Thea Zimpel


Thea Zimpel was born in the same hospital as Peter Sculthorpe, was drawn to composition at the age of 11 and has won numerous awards for her odd endeavours into this field. At the age of 15 she won a scholarship to study with Stephen Stanfield and Regis Danillon, and achieved her AMusA and LMusA in piano and theory of music. She won a university medal, graduated with distinction from CQU, and moved to Canberra to study her Honours year with Larry Sitsky. She has been mentored by Jorma Panula, Martin Bresnick, Martin Wesley Smith, Roger Woodward, Drake Mabry and Judith Pile. Her works have been performed in places as far afield as Florence, Munich, London, Cambridge, New York, and Gympie.

Thea’s flute concerto for Sarah Hewat and song cycle Pituri were premiered in 2012. She has had a ballet premiered by the National Capital Orchestra and choreographed by Amalia Horden, composed for the Australian Youth Orchestra, the Australian Voices and a Mackay handbell ensemble. In 2014, she achieved second prize in an international competition for viola composition, continued her work as a composer in residence with the Fisher’s Ghost Youth Orchestra, and was selected to have a work premiered in Las Vegas, although her wish for it to be played by Elvis impersonators has not been realised yet.  That will be a future project. For now, Thea is happy to organise strange concerts featuring new sound material to celebrate the creative gifts of living, artistic composers who have so much to offer.

Composer website:


Shadows, for Chamber Ensemble.

Performed by the Australian Youth Orchestra Ensemble.

Featured in Playlist 1: Chamber Waves (31/1/15)


Thea Zimpel was interviewed for the Making Conversation: Australian Composers’ Podcast, Episode 12, 30/06/17.