Composing Australia Book Launch


Nostalgia and National Identity in the Music of Malcolm Williamson

Start Date

17th Dec 2018 5:30pm

End Date

17th Dec 2018 7:00pm


Conservatorium of Music, Sandy Bay Rd, Hobart

RSVP / Contact Information

Enquiries - E. T. 03 6226 4300,

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The University of Tasmania's Conservatorium of Music, in association with the Tasmanian Chapter of the Musicological Society of Australia, invites you to attend the launch of Dr Carolyn Philpott’s new book: Composing Australia: Nostalgia and National Identity in the Music of Malcolm Williamson.

The launch will feature short talks by Professor Kate Darian-Smith (Executive Dean and Pro Vice-Chancellor, College of Arts, Law and Education, University of Tasmania) and Dr Carolyn Philpott, as well as performances of Williamson’s piano miniatures by concert pianist Shan Deng.

About the Book

Brilliant, provocative, compassionate—the composer Malcolm Williamson was one of Australia’s most famous expatriates. As Carolyn Philpott explains, his nostalgia for his homeland lasted fifty years, from his emigration in 1953 until his death in 2003. In works such as the ballet The Display, Symphony no. 6 and The Dawn Is at Hand, he explored inventive ways of expressing his Australian identity, collaborating with Australian artists, paying homage to Australian musicians and exposing his sorrow for the treatment of Indigenous peoples. As the first book-length examination of Williamson’s music, Composing Australia is a portrait of an intriguing and always imaginative Australian.

Lyrebird Press (University of Melbourne)

It is fifteen years since Malcolm Williamson left us. What he left behind, though, is full of richness, colour, depth, originality and wit. The significance of his music for Australia and beyond awaits full recognition and informed analysis. Carolyn Philpott’s new book is not only welcome: it is essential and will help to inspire the rediscovery of one of Australia’s greatest composers.

Piers Lane AO, Australian classical pianist

Light refreshments will be provided
Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the special discounted price of $45 for this occasion only.