Anne Cawrse


Anne completed her PhD in Composition in 2008, having studied with Graeme Koehne and Charles Bodman Rae. Anne’s penchant for text setting has made her the most commissioned composer of the award winning Adelaide Chamber Singers (four commissions since 2005) and a highly revered art song composer, with notable performances by Greta Bradman, Emma Horwood, Robert Macfarlane, Kate Macfarlane and Bethany Hill.

She is also highly sought after as an orchestral and chamber music composer, with commissions from the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (…and then there was light), the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (Musaic) the Australian String Quartet (ASME commission, Skittled) the Adelaide Wind Orchestra (Percussion Concerto: Skin Metal Wood) as well as a long standing relationship with Adelaide’s own Zephyr Quartet.

On Earth As In Heaven received the SA State award at the 2018 APRA/Australian Music Centre Classical Music Awards, and her orchestral work Musaic (composed for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra) was a finalist in the 2008 awards. Other meaningful musical collaborations include works for guitarist Alex Tsiboulski, pianists Michael Ierace and Leigh Harrold, regular appearances of chamber music in The Firm New Music Concert series, attendance at the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Composer’s School (2010), and regular performances and commissions by the Elder Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra.

Anne teaches theory, aural and composition at the Elder Conservatorium of Music. Her most substantial work to date is a two-act opera, Innocence, based on the novel ‘Time’s Long Ruin’ by Stephen Orr. Aside from teaching and enjoying an idyllic existence by the beach with her husband Andrew and son Oscar, Anne is currently working on a new work for the Plexus Collective, a High School showcase piece for choir and orchestra, a Requiem Mass for presentation at Clayton Wesley Uniting Church at Easter, and two new works for String Quartet.

Composer website:

Featured Works

Parting Songs, for soprano, tenor and piano.
I. Not Weeks, Not Months; II. The Ghost of our Final Days; III. Departure; IV. The Last Toast

With text taken from selected poems by Russian poet Anna Akhmatova, ‘Parting Songs’ is a journey of loss, grief and acceptance. The song cycle can be presented by the ‘couple’ as it is in this performance, or in a more single-sided view with one soloist.

Featured in Vocal Waves (September 2017)

The Red Buoy, for Solo Piano

‘The Red Buoy’ is a musical response to the painting of the same name by French Impressionist painter Paul Signac. In it the composer endeavoured to reflect the colours, techniques, contrasts and lightness of the original painting.

Featured in Piano Waves (October 2019)

Out of the Depths, for SATB choir.

Pilgrim Psalms #1
Setting of Psalm 130
Performed by the Adelaide Chamber Singers, 2009

Featured in Sacred Music Waves (December 2019)


Anne Cawrse was interviewed for the Making Conversation: Australian Composers’ Podcast, Episode 1, November 2016.