Nadia Burgess


Nadia lives in Sydney and works as composer, pianist and teacher. She holds a B. Mus. Ed. from the University of the Free State, South Africa, and an Associate Diploma in Jazz Studies, Master of Music, and Ph.D. from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. She has studied composition with William Motzing, Matthew Hindson and Carl Vine. Her compositions for piano, flute, saxophone, string quartet, string quintet, saxophone orchestra, small and large jazz ensembles, chamber ensemble, and orchestra have been performed at various venues in Australia and South Africa.

Nadia’s compositional style has evolved as a fusion of western art music with jazz, pop and South-East African music. Her compositions include sections open for improvisation or ‘simulated’ improvisation. She has been influenced by the music of, amongst others, Stefans Grové, Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays, Maria Schneider, and Carl Vine.

Composer website:


“Black,” from Blue, Black and White, concerto for jazz quartet and orchestra.

“Black” from “Blue, Black and White,” Concerto for Jazz Quartet and Orchestra, was composed in 2011. It is a ballad in slow 4/4 time in C minor and depicts a ‘black’ state of mind with emotions such as sadness, despair, loneliness and sense of loss. A fusion of contemporary art music and jazz is aimed for. Inspiration has come from film composers Alan Silvestri and David Arnold.

Featured in Playlist 11 – Saxophone Waves (30/11/2015)

In Motion for saxophone orchestra.

This piece portrays a sense of forward motion as in bustling traffic, busy lifestyles and travelling from place to place. A prominent bass motif is accompanied by repeated ostinato patterns whilst two contrasting main themes are being developed.

It is through composed, but the Coda features free improvisation. This crossover work is a fusion of minimalism, jazz, pop and African music. Inspiration has come from The Way Up by the Pat Metheny Group.

Featured in Jazz-World Waves – November 2017

Circle In Life for Jazz Orchestra.

Featured in Concerto Waves – June 2018