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  • Born

    23 December 1943 (age 73)

  • Born In

    Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Australian composer Ross Edwards has created a unique sound world which seeks to reconnect music with elemental forces and restore such qualities as ritual, spontaneity and the impulse to dance.

Intensely aware of his vocation as a composer, he has largely followed his own path, rejecting most of the standard prerequisites for career development and depending on the music's ability to speak for itself. Edwards considers it his responsibility to make the most effective use of one of the planet's most potent forces to communicate vividly and widely at the highest possible artistic level.

His music, whose global significance has been acknowledged, is at the same time deeply connected to its roots in Australia. It celebrates the cultural diversity of this country and draws many of its shapes and patterns from the natural environment - notably birdsong and the mysterious drones of summer insects. Edwards's belief in the healing power of music is reflected in a body of contemplative works inspired by the Australian landscape.

Ross Edwards's compositions, which are performed worldwide, include symphonies, concertos, chamber and vocal music, children's music, film scores and music for dance. Works designed for the concert hall sometimes require special lighting, movement, costume and visual accompaniment.

Recent works include the internationally acclaimed oboe concerto Bird Spirit Dreaming, commissioned for the Sydney Symphony and composed for soloist Diana Doherty, whose U.S. premiere was given in February 2005 by the New York Philharmonic, with conductor Lorin Maazel. Doherty has subsequently performed the work in many parts of the world. The Heart of Night was premiered in April 2005 by the shakuhachi master Riley Lee, Hiroyuki Iwaki and the Melbourne Symphony, and Edwards's 5th Symphony - The Promised Land, with a text by David Malouf, was premiered to great acclaim in October 2006 by the Sydney Symphony and Sydney Children's Choir conducted by David Porcelijn. Ross Edwards bases himself in Sydney where he lives with his wife Helen, spending as much time as possible working in his studio in the Blue Mountains.

His music is mainly published by Ricordi London and he is a represented composer of the Australian Music Centre.

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