Philip Eames


Australian pianist, composer and conductor Philip Eames, who’s playing has been described as “playful, mischievous, and vivacious” (The Australian Times) is currently based in Sydney, Australia and is an enthusiastic and passionate advocate of new and interesting music. Philip is currently a PhD candidate at the Sydney Conservatorium focusing on Percy Grainger. He has studied under Anne Boyd, and Adam Gorb for composition and Max Olding, AM and Stephen Savage in piano.

As a composer he is frequently commissioned by a range of ensembles and was announced the winner of the 2013 Tagore Composition Competition, had his music work-shopped by the Goldner Quartet, awarded first place in the 2010 ASKM Composition Competition, and has had his compositions performed Australia-wide and internationally, including in New York, and Edinburgh. With several exciting commissions for 2015, he writes extensively and sarcastically for mixed ensembles and media in both large and small scale.

Composer website:

Featured Works

Spiders! Spiders! Spiders! Spiders!, for string quartet. 3rd movement.

Spiders! Spiders! Spiders! Spiders!, Op.9, is a non-programmatic work in four movements and scored for string quartet. The piece as a whole was intended to perversely treat that particular ensemble as a highly rhythmical, more percussion-like ensemble, rather than the melodic, harmonic and intonation-focused group that it is.

This was inspired by a PhD study in the UK my percussion quartet was asked to participate in. It attempted to measure and define the qualities of outstanding moments of empathy between players in performance. While it worked for most ensembles, particularly string quartets, our percussion group found that all our performances were based around ‘locking’ rhythmically with one another, revealing no isolated special moments as such.

However, I tend to think that because of the extreme physicality of percussion performance rather than being non-existent, the empathy functioned much more pervasively, allowing the entire performance to be uniformly inspired. I tried to capture something of this approach to music making in the quartet.

Featured in Playlist 5: Nature Waves (31/5/2015)