Melbourne Recital Centre announces Merlyn Myer Music Commission 2017

MRC Merlyn Myer Music Commission Andrea KellerMelbourne Recital Centre has announced pianist/composer Andrea Keller as the recipient of the Merlyn Myer Music Commission 2017.

The Merlyn Myer Music Commission was initiated by the Merlyn Myer Fund to celebrate the work of Australian female composers in collaboration with Melbourne Recital Centre.

“Melbourne Recital Centre is delighted to be able to support outstanding creative talent, and we congratulate Andrea Keller on being selected as the 2017 recipient of the Merlyn Myer Music Commission, funded by the Merlyn Myer Fund,” said Melbourne Recital Centre’s Director of Artistic Planning, Marshall McGuire.

“Andrea is well known to audiences at the Melbourne Recital Centre as a pianist of considerable talent, and this new opportunity will let us see her in a completely new light. The Merlyn Myer commission seeks to support brilliant female composers and provide a platform for the expression of their experience. Andrea was selected from a competitive field and the jury felt that her proposed project was fresh and original.”

Andrea’s new work, the product of the commission, will receive its world premiere on 28 November 2017 when it is performed by Sydney-based champions of adventurous new music, Ensemble Offspring.

“My deepest gratitude to the Merlyn Myer Fund for their ongoing generosity to the arts, particularly in honouring me with this invitation to create a new work for Ensemble Offspring,” said Keller. “This experience will no doubt hold great significance for me, through the provision of an invaluable period of growth and experimentation, and the precious opportunity to nurture creativity and musical relationships.”

Pianist and composer Andrea Keller is dedicated to the performance and creation of contemporary jazz and improvised music, described as having “one of Australia’s most consistently interesting musical minds” (Doug Spencer 2007).

Andrea has led and devised projects such as: The Andrea Keller Quintet/Quartet, The Bartok Project, Three Lanes, From Ether, The Company of Pianos, The Komeda Project and, most recently, Transients and Still Night: Music in Poetry. She has also released numerous albums including six by the AKQ, two for solo piano, two by Keller/Murphy/Browne, as well as albums with Three Lanes, The Bartok project, The Hush Collection, The Bennetts Lane Big Band and Tim Wilson.

The diversity of Andrea’s approach has placed her on stage with artists and ensembles such as Eddie Perfect, Genevieve Lacey, the Song Company, Black Arm Band, the Australian Art Orchestra, Flinders Quartet, Allan Browne, the Original Bennetts Lane Big Band and more.

With a list of commissions that includes Zephyr Quartet, Genevieve Lacey, Poetica RN, Claire Edwardes, Seraphim Trio, Ten Part Invention, the Royal Children’s Hospital, Mike Nock, the Letter String Quartet and the Australian Art Orchestra, Keller’s work as composer traverses styles, and ranges from solo to big band settings, including cross-cultural collaborations, cross-genre collaborations, and the use of electronics.

Lauded for her music, Keller has received three ARIA Awards, four Australian Jazz ‘Bell’ Awards, an Art Music Award, and fellowships from the MCA/Freedman Foundation and the Australia Council.

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Image: Andrea Keller (supplied)