BIOGRAPHY

Mark Holdsworth is an Australian composer currently based in Perth, Western Australia. Holdsworth’s music is characterised by a keen sense of drama and narrative. His compositions include a substantial catalogue of orchestral works as well as numerous works for chamber ensemble and solo instrument. He has been commissioned and performed by Australia’s most feted ensembles including: the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Australian Youth Orchestra, Australian String Quartet, and Arcadia Winds. Holdsworth’s music has also been performed abroad in the UK and France by MusicLab at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Krista Low at Academie Voix Nouvelles, respectively.

In 2018, Holdsworth was awarded the inaugural Arcadia Winds Composition Prize for his wind quintet Hellfire.

In 2018 and 2019, he is an acting participant of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra’s Australian Composers School where his War Cry and Ascension: Ode to Stephen Hawking were premiered, the latter in commemoration of the late physicist. In 2019, Holdsworth will compose a new bass trombone concerto for Mitchell Nissen.

In 2018, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra premiered Holdsworth’s L’appel du vide as part of the Cybec 21st Century Australian Composers’ Program. Following this, Holdsworth has been appointed as the 2019 Cybec Young Composer in Residence of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, comprising 3 new commissions across their 2019 and 2020 seasons. His residency commences with the premiere of A Hero’s Journey at the Sydney Myer Music Bowl Free Concert Series #3 in February, followed by the premiere of Cri de cœur at the Metropolis New Music Festival Concert #2 in March.

Holdsworth is a passionate advocate of music education and has been involved in the development of resources for young Australians in partnership with institutions including the TSO and the Songbook Project led by Jenny Compton.

Holdsworth has participated as a student and fellow at the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Cybec 21st Century Composers’ Program (2018), Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Australian Composer’s School (2018-19 and 2015), Australian Youth Orchestra National Music Camp (2017), Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Summer School (2016), West Australian Symphony Orchestra Young and Emerging Artists: Composer Program (2014), and Australian String Quartet National Composers Forum (2010).

Holdsworth is a graduate of the University of Western Australia's Conservatorium of Music where he studied under James Ledger and Dr. Christopher Tonkin. He holds a Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honours), and a Master of Music. During his studies, Holdsworth was the recipient of several accolades including the coveted Dorothy Ellen Ransom Prize for Composition (2014), first class honours for his Bachelor of Arts (2015), the Rupert Thackray Prize for Music Education (2016), and a full Australian Postgraduate Award for his Master of Music (2017).


Awards and Prizes:

2014             

Dorothy Ellen ransom Prize  University of Western Australia Conservatorium of Music

2016             

Rupert Thackray Prize for Music Education  University of Western Australia

2017             

Full Australian Postgraduate Award Australian Federal Government  

2018             

Inaugural Arcadia Winds Composition Prize Arcadia Winds

2018             

Appointed Cybec Young Composer in Residence Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Summary:

UPCOMING

2019

Fanfare (WORLD PREMIERE)
Commissioned by: the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Program: Free Concert Series: A symphonic Celebration
Conductor: Benjamin Northey
Ensemble: Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Venue: Sydney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne, Victoria.

2019             

Cri de couer (WORLD PREMIERE)
Commissioned by: the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Program: Metropolis New Music Festival #2
Conductor: TBC Ensemble: Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Venue: Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne, Victoria.

2019             

Concerto for Bass Trombone (title TBC) (WORLD PREMIERE)
Commissioned by: the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra
Program: Australian Composer's School
Conductor: Elena Shwarz
Ensemble: Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra
Venue: Federation Hall, Hobart, Tasmania.

PAST

 2010               

String Quartet No.1 Frida Kahlo Portraits (WORLD PREMIERE)
Commissioned by: the Australian String Quartet
Program: National Composers Forum
Tutor: Carl Vine
Ensemble: Australian String Quartet
Venue: Elder Hall, Adelaide, South Australia.

2014               

Chamber Symphony A Broken Vow (WORLD PREMIERE)
Commissioned by: the West Australian Symphony Orchestra Education Chamber Orchestra
Program: West Australian Symphony Orchestra's Young & Emerging Artists: Composition Project
Tutor: James Ledger
Conductor: James Ledger
Ensemble: West Australian Symphony Orchestra

2014               

String Trio No.1 Primrose (WORLD PREMIERE)
Commissioned by: Ted Snell
Project: Memento Mori Exhibition
Ensemble: Jasmin Parkinson-Stewart (violin), Eunise Cheng (viola), Elizabeth Moss (cello)
Venue: Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, Perth, Western Australia.

2014               

Odyssey (WORLD PREMIERE)
Program: Artistry: Innovation!
Conductor: Alan Lourens
Ensemble: University of Western Australia Symphony Orchestra
Venue: Winthrop Hall, Perth, Western Australia.
Awards: Dorothy Ellen Ransom Prize

2015               

Odyssey (TASMANIA PREMIERE)
Program: Australian Composer’s School
Tutors: Andrew Schultz, Matthew Hindson
Conductor: Brett Kelly
Ensemble: Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra
Venue: TSO Studio, Hobart, Tasmania.

2015-16          

Tafta Hindi (Arrangement)
Commissioned by: Jenny Compton and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra
Project: Songbook
Ensemble: Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra
Venue: Online

2015               

Outline
Commissioned by: Cody Cameron-Brown (director) and Jessica Parker (Producer)
Project: Short film score
Premiere: Festival de Cannes Short Film Corner, Cannes, France.
Nominations: Best Original Music – Western Australian Screen Awards

2016               

Komm Du (WORLD PREMIERE)
Commissioned by: Andrew Foote and the University of Western Australia Conservatorium of Music
Program: Fifty
Conductor: Andrew Foote
Ensemble: Gemma McNamee (soprano), the University of Western Australia Symphony Chorus and Wind Orchestra
Venue: John Inverarity Music and Drama Centre, Perth, Western Australia.

2016               

The Ashes of Time (WORLD PREMIERE)
Program: Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Composition Summer School
Tutors: Sir James MacMillan, Gordon McPherson, Oliver Searle, Rory Boyle, David Fennessey
Ensemble: MusicLab
Venue: Stevenson Hall, Glasgow, Scotland.

2016               

Cello Sonata No.2 The Crucible (WORLD PREMIERE)
Commissioned by: Krista Low
Program: Academie Voix Nouvelles
Performer: Krista Low
Venue: Royaumont Abbey, Paris, France.

2017               

A Fool's Prayer (WORLD PREMIERE)
Program: National Music Camp
Tutor: Gerard Brophy
Ensemble: National Music Camp Tutors
Venue: Elder Hall, Adelaide, South Australia.

2018               

L'appel du vide (WORLD PREMIERE)
Commissioned by: the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Program: Cybec 21st Century Australian Composers’ Program
Tutor: Brenton Broadstock
Conductor: Tianyi Lu
Ensemble: Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Venue: Iwaki Auditorium, Melbourne, Victoria.

2018               

War Cry (WORLD PREMIERE)
Ascension: Ode to Stephen Hawking (WORLD PREMIERE)
Commissioned by: the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra
Program: Australian Composer’s School
Tutors: Matthew Hindson, Natalie Williams, Paul Stanhope, Jessica Wells
Conductor: Elena Schwarz
Ensemble: Tasmania Symphony Orchestra
Venue: TSO Studio

2018               

Hellfire (WORLD PREMIERE)
Program: Australiana: Local Heroes
Ensemble: Arcadia Winds
Venue: Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne, Victoria.
Awards: Arcadia Winds Composition Prize