Started at UWA: 2005
ARIA award winner, renowned composer and senior lecturer in composition
It’s very varied the way a piece might start and each one has its own life and its own way of being brought into the world.James Ledger
James Ledger is a world-renowned composer, writing music for a variety of ensembles from solo works to orchestral music, and specialising in composition, harmony and 20th century music history. After studying in Perth, Mr Ledger spent time in London working at a classical record company and writing jingles for television commercials before composing original scores for stage plays.
Mr Ledger brings years of experience to his teaching, with a primary focus on composition. He is still an active composer, giving him an advanced knowledge of the current industry and career paths for students.
Currently, Mr Ledger is writing a piece for the Australian String Quartet, using electronics to manipulate the string sounds during performance. The quartet will perform around Australia while on tour in September 2018. International singer/songwriter Paul Kelly will work with Mr Ledger over the next few months on a new piece of composition. They will be setting poetry about birds to music and performing them with a classical ensemble mixed with guitars and a banjo.
Mr Ledger also holds the position of Artistic Director on West Australian Symphony Orchestra’s annual Composition Project. Participants of the project are mentored by him through a series of individual lessons, workshops and rehearsals. They write a new work for a 14-piece chamber ensemble that is performed by WASO musicians and recorded in front of a live audience.
In 2008, Mr Ledger was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to research contemporary compositional practice with a particular focus on new music in Estonia. He has been a teacher and researcher at the UWA Conservatorium of Music since 2005 and describes it as a highly collegial place to work with inspiring colleagues generating many interesting projects. Highlights of his career at UWA include the music concerts, student performances and conducting the UWA orchestra.
Winner of an ARIA award for ‘Conversation Ghosts,’ 2013
Awarded Orchestral Work of the Year in the Australasian Performing Rights Association/Australian Music Centre Art Music Awards, 2011
Awarded a Churchill Fellowship, 2008
Composer-in-residence for the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, 2007-2009
In Conversation with James Ledger: The Starting Point
UWA musician and Paul Kelly win ARIA award
UWA's James Ledger and Australian musician Paul Kelly have been awarded Best Classical Album in the 2019 ARIA Awards for the album Thirteen Ways to Look at Birds.Read more
James Ledger on Thirteen Ways to Look at Birds
UWA's James Ledger chats about his avian collaboration with singer-songwriter Paul Kelly, which features settings of poetry by the likes of Judith Wright, Emily Dickinson and John Keats.Read more
The Music Show: James Ledger
Australian composer James Ledger is an open-minded and optimistic artist and creator of 'genre-busting concert music'. He's been going from strength to strength in recent years - from an ARIA award for Conversations With Ghosts, written with singer songwriter Paul Kelly, to a gong at this year's APRA AMCOS Art Music Awards.Read more
Contact James Ledger
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