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Ian Munro has emerged over recent years as one of Australia’s most distinguished and awarded musicians, with a career that has taken him to thirty countries in Europe, Asia, North America and Australasia. His award in 2003 of Premier Grand Prix at the Queen Elisabeth International Competition for composers (Belgium) is a unique achievement for an Australian and follows on from multiple prizes in international piano competitions in Spain (Maria Canals), Italy (Busoni), Portugal (Vianna da Motta) and the UK, where his second prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition in 1987 established his international profile.

After returning to composition in 1992, following the birth of his first daughter Lucy, Ian quickly developed an interest in music for children. Both ‘Lucy’s Book’ (1993—2006) and the ‘Children’s Concerto’ (1999) reflect an abiding concern with music for children. In 2003 Ian’s piano concerto ‘Dreams’ won the prestigious Queen Elisabeth International Competition in Brussels and was subsequently played by the twelve finalists of the international piano competition. Broadcast across Europe both on radio and television, ‘Dreams’ received its next performance in St Petersburg in Russia with the Hermitage State Orchestra as part of the Musical Olympus Festival. Subsequent commissions from the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra through a Symphony Australia residency led to ‘Blue Rags’ (2005), ‘Drought & Night Rain’ (2005) and ‘O Traurigkeit’ (2006), written for soloist Sue-Ellen Paulsen (cello). ‘Blue Rags’ was nominated for APRA Orchestral Work of the Year 2006 and has been recorded for ABC Classics. In its solo piano version it was again nominated for APRA Instrumental Work of the Year 2009. In 2011 he was Featured Composer for Musica Viva’s international season, in which his piano trio ‘Tales from Old Russia’ (2008), String Quartet no.1, Clarinet Quintet and Piano Quintet no.2 were toured by the Eggner Trio, Brentano Quartet, Sabina Meyer and the Modigliano Quartet, and the Goldner Quartet with Munro as soloist.

In 2013, his second string quartet ‘A Colonial Sketchbook’ is performed by the Australia Ensemble strings (Goldner Quartet) and his second piano trio ‘A book of lullabies’ commissioned by John and Jo Strutt, will be given its premiere at the Huntington Festival.

November 2013

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Kris Spike permalink
    February 10, 2009 12:02 pm

    Hi Ian,
    Having enjoyed your piano playing and compositions for some years now, I would like to send you a CD of my latest compositions for piano and winds. It has 5 quartets for fl cl ob pno one trio fl cl pno and one piece for fl pno. The other players are Diana Doherty, Deborah de Graaff and Leah Lock. One of the quartets won the runner up prize at the University of Canberra composition competition last year and is a tribute to the great black American singer Paul Robeson with sections evoking negro spirituals and Broadway show music. Another is called The Lorax’s Lament inspired by the Dr. Seuss classic children’s book. If you haven’t read this book it is a must for anyone concerned about the future of our planet. If you like it enough you may like to do it with the Australia Ensemble sometime. If you’re interested give me your postal address and I will send you the CD.
    Looking forward to your future performances and compositions.
    Regards
    Kris Spike

  2. February 12, 2009 8:52 am

    Hi Chris. I’d be delighted to hear your music – I like your Gandalf’s Clock. And I’d like to hear your Dr Seuss music. You might like the Tove Jansson books about Moomin Trolls, Andy Ford put me onto them. Email me via my website http://www.ianmunro.net Cheers

  3. August 27, 2011 6:59 am

    Hi Ian
    While driving home this afternoon I was listening to ABC radio and I thought the announcer said you were playing a peice by Rachmaninov called “A Child’s Day”.

    I have searched the web but cannot find it and was wondering if I heard the name of this music incorrectly. I would like to hear it again as it was a beautiful peice of music.

    Thank you and kind regards
    Elly

    • September 10, 2011 11:33 am

      Hello Elly. Just got this message. I wasn’t aware of the broadcast but can tell you that the piece is by Grechaninov :)

      Best regards, Ian

  4. November 17, 2011 4:11 am

    Hi! I just wanted to say that I heard your Musica Viva composition in Adelaide the otehr night, and it was wonderful! Is there any way to buy a recording, or plans to release it as such?

  5. Kenneth Heeks permalink
    December 30, 2011 11:05 am

    Hi Ian

    Was fortunate to hear your new Clarinet Quintet in Perth with Sabina Meyer and the Modiglian String Quartet. What a stunning performance of a great clarinet piece. Your introduction was both interesting and informative.

    I would love to learn and perform this piece here in England adding it to the usual Mozart, Brahms, Weber and Somervell repertoire.

    Is the music available yet? and if so from where can I obtain it? Are there plans fora recording.

    Regards

    Ken Heeks

  6. Joseph permalink
    January 15, 2014 4:01 am

    Hi Ian Monro,
    I was looking at your piece, “Return” for my HSC Music 2 work. Which AMEB grade is this piece relatively equal to? If it is easier than 7th grade, could you recommend another of your piece that is suitable for HSC around 3-5 mins? My email is jmfychess@gmail.com

    Thank you,
    Joseph.

    • January 15, 2014 10:45 am

      Hi Joseph,

      I would say about Grade 6, but this is a guess, as I’m not really up with AMEB guidelines these days. I tend to underestimate the difficulty of my music…

      Other pieces that might be suitable would be a couple of the rags: ‘Bad Girl’ and ‘China Rag’, although ‘China Rag’ is pretty hard. The second piece from ‘Letter to a Friend’ would do, too (‘I Sat Down by the River’).

      All the best, Ian

  7. Michael permalink
    January 16, 2014 6:02 am

    Hallo, Ian.

         Just read this enquiry by Joseph. I wasn’t aware that your music is available at all. Can you please tell me how I could get it? Do I get it on-line somewhere, or go to an old-fashioned seller of sheet music?
         What is the general style of your music? Is it avant-garde or strongly modern, or is it a little more approachable than that? I’m pretty open-minded about the styles of music I explore, but some avant-garde music can be a little difficult to understand, and much of it probably beyond my piano technique, too. And some of the neo-classical pieces around can be very dry and desiccated, too, so that, even when they seem to go through the usual procedures of tonality and classical technique, they can end up doing absolutely nothing for me. So an idea of the style(s) you use would be helpful.
         Thank you. (We met years and years ago and spoke a little about Katharine Parker, and you were kind enough to send me photocopies of her pieces, which I find most attractive; but I’m not sure if you’d remember that now.)

    Regards, Michael.

    • January 16, 2014 6:13 am

      Hi Michael, and of course I remember you very well, and you are forever linked with the Parker project, which is one of my happiest efforts. You, as I remember, were the one to supply me with some of the music (the ‘Nocturne’, I think).

      Have a look at my composer pages (listed in the menu column). There are samples of most things, with some audio as well.

      All the best,

      Ian

  8. Joseph permalink
    January 16, 2014 6:53 am

    Hi Ian,
    Thank you very much for your reply. I have to do pieces with AMEB grade 8 up. I’m thinking of doing Bad Girl and either Zee Rag or Alexander Rags to make up 5minutes. What do you think? Could you tell me which rag is more difficult than the other? Thank you again.
    Kind regards,
    Joseph

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