Alex Turley is the winner of the Layton Emerging Composer Fellowship for 2024 as announced by the Music Performance UNSW today.
As an emerging composer and collaborative artist, Turley has been awarded a fellowship in composition to the value of $10,000 for one year, to write chamber music works as part of the Australia Ensemble’s artistic development program. The program aims to foster greater engagement in and recognition of composition and chamber music activities at UNSW and is supported by Emeritus Professor Roger Layton AM and Merrilyn Layton.
Turley holds a Master of Music from the Sydney Conservatorium, where he received the Henderson Postgraduate Award. He has also recently been shortlisted for the APRA AMCOS Professional Development Awards, and in 2021 won the Arcadia Winds Composition Prize. He was the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s 2022 Young Composer-in-Residence and in 2023, was awarded a highly competitive Creative and Performance Leadership Fellowship from the Forrest Research Foundation.
Known for projects that cross genre boundaries, Turley recently co-composed Barra-roddjiba with members of all-woman rock band Ripple Effect and Kunibídji elders as well as Agam, a 50-minute orchestral suite with Carnatic music collective Sangam which premiered with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. He is a frequent and prolific arranger for the major Australian orchestras and has recently worked in this capacity with a diverse group of artists who include Ali McGregor, Ben Folds, Electric Fields, Emma Donovan, Eskimo Joe, Genesis Owusu, the Hoodoo Gurus, Ngaiire, Paul Grabowsky and Rüfüs Du Sol.
The Layton Emerging Composer Fellowship engages its recipient to write two pieces over the year of the award, comprising one piece each for small and large ensemble, selected through a competitive process by UNSW. The recipient is also eligible for mentoring sessions with members of the Australia Ensemble and Artistic Chair and external composition mentors. Their works will feature in at least one workshop that may be made available to current UNSW students, UNSW staff and members of the public.
Applicants were required to submit a portfolio of scores of at least three pieces of music, showcasing two of which must be purely instrumental, one of which must be for chamber ensemble of up to six players and one of which must be from the last three years, with audio material supporting the portfolio of submitted music scores. Applications were assessed in terms of their musical creativity, originality, and personality, and the demonstration of a high level of craft, technical competence, care, and professionalism in the presentation of Scores in the portfolio.