G’day! My name is Matthew Orlovich. I’m a freelance composer based in Sydney, Australia. I compose music for solo instrumentalists, large and small ensembles, choirs, bands and orchestras.

Matthew Orlovich | Australian Composer

I studied music composition at the University of Sydney under the supervision of Associate Prof. Eric Gross and Prof. Peter Sculthorpe and graduated with the Degrees of Bachelor of Music (1st Class Hons and University Medal) and PhD.

During the ’90’s, I was awarded several prizes for my compositions, including High Commendation in the 1991 2MBS-FM Young Composer’s Award, the Jean Bogan Memorial Prize in 1994 and the ABC Orchestral Composers’ Award in 1995.

I completed my first commissioned score in 1996 – an a cappella choral setting entitled The Listening Land for The Australian Voices in Brisbane – and since then, I’ve completed several dozen commissions for performing artists in Australia and overseas.

My compositions have received performances in various venues around the world, including…

  • Sydney Opera House, (Australia)
  • Steinway Hall (New York, NY, USA)
  • Banff Center for the Arts (Canada)
  • Golden Hall Musikverein (Vienna)
  • National Concert Hall (Taipei, Taiwan)
  • Wigmore Hall, (London, UK)
  • Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts (PRC)
  • World Expo (Milan, Italy)
  • International music symposia & congresses in the United States of America, United Kingdom and France.
  • All-State Honor Choir festivals (USA)
  • Contrasti Festival (Trento, Italy)
  • John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington D.C.)

  • Plus broadcasts on ABC TV & Radio networks, MBS (Australia), BBC Radio 3 (UK), US cable networks and assorted streaming services.

Premieres & performances by Australian and international artists, including…

BBC Singers • San Francisco State University Chamber Singers • Sydney Philharmonia • The Choir of London • Scottish Chamber Orchestra • The Grevillea Ensemble • The Australian Voices • The Song Company • United States Navy Band • RompDuo • Nexas Saxophone Quartet • TSO Chorus • The Harvard University Choir • Australian Intervarsity Choral Festival Choir • Grainger Wind Symphony • The Hunter Singers • Translucent Duo • Concordis Chamber Choir • Zurich New Music Ensemble • Anhinga PianoSAX Duo • Oriana Chorale • Lady Bug Duo • Voyces • Joubert Singers • Gondwana Chorale • St Peters Chorale • Da Capo Singers • Duo Imaginaire • HD Duo • Sydney Conservatorium Chamber Choir • Sydney Symphony Orchestra • Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra • Heterodyne Duo • Brisbane Chamber Choir • Choir and soloists of London College of Music (UK) • Phantasmagoria Ensemble (Portugal) • Plus many more…

Jérôme Laran, Saxophone soloist
(Paris, France).

In 2010, I composed my first concerto, Flying Colours (for alto saxophone and band) for premiere performance at the 34th International Saxophone Symposium in Washington D.C., with soloist Barry Cockcroft (alto sax) and the United States Navy Band, conducted by Captain Brian O. Walden.

The US Navy Band’s recent CD (“Derivations”) includes a performance of the work featuring Musician First Class Jonathan Yanik.

The concerto received its European premiere in 2015 at the “Festival Internacional Saxofone” in Braga, Portugal, in addition to its French premiere at the XVII World Saxophone Congress in Strasbourg, featuring Parisian soloist Jérôme Laran (pictured) with the Bavarian Police Orchestra (Polizeiorchester Bayern), conducted by Professor Johann Mösenbichler.

In July 2016, Flying Colours was performed by Hélder Alves (soloist) with Banda da Armada Portuguesa, dir. by Délio Gonçalves @ Festival Internacional de Saxofone de Palmela, Portugal.

My concerto entitled Carnival Capers (for soprano saxophone and orchestra, 2012), was commissioned for world premiere performance at the 16th World Saxophone Congress in St Andrews, Scotland, featuring Barry Cockcroft (soloist) with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Clark Rundell (pictured).

I composed my third saxophone concerto (entitled Escapade – for saxophone and bandupon the request of soloist Jérôme Laran, for performance on 30 April, 2016 @ Grande Halle, L’Union, France. This work shines the spotlight on the alto saxophone during Movement I & III, and soprano saxophone during Movement II.

World Premiere – Escapade (for saxophone and band) by Matthew Orlovich.
Escapade – Concerto for saxophone & band
by Matthew Orlovich.
World Premiere 30 April, 2016 @ Grande Halle, L’Union, France.
L-R: Marcel Bourgeois (conductor),
Jérôme Laran (saxophone) & Matthew Orlovich (composer) avec L’orchestre d’harmonie H2O.

