piece of music over the course of 12 months, with the final piece performed by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Our four finalists made it through a highly-competitive application process of over 40 applicants and two selection panels. We are pleased to announce them as: Julia Potter (NSW), Naomi Dodd (NSW), Christopher Healey (VIC) and Joseph Franklin (VIC).

Over the coming months the participants will receive mentoring from leading Australian composers Gerard Brophy, Paul Stanhope, Stuart Greenbaum, and Lead Mentor and Artistic Advisor of the Program, celebrated Australian composer Mary Finsterer. On the completion of the 12-month program one of the four participants will be selected as the MSO’s Young Composer in Residence for 2024.

Learn more about our four composers below.

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Julia Potter

Julia Potter is an emerging Sydney-based composer. Inspired to write music surrounding the human existence and experience, Julia seeks to create music which transports the listener to a suspended reality and moment in time.

In 2021 Julia partook in Ensemble Offspring Hatched Academy, and this year has been accepted into the Omega Ensemble CoLAB Program for young composers. Her previous work has been performed by The Penny Quartet, Syzygy Ensemble, The Australian Youth Orchestra, The Melbourne University Symphony Orchestra, ANAM and the Arcis Quartet. Her music for documentary Acts for the Invisible was featured at Sydney Film Festival and Mardis Gras Film Festival.

In 2021 Julia graduated with a Masters degree at the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) specialising in film music composition, studying with Cameron Patrick. In 2018, Julia completed a Bachelor of Music with Honours at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, studying with Stuart Greenbaum, Elliot Gyger and Katy Abbott Kvasnica. .

In 2019 Julia was the recipient of the Melbourne Recital Centre/Melbourne Conservatorium of Music graduate commission and 2017 recipient of the Esther Rofe Composition Award.

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Naomi Dodd

For as long as she can remember, Naomi has been moved by the all-encompassing power of music. Her desire now as a composer, is to create music which affects audiences similarly. Naomi graduated from Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2019 with a Bachelor of Music Composition. Naomi has written a variety of solo and chamber works as well as orchestral. In 2018 she was selected to write for Ku-ring-gai Philharmonic Orchestra then in 2019 was the recipient of Penrith Symphony Orchestra's Young Composer Prize. In 2019 Naomi also received 2nd place in the Australian Flute Festival's composition competition and in 2020 received Highly Commended in the Flute Society of NSW’s composition competition. In 2021 KPO commissioned Naomi to write her third orchestral work, Deep Calls to Deep.

Naomi’s inspiration is deeply connected to her emotional sensitivities, with compositions often finding their genesis in various experiential sensations. Her work ranges from intensely passionate and colourful moments to gentle fragments echoing the ethereal.

Naomi’s belief that all people possess an innate potential for musical appreciation shapes her desire to create music that reaches and impacts all who listen.

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Christopher Healey

Melbourne-based composer, Christopher Healey (PhD), has studied with renowned Australian composers Gerard Brophy and Robert Davidson. From 2018–2019, he also undertook further composition studies with the eminent American composer, Daron Hagen. Christopher's music is eclectic in style, atmospheric and evocative, with works ranging from the transfixingly tender to the disturbingly macabre. His catalogue comprises over 90 compositions, including instrumental and vocal compositions, choral music, full-bodied orchestral scores, a chamber opera and more.

He has received commissions from eminent musicians and arts organisations in Australia, China, France, Holland, and the USA, including Omega Ensemble, Camerata – Queensland's Chamber Orchestra, the BRON Saxophone Quartet, BoB-Best of Brass, Ensemble Francaix, the Nickson Quartet and others. Christopher has also received prizes including the Alan Lane Award, A.G. Francis Prize, 2nd Place in the Arcadia Winds Composition Competition, 2nd Place in the ANZVS Composition Competition, and the Australian Postgraduate Award.

Current commissions and upcoming premieres include works for Bendigo Symphony Orchestra, Duo Piaggio, Omega Ensemble, and Divisi Chamber Singers with Ensemble Ancien.

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Joseph Franklin

Joseph Franklin is a composer and performer from regional Victoria, currently based in Narrm/Melbourne. His work draws on post-human and ecologically informed understandings of historical and contemporary creative practice, and spans improvised, notated music, experimental and sound art.

Franklin has composed for a range of ensembles including the Australian Youth Orchestra, Flinders Quartet, Ensemble Nouveau and Geist Quartet. Along with leading his own projects, he is a member of new music ensemble The Music Box Project and co-founder of experimental performance group The Opera Company. He has performed in the United States, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Turkey and Australia.

Described as “the avant-garde of today” (The Weekend Australian), his 2019 release Amen was recorded in NYC with Marc Hannaford and Satoshi Takeishi. His chamber opera Jouska, was performed by The Music Box Project at BIFEM in 2019—which received the award for excellence in experimental music at the 2020 Art Music Awards. "Jouska was the standout work for its integration of music and theatrical aspects and the variation of compositional techniques" (Classik On).

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