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Leading American music school to host Conservatorium leader

A five-month residency at one of the best and oldest music schools in the United States is full of opportunities for composer and head of the University of Tasmania’s Conservatorium of Music Dr Maria Grenfell.

This month Dr Grenfell and her family will travel to Oberlin, Ohio, where she has been invited to be Kerr Composer-in-Residence at the Oberlin Conservatory for one semester.

“The Oberlin Conservatory has a fantastic reputation for new music, composition and wide-ranging undergraduate training, from baroque and opera to electronic music,” Dr Grenfell said.  

From September to December, Dr Grenfell will be teaching composition to talented Oberlin music students. Between classes, she hopes to work on several new commissions and sow the seeds for future collaborations.

“It’s a fantastic cross-cultural learning opportunity for all involved – a number of students have been learning some of my pieces and will perform them during the residency,” she said.

Dr Grenfell will also make the most of experiencing the Oberlin Conservatory’s state-of-the-art facilities in preparation for the opening of The Hedberg complex in Hobart’s CBD.

“I’m very keen to understand how staff and students use Oberlin’s exceptional music facilities and how the whole place is run. This research will be really helpful as we prepare to move into our cutting-edge facilities in The Hedberg in early 2020,” she said.

The Hedberg is a $96 million creative industries and performing arts development which will encompass the Conservatorium of Music and the Theatre Royal.

Before setting off for Ohio, Dr Grenfell will see her latest commission, Flinders and Trim, performed by the TSO as part of its Master Series concert Nordic Spirit at the Federation Concert Hall on Friday night (9 August 2019).

Published on: 07 Aug 2019 9:54am