Burgundian Consort with Matthew Orlovich (composer).

In rehearsal with Burgundian Consort. (Photo credit: Sonia Maddock).

 In 2017, my choir score entitled Sonnet, to the Comet of 1825 was awarded the inaugural Willgoss Choral Composition Prize.
It received its world premiere performance on 20th September, 2017 at Sir John Clancy Auditorium, University of NSW (Sydney),
featuring the Burgundian Consort, directed by Sonia Maddock.

Recent and upcoming additions to my catalogue…

flag-of-AustraliaCloud Nine (for soprano sax, piano and electronic bow) is an exuberant work with a dark and stormy heart. This three movement work was commissioned in 2021 by HD Duo (Michael Duke & David Howie).

Seventh Heaven (for soprano sax, alto sax and piano) conveys all the joyfulness that the title suggests, along with my fondness for Major sevenths. This new work was commissioned in 2021 by Clifford Leaman and Joseph Lallo.

Drunken Sailor (for alto saxophone and tuba) is an arrangement of the famous sea chanty, What Shall We Do With A Drunken Sailor? I wrote the arrangement for my Portuguese friends –  Hélder Alves, (saxophone) & Tiago Santos, (tuba).

MMXX: A meditation on Auld Lang Syne for mixed voices (SATB) a cappella was commissioned in 2020 by Dr Carolyn Lowry OAM as a gift to Sydney Philharmonia Choirs upon the occasion of their centenary.

Joyful, Joyful – for mixed voices (SATB) a cappella is a setting of Henry Van Dyke’s poem about “the triumph-song of life”. It was commissioned in 2020 by Sydney Philharmonia Choirs upon the occasion of their centenary celebrations.

Fuzzy Logic (for alto saxophone and tuba) was composed upon the invitation of Phantasmagoria Ensemble (Hélder Alves & Tiago Santos) for world premiere performance at the International Saxophone Festival in Palmela, Portugal.

Concertino for alto saxophone and saxophone orchestra was commissioned by the Canberra Symphony Orchestra for premiere by SCM Saxophone Orchestra featuring Michael Duke (soloist), directed by Dr Jay Byrnes, at the 2018 Australian Series, held at the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, ACT, Australia.

Introducing a new arrangement of one of my best-sellers: Crazy Logic (originally for alto saxophone and piano) in a new scoring for electric harp and bass clarinet, performed by the fantastic Duo Imaginaire (Hagen, Germany).

Commissioned by Brisbane Chamber Choir for world premiere performance upon the occasion of the choir’s 20th anniversary, Calm the Waves of this Heart (for SATB choir and saxophone) is a setting of Søren Kierkegaarde‘s prayer for peace. Performed by Brisbane Chamber Choir, directed by Graeme Morton AM with soloist, Diana Tolmie (soprano saxophone) @ St John’s Anglican Cathedral, Brisbane, QLD, Australia on 12 August, 2017.

Sonnet, to the Comet of 1825 (for a cappella SATB choir) receives its world premiere on 20 September, 2017 performed by The Burgundian Consort @ The John Clancy Auditorium, UNSW, Kensington, NSW, Australia. This new work is the inaugural winner of the national Willgoss Choral Composition Prize.

A new work entitled Slipstream (for saxophone quartet and bicycle bell) composed at the invitation of Nexas Quartet (Sydney, Australia) received its world premiere on 29 November, 2016 @ the Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House. A CD was also launched on the night! Recent subsequent performances include the QLD premiere of the work at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Townsville.

Written upon the invitation of renowned French saxophone soloist, my new concerto entitled Escapade (for soprano + alto saxophone with band), received its world premiere performance by Jérôme Laran (soloist) with the wonderful L’orchestre d’harmonie H2O, France.

Hurly Burly (for soprano saxophone and piano) was commissioned by Sydney-based saxophonist, Simon Watts for world premiere performance at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2015. Check out the exciting new recording of the work featuring HD Duo (Sydney, Australia).

To get you in the mood for Christmas, here is a festive setting of Mary C. Shafer’s poem, Christmastide. Scored for a cappella SATB choir, this composition was commissioned by Acappellago, a choir based in the western suburbs of Chicago, USA.

You’ve heard the original version for alto sax and marimba…  Now, it is my pleasure to introduce Whirled Music (for clarinet and harp) ! Thanks to Duo Imaginaire (Germany) for inviting me to compose the arrangement and for their amazing world premiere performance!

Get in touch…

Matthew Orlovich | Australian Composer

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