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Profile – Geoffrey Morris

Geoffrey Morris

Geoffrey Morris has created a unique path as a classical guitarist in Australia primarily through his pioneering work in contemporary music. To date he has played in over two hundred premiere performances of works for solo guitar, chamber works and works employing electronics.

His interpretations are often based upon direct contact with composers. He has worked with Elena-Kats Chernin (Aust), Brian Ferneyhough (U.K), Jason Eckardt (USA), Michael Finnissy (U.K), Horatiu Radulescu (Romania), Aldo Clementi (Italy) and many others.

He has introduced new music to Australian audiences by John Cage (USA), Luca Francesconi (Italy), James Dillon (UK) and Toshio Hosokawa (Japan). Between 1993 and 2008 he was a member of the internationally acclaimed ELISION Ensemble with whom he premiered new chamber works by Franco Donatoni (Italy), Helen Gifford (Aust.) Chaya Czernowin (Israel), Maurizio Pisati (Italy) and Gerard Brophy (Aust.). With ELISION he recently premiered and recorded two new works by Brian Ferneyhough Les Froissements des Ailes de Gabriel (for solo guitar and ensemble) and No Time (at all) (for guitar duo).

With Libra Ensemble he has performed many of the most important works in the twentieth-century repertoire which use guitar including those by Gerhard, Boulez, Stravinsky, Webern and Crumb. Geoffrey has accompanied some of Australia’s finest singers including Jane Edwards, Tyrone Landau, and Deborah Kayser. He recently performed with the Melbourne Symphony accompanying Luciano Pavarotti in his farewell Melbourne concert.

In recent years Geoffrey has also explored the performance of the guitar’s nineteenth-century solo and lieder repertoire performing these works on both period instruments and modern instruments. He has worked with many leading Australian and international ensembles and individuals including the Gavin Bryars Ensemble, the Song Company, guitarist Norio Sato (Melbourne Festival), Ensemble Modern (Adelaide Festival), Ensemble 21 (New York City), Paul Grabowsky, Black Arm Band and Aphids Trio.

Geoffrey has given performances in Italy, Germany, Denmark, England, Ireland, U.S.A, Norway, New Zealand, Japan and Holland as well as throughout Australia. His awards include a Queens Trust Achievers Award, Best Solo Performance Sydney Spring (2000), a Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowship and the 2004 Music Council of Australia/Freedman Fellowship for Classical Music.

Geoffrey is a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts where his principal teacher was Jochen Schubert, gained a Masters Degree from the University of Melbourne working with Professor John Griffiths and Dr Michael Christoforidis and gained a PHD from the University of Newcastle undertaking research into performance practice with the support of an Australian Postgraduate Award. He sites lessons with Magnus Andersson, Stefano Cardi and Carlo Barone as having influenced his approach to the guitar and its repertoire.

In 2001 Geoffrey’s debut solo CD In Flagranti was released on ABC Classics (ABC 465 701-2) to widespread critical acclaim. His performances have been broadcast on ABC FM, Radio National, ABC Television, BBC Radio 3, Danish Radio 2, WNYC (New York), Radio Bremen, and the Deutschlandfunk, (Cologne). In 2002 he co-curated Sheer Pluck for the Melbourne International Festival and followed this in 2003, curating the Sunset Chamber Music Series also for the Melbourne International Festival of the Arts.

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