Prelude Composer Residencies

2020 Recipients Announced

Gallop House, Western Australia

Prelude 2020 Selected Composers

Prelude is a national network of long-term residencies for Australian composers, housed in historic buildings and providing time and space for the creation of new work. In 2020 the four composers in-residence will be William Barton, Rachael Dease, Connor D'Netto, and Heather Shannon. The historic houses are located in Perth WA, Angaston SA, and Sydney's Paddington.

Prelude is based on the sentiment expressed by Peggy Glanville-Hicks in 1958 that, “It is apparent that leisure and silence are absolute prerequisites for composers if they are to engage fully the many forms of awareness involved in creative activity.” Prelude is in its third year and is managed by Bundanon Trust, which runs the largest artist-in-residence program in the country from its home on the NSW south coast.

The successful applicants are provided with sole occupancy of the houses as well as a stipend to cover living costs and travel.

Prelude is open to Australian composers in all musical genres and practices, including world music, jazz, new classical/art music, pop, film and rock. Residencies can be for research and development or for the creation of new work.

William Barton Prelude 2020 Selected Composer

William Barton, Prelude 2020 Selected Composer.

The three houses and four composers taking residence in 2020 are:

Peggy Glanville-Hicks House, Paddington NSW.

A beautifully restored terrace house in the heart of Sydney.

William Barton, composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, is widely recognised as one of Australia's leading didgeridoo players and composers.

For two decades, William Barton has forged a peerless profile as a performer and composer in the classical musical world, from performances with the Philharmonic Orchestras of London and Berlin to historic events at Westminster Abbey for Commonwealth Day 2019, Anzac Cove and the Beijing Olympics. His awards include Winner of Best Original Score for a Mainstage Production at the 2018 Sydney Theatre Awards and Winner of Best Classical Album with ARIA for Birdsong At Dusk in 2012. William has also been actively involved in the Arts and Music Circle, created by Brisbane Judge Anthe Phillippides to bring together emerging Indigenous leaders through a shared experience of a wide range of arts and culture. With his prodigious musicality and the quiet conviction of his Kalkadunga heritage, he has vastly expanded the horizons of the didgeridoo and the culture and landscape that it represents.


Rachael Dease, Prelude 2020 Selected Composer

Rachael Dease, Prelude 2020 Selected Composer.

Gallop House, Dalkeith WA.

A two-storey Victorian-style home built in 1877, nestled on the Swan River in Perth.

Rachael Dease’s artistic practice encompasses art music, film and theatre scoring, installation, site-specific work and songwriting. She won the inaugural Martin Sims Award at Fringe World, the Melbourne Fringe Music Award and received critical acclaim at New York Fringe Festival for her 2013 contemporary song cycle City of Shadows. Recent composition and sound design for theatre include the Helpmann Award-nominated It’s Dark Outside (The Last Great Hunt), Sunset (Strut Dance/Maxine Doyle) and Rest (WAYTCO). Installation includes Black Mass (PICA) Winter Feast (Dark Mofo), Museum of Water (Perth Festival), and Like Embracing Ice (Fremantle Arts Centre). Dease was awarded the 2017 DCA Performing Arts Fellowship, won the Performing Arts WA award for Best Music for Let The Right One In (Black Swan State Theatre Company) and been a Besen Fellow at Malthouse Theatre. She has been a resident artist at Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Proximity Festival, Lumen Studios Italy and The Arctic Circle.


Heather Shannon, Prelude 2020 Selected Composer

Heather Shannon, Prelude 2020 Selected Composer.

Collingrove Homestead, SA.

A gracious Victorian-era home, located 6km from the Barossa Valley.

Heather Shannon is best known for her work as one quarter of internationally renowned independent rock band, The Jezabels. Shannon has spent most the past decade writing and recording award winning albums and performing in venues such as The Sydney Opera House, The O2 Arena (London), Webster Hall (New York) and at festivals such as Lollapalooza (Chicago), and Glastonbury (UK). Following a 2017 placement in the Nes Artist Residency in the north of Iceland, in 2018 she scored her second Feature Film and her chamber piece Study in Morbid Fragments was performed by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra at the Brisbane Powerhouse Theatre. In 2019, Heather was honoured to have two of her works – Ricochet& Ricochet From A Distance- performed by the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

Connor D'Netto is a composer of contemporary classical music, described as "the model contemporary Australian composer" by ABC Classic FM.

Throughout his works, Connor balances driving rhythmic elements, heartfelt lyrical expression drawn from his extensive performance experience as a classically trained bass baritone, a lushly textural approach to orchestration, combined with contemporary performance practices, unique one-off performances, and the delicate incorporation of electronic music elements. Connor's music has been commissioned and performed across Australia and abroad, including from ensembles such the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Australian String Quartet, New York based groups including Bang On A Can, and performers such as Katie Noonan, Karin Schaupp and Claire Edwardes. Connor was the Composer-In-Residence of the 2019 Australian Festival of Chamber Music, making him the youngest in the Festival's 29-year history.

Connor D'Netto, Prelude 2020 Selected Composer

Connor D'Netto, Prelude 2020 Selected Composer.