Biography

Mark Holdsworth [BMus, BA (Hons), MMus] is an Australian composer and researcher currently based in Perth, Western Australia. Holdsworth is a graduate of the University of Western Australia's Conservatorium of Music; he received first class honours for his Bachelor of Arts (2015) and was awarded the coveted Rupert Thackray Prize for Music Education,  he was also the recipient of a full Australian Postgraduate Award for his Master of Music (2018). Holdsworth studied primarily under renowned Australian composers James Ledger and Dr. Christopher Tonkin.

Holdsworth's current projects include four new commissions for the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra as part of the 2018-19 Australian Composers School, and 2 new commissions for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra as part of Holdsworth's appointment as the MSO Young Composer in Residence for 2019.


... Holdsworth's works have been premiered by some of Australia's most prestigious musicians. In 2010, he was selected for the National Composers Forum (Adelaide) where he received tutelage under composer Carl Vine. The event culminated in the premiere of his Frida Kahlo Portraits by the Australian String Quartet. In 2014, he was selected for the West Australian Symphony Orchestra's Young & Emerging Artists: Composition Project, culminating in the premiere of his Chamber Symphony: A Broken Vow (further information and podcasts may be accessed through the official ABC and Australian Music Centre websites). Holdsworth was subsequently commissioned by Ted Snell and the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery to compose Primrose for the 2014 Momento Mori Exhibition. In 2015, Holdsworth was selected to attend the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra's Composer's School culminating in a performance of Odyssey, Holdsworth's symphonic overture, for which he was awarded the Dorothy Ellen Ransom Prize in the previous year. His relationship with the TSO has since led to the collaborative education project Songbook. Holdsworth has also worked on various film projects including the FTI WA short film Outline directed by Cody Cameron-Brown, which premiered at the Festival de Cannes Short Film Corner in 2016. The short was nominated for 5 Western Australian Screen Awards including Best Original Music. In 2016, he was commissioned by Andrew Foote and the School of Music at the University of Western Australia to compose Komm Du a work for solo soprano, mixed choir and wind symphony. Komm Du was premiered by Gemma McNamee, the UWA Symphony Chorus and Wind Orchestra. Holdsworth was accepted into the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland's 2016 Composition Summer School where he received tutelage under Sir James MacMillan, Gordon McPherson, Oliver Searle, Rory Boyle and David Fennessey. His work for sextet, The Ashes of Time was performed and recorded by the RCS's ensemble in residence, Musiclab. Following his involvement at the RCS, cellist Krista Low gave the world premiere of Holdsworth's latest solo cello work The Crucible at Academie Voix Nouvelles, Royaumont Abbey, north of Paris, France. In 2017, Holdsworth was among four composers selected nationwide to attend the Australian Youth Orchestra's National Music Camp where his second chamber symphony, A Fool's Prayer, was premiered by an ensemble comprising tutors of the AYO NMC. Holdsworth was subsequently commissioned by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra to compose a new work for the 2017 Cybec Composition Program. L'appel du vide was premiered by a subset of the MSO in February 2018. Holdsworth was consequently appointed the MSO Cybec Young Composer in Residence for 2019. Holdsworth has also been chosen to return to the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra's Composer's School for their new two-year reformatted program involving the commission of four new works across 2018-19.