Ian Whitney


Ian Whitney is a Sydney based composer, originally from Brisbane. He studied at the Queensland Conservatorium with Gerard Brophy and Stephen Leek and whilst a student was awarded the inaugural Australian Youth Orchestra/National Institute of Dramatic Art Fellowship for theatre music. He subsequently worked for five years in the Cultural Affairs section of the Embassy of Australia, Washington DC.
Since returning to Australia, he has participated in the Symphony Services/Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Composers’ School in 2013 and 2015. He was also selected for the Victorian Opera’s Seven Deadly Sins project in 2015, and was commissioned by violist Chris Cartlidge for the ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Award. His work has also been performed by PLEXUS, Highly Strung and the Seven Harp Ensemble and for the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra’s education and outreach programs. Recent work includes an extended solo for harp performed by Alice Giles AM, and a work for wind quintet for Arcadia Winds.
He is currently undertaking candidacy for a Doctor of Musical Arts at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, under the supervision of Carl Vine AO and Associate Professor Michael Halliwell.

Composer website: https://ianwhitney.com.au/

Featured Works

Five Scenes, for wind quintet.

Five Scenes is a series of interconnected narrative vignettes. The odd numbered scenes play with musical tropes- the first scene takes on the character of a slightly wonky moto perpetuo; in the third, Classical evocations of hunting music have shifting alliances and allegiances between instruments as they form a murderous pack to eventually destroy the brassy interloper. Interspersed, the two even numbered scenes carry a more abstract narrative explored first in a duo, then in a trio. Finally, the fifth and final scene is musical tourism- my interpretation in Sydney of American prairie music in the style of ‘Spanish’ music written in Paris or, earlier, ‘Turkish’ music written in Vienna.

Featured in Drama Waves (June 2019)