Connor Fogarty has been chosen as our 2020/2021 winner by the guest artists of the Piano and Cello Festival, Daniel de Borah and Umberto Clerici.

Connor Fogarty. Image source:
Connor Fogarty Image source:

Connor’s composition for Piano and Cello is entitled Pygmalion and Galatea.

Chosen as the winner from among six excellent submissions, Connor will, as well as receiving a cash prize, have the honour of workshopping his composition and having it performed at the final concert of the Piano and Cello Festival in June 2021 by the de Borah / Clerici Duo.

From the composer’s progam notes:

The title of the piece comes from the Greek myth Pygmalion and Galatea. The sculptor, Pygmalion, falls in love with the statue of a beautiful woman that he created. He prays to Aphrodite to bring the statue to life. The statue becomes Galatea. They marry and live a happy life together. 

The piece is a series of episodes which loosely represent the emotions that I consider to be associated with the story: yearning, frustration, hope, excitement, passion and tranquillity. No attempt is made retell any specific narrative events. Much of the thematic material is built around the interval of a minor sixth which is associated in my mind with the yearning quality that pervades the work.

About Connor

Connor Fogarty began his composition studies in 2016 at University of Southern Queensland with Professor Rhoderick McNeill. He graduated from USQ with distinction and was awarded the Creative Arts Faculty Medal. 

In 2019 he moved to Adelaide to study Honours in Composition at the Elder Conservatorium where he was tutored by Professor Graeme Koehne and Professor Charles Bodman Rae. During that year, his works were performed by the Australian String Quartet, the Elder Conservatorium Wind Orchestra, and flautist Jenny Hu. His piece, Landscapes for wind orchestra, won the inaugural Adelaide Wind Orchestra Composers Competition. He graduated with first-class honours and is continuing with postgraduate studies where his research currently involves writing a concerto for clarinet and wind orchestra.

Other 2020 projects include: the music for AlleyKat Collective’s new theatre development, Elpis, Captif de Pandore and his Artology Fanfare Competition piece Razzmatazz! which will be recorded by the Australian Youth Orchestra and broadcast in venues across the country. 

Connor seeks to write music that audiences can immediately engage with, emphasising rhythmic drive, lyricism, rich harmonies and evocative textures. 

About the Accompanists’ Guild Composition Award

The first Award was offered in the 2014 Festival Two Pianists, Two Percussionists. All guest artists (pianists Michael Kieran Harvey and Arabella Teniswood Harvey, and Percussionists Claire Edwards and Vanessa Tomlinson) are renowned for their support for new music, particularly by Australian composers.

For Festival convenor, Diana Harris, this was too good an opportunity to miss. She lined up the artists early in the negotiations to agree to judge and perform a new work for their recital. Diana also sponsored the prize–a lowly $500 but an exceptional win for a young composer to have the experience of working with such outstanding and supportive professionals.  Jakub Jankowski won the 2014 Award. Today he is highly recognised and commissioned throughout Australia and beyond. 

The Award has since been offered every two years with Rachel Bruerville and Thomas Devereaux joint winners in 2016, for the Piano in Chamber Music Festival performers the Endeavour Trio (Stephen Emmerson /piano, Paul Dean/clarinet and Trish O’Brien/cello) and in 2018 Dylan Crismani’s winning work was performed in the Two Pianos, Two Pianists Festival by Lisa Moore and Sonya Lifschitz.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many performances all over the world scheduled for this year have been either cancelled or postponed.

The Festival of Piano and Cello has been rescheduled to June 11-13, 2021, happily with internationally acclaimed musicians Daniel de Borah and Umberto Clerici as guest artists.

As it becomes available, more information about this and other AGSA activities will appear on this website.