Elliott Gyger is Associate Professor in Composition at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. He completed a BMus at Sydney University with Eric Gross, Ross Edwards and Peter Sculthorpe, and a PhD at Harvard University with Bernard Rands and Mario Davidovsky. His music explores a purely musical sense of drama and narrative, and the multilayered interplay of music and text. Major works include concertos for E flat clarinet (A wilderness of mirrors, 1996), celesta (Angels and Insects, 2010), tenor saxophone (Smoke and Mirrors, 2014), and prepared piano (From Joyous Leaves, 2015), and an hour-long solo piano work inspired by Dante, Inferno (2013), for Michael Kieran Harvey. Awards include the Sydney Symphony 80th Anniversary Composition Prize for on air (2011), and the 2013 Paul Lowin Song Cycle Prize for giving voice (2012). Together with librettist Pierce Wilcox he has written two highly acclaimed chamber operas – Fly Away Peter (2015), after David Malouf, and Oscar and Lucinda (2019), after Peter Carey – both premiered by Sydney Chamber Opera.
Elliott is also active as a conductor, teacher and writer on new music. He was co-director of The Contemporary Singers from 1987 to 1998, and has also worked as a conductor with The Song Company, the Harvard Group for New Music, the New Music Studio at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, Six Degrees and Argonaut Ensemble. Prior to taking up his position in Melbourne he was Assistant Professor of Music at Harvard. He has been a tutor for young composer development programs with Halcyon, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and National Music Camp. He co-edited and contributed to an issue of Opera Quarterly focusing on Schoenberg’s opera Moses und Aron in 2009, and has previously written on Nigel Butterley in CD liner notes and an article for the Australian Music Centre’s online journal, Resonate. In 2005 he curated a festival for New Music Network celebrating Nigel Butterley’s 70th birthday.