Mark Wolf


Mark Wolf is an alumnus of the Elder Conservatorium of Music, Adelaide, Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne and the Royal College of Music, London, studying under David Harris, Mark Pollard and Michael Zev Gordon. He also attended the ICon Arts Academy in Sibiu, Romania as well as the Soundstreams Emerging Composer Workshop in Toronto, and the Soundstream Emerging Composers Forum in Adelaide, receiving tuition from Dan Dediu, Peter Hatch, Steve Reich, Alison Isadora, Cat hope, Simon Emmerson and Gao Ping, among others. Wolf’s work has been featured at various international festivals across the globe, including soundSCAPE Festival, ICon Arts Festival, and the 5th and 6th Darwin International Guitar Festivals; performed by ensembles such as the Resound Duo, RTÉ Contempo Quartet, and the Sydney Guitar Trio. He has also presented at the DAAD Research Ambassadors & Mentors Conference, Melbourne, and at the Cross-Country Composition Seminar in Brisbane. Wolf’s concert music has received recognition through commissions by the British Harpsichord Society, clarinettist Ona Cardona and the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize; premièred at venues including Handel House London, St Martin-in-the-Fields, the National Portrait Gallery UK and the Melbourne Recital Centre. In 2009, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra commissioned a work from Wolf as part of their Cybec 21st Century Australian Composers Program.

In 2017, Wolf was announced the winner in the solo category of the Flute New Music Consortium Composition Competition for his solo flute piece Hamarøy Troll. He was also the winner of the 2015 ICon Arts International Composition Competition for his Second String Quartet “The Flying Roof”. Recent projects include an extended solo work for Anthony Zatorski entitled Plato’s Cave in Concrete, scored for baritone voice, toy piano, melodica and electronics. Part One received its première at Anthony’s ‘Set in Stone’ concert in Adelaide. Spiral Spring for chamber orchestra to be premièred by players of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in November 2017; and Rubin’s Vase for Ensemble Móbile commissioned by Núcleo Música Nova, and performed at the IV Bienal Música Hoje, Brazil, 2017.

Mark Wolf is also an active film composer currently working on his first feature film score. He has composed scores for numerous short films and animations, as well as music for television. His credits include: ABC TV – Inside Business and ABC Online – Catch Up and The Vault.

Wolf is currently the recipient of an Australian Research Training Scholarship, undertaking his PhD candidature at Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University.

Composer website:

Featured Works

Go!, for soprano and percussion.

Inspired by brutalist architecture, Go! looks at the relationship between music and architecture. In particular, the notion of translating architectural ‘space’ into ‘musical’ time. The composition is a musical interpretation of the Xenakis designed undulating window panes on the west façade of La Tourette Monastery situated near Lyon, France. Examples of brutalist architecture are typically super-human in scale, contradictory and unapologetic with a predominance of exposed concrete construction. Go! intimately pays homage to the Brutalist movement, casting a light on its innate beauty. – Composer

Featured in Playlist 4: Visual Waves (30/4/2015)

Hamarøy Troll, for flute.

Throughout Hamarøy Troll two ideas are consecutively juxtaposed. The first idea is water, which is portrayed by descending chromatic figures often distorted by the use of a multitude of extended techniques. The second idea is the troll, which is represented by melodic figurations. At the beginning the piece is drenched in the water idea with only glimpses of the troll poking through the texture. It is also at the beginning the troll is presented in its most raw form. Over the course of the piece the water element gradually subsides, revealing the troll more and more as the melodic fragments become further developed. In the end the troll is completely revealed showing its true self just like a freshly carved sculpture.

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

‘Without an Exit’, for soprano, piano and percussion.

‘Without an Exit’, is a musical rendering of Daniel Libeskind’s spatial design in the architecture of his Felix-Nussbaum-Haus. Within the museum’s three contrasting exterior skins, Libeskind’s architecture reveals a highly considered conceptual design process, providing the motivation for crafting an equally considered temporal musical experience. Consisting of two instrumental parts and one vocal line, the conceptual basis for ‘Without an Exit’ corresponds musically to the museum’s three highly contrasting volumes. The piano representing volume one, constructed from wood, is the Nussbaum Haus containing the prewar paintings. The wooden space is violently cut by a dramatic second volume, the Nussbaum Gang. Constructed of concrete and represented by the soprano, this narrow, compressed space sees the museum’s entrance point and displays the paintings during the time whilst Nussbaum was a fleeing fugitive forced to work in secret within tiny hidden spaces. Vibraphone and found metal objects represents volume three, the Nussbaum Brücke. Cladded in metal, a space housing newly discovered paintings, a collection which continues to be discovered.

Libeskind conceived of these spaces as irreconcilable “times zones” which are expressed in the music by allowing each ensemble member moments for temporal independence.

Featured in Temporal Waves – July 2017, curated by Mark Wolf