Mark Holdsworth


Mark Holdsworth (b.1990) is an Australian composer currently based in Perth, W.A. Mark is a graduate of the University of Western Australia where he completed a Bachelor of Music (composition) degree in 2014 and a Bachelor of Arts Honours H1 (music composition) in 2015. Mark is currently a Master of Music candidate at the University of Western Australia. During his tertiary studies, Mark received extensive tutelage under esteemed Australian composers James Ledger and Dr. Christopher Tonkin. Mark’s works have been premiered by some of Australia’s most prestigious musicians. In 2010, he was selected for the National Composers Forum (Adelaide) where he received tutelage under composer Carl Vine. The event culminated in the premiere of his Frida Kahlo Portraits by the Australian String Quartet. In 2014, he was selected for the West Australian Symphony Orchestra’s Young & Emerging Artists: Composition Project, culminating in the premiere of his Chamber Symphony: A Broken Vow. Further information and podcasts may be located on the official ABC website and the official Australian Music Centre website. Mark was awarded the 2014 Dorothy Ellen Ransom Prize for his symphonic overture, Odyssey. In 2015, Mark was selected to attend the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra’s Composer’s School culminating in a performance of Odyssey. Mark has also collaborated on various film projects including the upcoming FTI WA short film Outline directed by Cody Cameron-Brown.

Composer website:

Featured Works

Bloodlust, for solo cello.

Bloodlust for solo cello, refers to the primal and instinctual urge to kill or cause harm. It’s about bacchanalian freedom and surrendering oneself to darker kinds of desire. The piece was conceived in terms of performative gesture and is consequently structured around bellicose physical gestures such as large aggressive bow strokes, sections of rapid snap pizzicato and rapid off the string passages.

The piece wrestles with dualities in a Nietzsche inspired struggle between the Dionysian and the Apollonian; mans inner struggle to reconcile emotion and carnality with rationality and logic.

Featured in Solo Waves – April 2016 (1/04/2016).

Hymn to Hermes, for flute, clarinet and percussion.

Hymn to Hermes is one of several character pieces that comprise ‘The Homeric Hymns’, a series of works for varied instrumentation, each based on a certain Olympian Deity.

In Greek mythology, Hermes was the Olympian god of boundaries and transitions. He was depicted as a capricious and astute character able to move freely between the mortal and divine worlds. Hermes was an emissary for the gods; a conciliator between the mortals and the divine. He was also charged with guiding souls into the afterlife.

Featured in the playlist Percussive Waves (April 2017)