Meet the Composer – Eve Duncan

Our annual Meet the Composer concerts have become increasingly popular as an informal way to hear new music and to learn from the composers themselves about what influences their music. This year, Sirius Chamber Ensemble are delighted to have Melbourne-based composers, Eve Duncan and Dr Houston Dunleavy to discuss their work alongside performances of a selection of their compositions. In this post, we introduce Eve Duncan and her compositions selected for this programme.

ED Composer

Eve Duncan has won distinguished awards, including the International Music Prize for Excellence in Composition (Greece), Recital Music Double Bass Composition Competition (England) and the International Modern Music Award for Composition (Vienna). She received her Doctor of Creative Arts (Western Sydney University) with Bruce Crossman and Clare MacLean, Masters in Music (University of Melbourne) with Brenton Broadstock, and Honours in Music Composition (Latrobe University) with Anthony Briggs.

Sirius Chamber Ensemble previously premiered a new arrangement of Eve Duncan’s Madonna and Child with Goldfinch (2008) for soprano, flute, clarinet, violin and cello in 2015, as part of a programme of music by Sydney composer Alan Holley. Based on a poem by David Malouf, Madonna and Child with Goldfinch, and inspired by the Italian, Renaissance painting, portends an apocalyptic future, saturated with media melancholia and global warming. Words that reverberate still ten years on. The sublime soprano, Taryn Srhoj returns to Sirius for this performance.

Aer Turas (Air Journey) for flute, clarinet and cello depicts the distinctiveness of air experienced in different landscapes from Asia and America to Australia. For Eve, travelling gave her “distinctly uplifting experiences of air in mountains and deserts, that has remained as a fresh experience over time.” 

Composed in 1999, Little Botanicus for clarinet, cello and piano was written in celebration of the first-born daughter of cellist Penny Veldman. Of the work Eve describes it as, “a sketch of the emergence of a rose, through light and sound ether, condensing to warmth, then further condensing to warmth, air, water and solid matter.”

The Submerging City for cello and piano was written in 2007 following a typical Melbourne, summer heatwave and eventual cool change. Inspired by a painting of a city landscape submerged in water by Melbourne artist Jon Cattapan, Eve composed this musical reverie, “where drops of rain after summer heat lead to a fantasy of a living city underwater; oblivious to its having being drowned.”

Alexander’s Elements for flute, clarinet and bassoon is inspired by Alexander the Great. Through his travels he introduced the Hellenic teachings to Egypt and India, including aspects of the elements in relation to the human. For example, the elements within man include earth in bones, fire and water in the heart, blood circulation and other bodily fluids, and air in breathing.

In our next post, we will introduce Dr Houston Dunleavy and his selection of music for this programme.

Meet the Composer Concert

When: Saturday 23rdJune 2018, 6:00 pm

Where: Christ Church Lavender Bay, corner of Walker and Lavender Streets, Lavender Bay, NSW.

Tickets: $30 Adults, $20 Concession, $10 Child available at or at the door.

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