Alan Holley

Alan Holley in Vienna May 2014

Alan Holley in Vienna May 2014

Australian composer Alan Holley had his first professional performance in the Recording Hall, (now the Studio) Sydney Opera House in 1974. His music has been supported by the Australia Council through composer fellowships and through numerous commissions. Regularly performed and broadcast in Australia since the mid-1970s, over the past thirty years his music has become increasingly well-known in America and Europe.

In 2014 he was a featured composer at the Velika Gorica Brass Festival (Croatia) and was the subject of a composer profile concert in the Kolarac Hall, Belgrade, Serbia. In 2013 Holley was one of several composers-in-residence in the first Sydney International Brass Festival and in that same year had a recital of his works featured in the Australasian Saxophone and Clarinet Conference at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. In 2012 there was a concert of his works at the Hall of Croatian Composers in Zagreb under the musical direction of Tomislav Spoljar.

A recital of seven solo works at Watters Gallery (Sydney) in his 60th birthday month was followed in 2015 with a concert of his chamber music by Sirius Chamber Ensemble. Later that year David Elton directed a program of Holley’s large ensemble works at the Melbourne Recital Centre for the Australian National Academy of Music.

In May, 2016 Holley returned to south-eastern Europe this time for a month long tour with the virtuoso trumpeter Paul Goodchild where they gave concerts and workshops in Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia and concerts and lectures in Tirana at the inaugural International Albanian Brass Festival under the direction of Ilir Kodhima. In July of the same year he was the composer-in-residence at the Podium Festival in Fazana/Brijuni, Croatia, directed by the inspirational saxophonist, Petra Horvat.

His compositions include the opera Dorothea (1988), five song cycles, and numerous works for small ensembles and solo instruments. Larger-scale compositions include Chamber Symphony (2003) and The Winged Viola (2004) for solo viola and ensemble. The trumpet concerto Doppler’s Web (2005) written for soloist Paul Goodchild,  A Line of Stars (2007) and A Shaft of Light (2015) for oboe and orchestra with Shefali Pryor as soloist were all commissioned and performed in the Concert Hall of the Opera House by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Loaded with Dream (2011) was commissioned by the Sydney Symphony for performance by the Fellows. In 2012 the Seraphim Trio toured his piano trio ‘the estuaries of time’.

Holley also teaches trumpet and composition, and his flute, double bass and trumpet works are included in the Australian Music Examinations Board syllabus. EMI Australia has published two collections:  Summer Bird and other pieces for trumpet and Birds of Opal and other pieces for flute. CDs of chamber and vocal music include Ophelia and Masquerade on the MBS label also  Solos, Hammerings and Doppler’s Web on the Hammerings Records label. Four of his trumpet works appear on the Paul Goodchild CD, Mixed Dozen on the 1M1 label.

Alan Holley is published by Kookaburra Music


Alan Holley with oboist Ivan Kirn in Belgrade May 2014

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Header image: excerpt of the score of take flight hand notated by Alan Holley
Photography: Annie Turner