A/PROF Elliott Gyger

A/PROF Elliott Gyger


  • Choral music
  • Contemporary music
  • New music
  • music composition
  • musicology and analysis



  • Elliott Gyger is Associate Professor in Composition at the University of Melbourne. He holds a BMus from the University of Sydney, where he studied with Peter Sculthorpe, and a PhD from Harvard University, working with Mario Davidovsky. His compositional and research interests include the creation of a purely musical sense of drama and narrative, and the multilayered interplay of music and text. Among his major works are the “nocturnal concerto for orchestra” Deep and dissolving verticals of light (1994); si doux (1997), commissioned by the Australia Ensemble; and From the hungry waiting country (2006) for Halcyon, which was highly commended in the 2006 Paul Lowin Song Cycle Award. Recent premieres have included a celesta concerto entitled Angels and Insects (2010); In Praise of Sandstone (2012), to words by John Tranter, for solo voices, choir and percussion ensemble; Inferno (2013), an hour-long solo work for pianist Michael Kieran Harvey inspired by Dante; and Smoke and Mirrors (2014), a concerto for tenor saxophone and orchestra. His on air – dialogue for orchestra (2011) was awarded the Sydney Symphony 80th Anniversary Composition Prize, and received its first performances with the SSO under Vladimir Ashkenazy in March 2012; and giving voice (2012) was the winning work in the 2013 Paul Lowin Song Cycle Award.  His chamber opera on David Malouf's novel Fly Away Peter received its premiere by Sydney Chamber Opera in May 2015.  His monograph on the music of Australian composer Nigel Butterley was published by Wildbird Press in 2015.   


Selected publications


Education and training

  • PhD, Harvard University 2002
  • BMus, University of Sydney 1990

Awards and honors

  • Song Cycle Prize winner, Paul Lowin Trust, 2013
  • 80th Anniversary Composition Prize - winner, Sydney Symphony, 2012
  • Song Cycle Prize - highly commended, Paul Lowin Trust, 2006
  • commission award, Fromm Foundation, 2004
  • Walter Hinrichsen Award, American Academy of Arts and Letters, 2003
  • FORUM 96 - Australian representative, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, 1996
  • Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship, Harvard University, 1996
  • Composer Fellowship, Peggy Glanville-Hicks Composers' Trust, 1995
  • Young Composers' Competition - winner, 2MBS-FM, 1990



Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • Supervisor for honours and postgraduate degrees in musical composition, including exegetical thesis work
    Advisor for postgraduate degrees in musicology or performance with a focus on art music of the last 100 years