Congratulations to Angus Davison, winner of the 2022-23 Layton Emerging Composer Fellowship. The University of New South Wales announced that Davison was the clear and unanimous winner of the fellowship, taking the top spot in a field of high standard submissions. Competition was extremely fierce with over 50 submissions made, including a number of new applicants.
Davison’s submission was described as “both technically accomplished and creative”, demonstrating a “consistent sense of musical voice” and his compositions as “clever, polished and with a great sense of colour and shape” by the selection panel.
Davison said “it’s a great honour” to be selected as the next Layton Emerging Composing Fellow, and that “programs that support young artists both creatively and financially over an extended period of time are few and far between. I’m thrilled to be working with such phenomenal musicians and mentors, and I can’t wait to get started!”
The Layton Emerging Composer Fellowship is valued at $10,000 for one year, for an Emerging Composer to write two works over a 12-month period. The objective of the fellowship is to foster greater engagement and to recognise composition and chamber music activities at UNSW. It is made possible by the generous support of Emeritus Professor Roger Layton AM and Merrilyn Layton. The Layton Emerging Composer Fellowship is open to early career composers. Applicants submitted a portfolio of at least three pieces of music with audio material, two being purely instrumental, one being for chamber ensemble (up to 6 playes) and one from the last three years. Applications were assessed in terms of their musical creativity, originality, and personality, and the demonstration of a high level of craft, technical competence; care and professionalism in the presentation of scores in the portfolio.
Davison is often inspired by human relationships with nature, inviting listeners to deepen their fascination for the world around them. Recent works have explored topics such as the religious life of worms, the absence of majestic views, thermonuclear fusion, and Newton’s laws of motion.
Davison completed a Master of Music at the Sydney Conservatorium attaining First Class Honours following a Bachelor of Music at the Tasmanian Conservatorium. His awards include the Don Kay Scholarship, an Honours Scholarship, a Research Training Program Stipend, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Student Composition Prize, Audience Choice Award at the 5th International Tampa Bay Symphony Orchestra Prize, and second place in the Jean Bogan and Willoughby Symphony young composer awards. He has been selected for composer development programs including the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Australian Composers’ School, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Cybec Program, the Ensemble Offspring Hatched Academy, the Omega Ensemble CoLAB Program, and Composing in the Wilderness.
His music has been performed in Australia, Europe, and the US. Performers and commissioners of his work include the Melbourne and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, Ensemble Offspring, Corvus, the Ady Ensemble, Omega Ensemble, Barega Saxophone Quartet, and Michael Kieran Harvey among many others. Angus is also a music educator and arts administrator. Based in Sydney, he tutors classes at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and works in philanthropy for Ensemble Offspring.