Composers Festival spotlight: Nicole Murphy

Originally from Sydney, Australia, Nicole Murphy is only the second Australian to be a resident composer for the Mizzou International Composers Festival. (Holly Harrison, MICF ’14, was the first.)

Murphy (pictured) earned her PhD from the University of Queensland and is represented as an associate artist by the Australian Music Centre. Her music is published by Wirripang, Austalia’s leading independent print music publisher of classical and jazz.

She is composer-in-residence at the Queensland Academy for Creative Industries in Brisbane, Queensland, and in 2018 was the inaugural recipient of the Australia Ensemble‘s Emerging Composer Fellowship.

For the MICF, she’s written a new work for Alarm Will Sound called “Dust,” which will receive its world premiere performance during the festival’s grand finale concert on Saturday, July 27 at the Missouri Theatre.

Murphy’s awards include winning international calls for scores in 2017 from ICEBERG and in 2016 from Nief Norf, as well as the Mid America Freedom Band international commissioning prize in 2016, the International Alliance for Women in Music‘s Theodore Front Prize in 2013, and the Definiens C3 international composers award in 2011.

She was chosen in 2012 as the young composer to represent Australia at the 30th Asian Composers League Festival in Tel Aviv, and in 2016 was one of six composers selected to work with Steve Reich as a part of a celebration of his 80th birthday presented by Soundstreams in Toronto.

Murphy has been commissioned by well-known arts organizations including the Australian Ballet, the Royal Academy of Dance in London, Experiments in Opera/Symphony Space in New York, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, Wild Rumpus in San Francisco, and others.

Her music has been performed by ensembles such as the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, New York’s NOW Ensemble, Ars Nova Dallas, and Halcyon in Sydney, and at festivals including the Atlantic Music Festival and the Bowdoin International Music Festival in Maine, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival in Connecticut, the Dallas Festival of Modern Music, and more.

For more about Nicole Murphy, listen to her interview recorded a few weeks ago for KMUC’s “Mizzou Music” program; her interview published in 2017 on the website of Experiments in Opera; and her 2017 interview on the Australian composer podcast “Making Conversation.” You can hear some of her music on her SoundCloud page and via the embedded players below.

“Stolen,” performed in 2017 by Solomon Silber (guitar) and the Norfolk Contemporary Ensemble, conducted by Julian Pellicano

“Untangled,” performed by Contemporaneous on April 6, 2017 at the DiMenna Center in New York City

“Parched Paddock,” performed by Zorana Sadiq (soprano), Wesley Shen (piano), and Daniel Morphy (percussion) as part of Soundstreams 2016 Emerging Composer Workshop on April 13, 2016 at Alliance Francaise Spadina Theatre in Toronto