At the Festival, you can always expect the unexpected. We are passionate about introducing new music to the world and each year we invite creative artists right into the heart of the Festival. 

Commissioning bold and original music is an essential part of connecting the present with the past and the future, engendering debate and discussion, making new discoveries and most importantly, bringing together the best creative minds. We believe new work is the only way of ensuring that our art form stays alive and kicking. Each new piece of music the Festival commissions, creates an important bond between our Festival crowd (a very discerning and informed group of music lovers) and Festival musicians (a forward-looking and a well-connected bunch).

Each year, the Festival invites one composer to be its Composer-In-Residence. Why? To provide composers with the opportunity to interact with performers and  audiences. And, equally important, for performers and audiences to interact with real, live, modern day composers.

The Festival’s 2016 Composer-in-Residence is Gerard Brophy, one of Australia’s most internationally successful composers. Gerard is extraordinarily aligned with different trends in world music, from Latin American samba to  Indian devotional music and plenty in between. Find out more about Gerard’s work here.

Last but not least, creating new music brings a lot of joy. It is exhilarating to see  a small idea grow into something substantial and lasting. And the best thing? We get to share it with you. 

If you are interested in commissioning a new piece of music, please contact Roland Peelman, our Artistic Director on 02 6230 5880 or email Please note, all of our staff are part-time and may not be immediately available to answer your call, please send an email and Roland will be more than happy to call you back.

Find out more about the new work commissioned by the Festival in 2015 here.

Find out more about the history of our commissions here.