Opus 1: Larry Sitsky and Tor Frømyhr

Opus 1: Larry Sitsky and Tor Frømyhr


Larry Sitsky & Tor Frømyhr


Sitsky: Fantasia No.11, "E"

Busoni: Sonata No.2 for Clavier and Violine ("Opus 1")

Em Prof Larry Sitsky

Larry Sitsky, born in China of Russian-Jewish parents, travelled to Australia in 1951 and settled in Sydney. He studied piano from an early age and was granted a scholarship to the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music, where he studied piano and composition, graduating in 1955. Post-graduate studies continued with the distinguished Australian pianist and teacher, Winifred Burston. In 1959 he won a scholarship to the San Francisco Conservatory, where he studied with the great Egon Petri for two years. Returning to Australia, he joined the staff of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. A grant from the Myer Foundation in 1965 enabled him to conduct research into the music of Ferruccio Busoni, on whom he has written extensively. In 1966 he was appointed Head of Keyboard Studies at the School of Music in Canberra (now part of the Australian National University), where he was later Head of Musicology, Head of Composition Studies, Head of Academic Studies and now Distinguished Visiting Fellow, as well as Emeritus Professor.

In the field of composition Sitsky's approach has led to similarly diverse of achievements. He has written in numerous genres including opera, theatre, orchestral music, chamber music, solo and vocal music, and his works have been commissioned by many leading Australian and international bodies. As well as working with every orchestra in Australia, Sitsky has been commissioned by the Sydney International Piano Competition, the ABC, Musica Viva, the International Clarinet Society and the International Flute Convention.

Sitsky's collection of teaching pieces, Century, has been published by Currency Press. Numerous other works have been published by the New York based Seesaw Music Corporation with whom he has an open contract.

Sitsky has received numerous honours for his composition, as well as his research. Among others, he has won the A H Maggs Award twice, the Alfred Hill Memorial Prize, the first National Critics' Award, and the inaugural Australian Composer's Fellowship presented by the Music Board of the Australia Council. In recognition of Sitsky's various achievements, the Australian National University awarded Sitsky its first Higher Doctorate in Fine Arts in 1997. In 1998 he was elected Fellow of the Academy of Humanities of Australia, and in 2000 he became a Member of the Order of Australia. He has also been awarded a Centenary Medal, Advance Australia award, and cultural ambassadorships to China, Russia, and the USA.

Sitsky's research has been supported by a number of Australian Research Council Grants. His areas of expertise include the music of Busoni, Rubinstein, Music of the twentieth century avant-garde, the repressed Russian avant-garde and 20th century Australian piano music. Many of Sitsky's writings on these topics have now become standard texts.

Sitsky's recording projects have focused on contemporary Australian composers, especially Roy Agnew. His own works are included in numerous anthologies and collections released on labels including ABC Classics, Tall Poppies and Jade CDs.

A biography of Sitsky was published in the USA in 1997, and in 2004 the National Library of Australia published a book by Jim Cotter titled Sitsky: Conversations with the Composer.

Important recent premieres include Sitsky's Concerto for Double-Bass & Ensemble (Beowulf), premiered in the Netherlands in 2007; The Nine Songs - sonata for oboe and piano, performed in Hobart at the Conservatorium of Music in August 2011, as well as the very successful premiere performance, in Townsville and Cairns, of the Concerto for Young Pianist in 2013.

Tor Frømyhr

Violinist and conductor Tor Frømyhr has toured extensively nationally and internationally with many chamber ensembles including Rialannah String Quartet, Australian Contemporary Music Ensemble, Queensland Piano Trio, Ensemble I, Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and Alpha Centauri. He has performed as soloist, conductor and concertmaster with a number of Australian orchestras and conducted and performed in festivals in Scandinavia, USA, Germany, France, UK and Italy. Many performances have included world or Australian premieres. He continues an extensive performance and conducting career with regular appearances with the Canberra Symphony and in chamber music and solo recitals throughout Australia. He also continues an active participation in the creation of new works and maintains close links with many of Australia’s foremost composers.

After undergraduate studies in Hobart with the renowned teacher Jan Sedivka, Tor was awarded an Australia Council Post-graduate Performance scholarship for continued advanced study. While in Tasmania he conducted the Tasmanian Youth Orchestra and after moving to Queensland in 1980 to teach at the University of Queensland, conducted for many years for the Queensland Youth Orchestra Organization. He was made an honorary life member of QYO after many years of contribution to the development of that organization.

Orchestral positions have included Associate Concertmaster of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Principal Viola with the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra and Concertmaster of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra. His extensive teaching experience has included positions at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music, Melbourne University, University of Queensland and the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. A significant number of his students continue to attain a high professional status both within Australia and overseas as performers and teachers. Tor has been a long-term School of Music faculty member, including as lecturer in violin and Violia, Head of Strings, and Contemporary Music Ensemble.

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