Young composer takes flight

Australian composer Ella Macens has won the 2017 Young Composer Award, organised by Willoughby Symphony Orchestra (WSO) and Willoughby City Council. Her piece Flight will be performed by WSO on 16 and 17 September at The Concourse in the North Sydney suburb of Chatswood.

The Young Composer Award is an annual competition that provides emerging composers aged 30 or under with the opportunity to have their work premiered by WSO. The performance is recorded and then broadcast on Fine Music 102.5.

Macens has previously held composer in residence positions at Sydney Youth Orchestra and Trinity Grammar School, and has had her work performed by The Song Company, Cantorum Choir and Canberra Symphony Orchestra. She is currently studying at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music as part of its National Women Composer’s Development Programme.

Said Macens: “As the music unfolded, my mind became hooked on visualising the act of flying in all its forms – I imagined birds flying in our skies. To explore these perspectives, the piece morphs from boisterous and bold rhythmic motifs to more melancholic, soaring passages, as well as representing both the micro and macro perspectives of what these creatures see from above, diving in and out of lakes and forests and soaring high over mountain peaks.”