Paul Stanhope web-®Keith Saunders
Paul Stanhope
Artistic Chair

Paul Stanhope is a Sydney-based composer, conductor and educator. His compositions have had prominent performances in the UK, Europe, Asia as well as North and South America. After studies with Andrew Ford, Andrew Schultz and Peter Sculthorpe in Australia, Paul was awarded the Charles Mackerras Scholarship which enabled him to study at the Guildhall School of Music in London in 2000.

In May 2004 Paul’s international standing was confirmed when he was awarded first place in the prestigious Toru Takemitsu Composition Prize. He has been awarded five APRA/Australian Music Centre Art awards in Instrumental, Orchestral, Choral and Vocal music categories – most recently for his Requiem which was premiered in 2021. He was also the first composer to receive a Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship in 2013. Paul recently received the David Harold Tribe symphonic composition prize for his Trombone Concerto, which was commissioned and premiered by the West Australian Symphony Orchestra.

In 2010 Paul was Musica Viva Australia’s featured composer, receiving nation-wide performances by the Pavel Haas Quartet, the Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge and the Atos Piano Trio from Berlin. Paul’s music has also been featured at the Vale of Glamorgan Festival (Wales) in 2009, The City of London Festival in 2011 and at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in 2016. In 2018 a new Piano Trio was premiered by eight competing trios from around the world as part of the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition.

2014 saw the premiere of Jandamarra: Sing for the Country, a music-drama based on the life of the Western Australian Indigenous resistance hero in collaboration with librettist Steve Hawke and members of the Bunuba nation in North Western Australia. Written for large choral and orchestral forces as well as singers, actors and dancers from the Bunuba Community, it was premiered by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (SSO) and Gondwana Choirs and has since had a return performance in October 2019, presented by the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Jandamarra has been recognized as a milestone in Australian composition.

Recent works include a clarinet trio written for Ensemble Liaison and a new vocal work for Katie Noonan’s Australian Vocal Ensemble (AVE). In 2024 the Australian String Quartet will premiere a new piece co-written by Paul and the Indigenous singer Dr Lou Bennett AM at the Amsterdam String Quartet Biennale.

In addition to Paul’s role as Artistic Chair at the Australia Ensemble UNSW, Paul is an Associate Professor of Composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, The University of Sydney where he is also director of the Sydney Conservatorium Chamber Choir.