Featured Composer: Anton Koch

ANTON KOCH Headshot copy.jpg

Anton Koch (Composer, Arranger and Orchestrator) has extensive experience in live events, theatrical and concert performances, and film, television and recording projects, both within Australia and internationally. Anton graduated in music (Trumpet and Composition) from the University of Queensland and performed with the Australian Youth Orchestra and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra (1990-1998) while establishing his career as a composer. In 2003, Anton won the inaugural Brian May Scholarship, enabling him to study scoring for film and television at the University of Southern California. Since then, he has earned credits on a plethora of projects including orchestrating the music of Hollywood composer Christopher Young, for the feature film The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005), and additional orchestrations and arrangements of the music of Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin, for the ABC TV opera The Divorce (Opera Australia, 2015). Anton has worked on major events such as Vivid Sydney (2015), the annual Helpmann Awards (2007-2014), Carols in the Domain (2007-2014), The Best of Broadway (Sydney Symphony, 2010), the 15th Asian Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies (Doha, 2006), Australia Plays Broadway (Lincoln Centre, 2008; Carnegie Hall, 2009), and the musicals Strictly Ballroom (2013), King Kong (2012), Hairspray (2010) and Eureka (2004). In 2013, Anton won critical acclaim for his composition ‘Theatre of the Horse’, highlighting the opening of the outdoor amphitheatre at Royal Randwick Racecourse, and conducted the orchestra for Tony Hadley’s (Spandau Ballet) Australian tour. Anton’s recording credits include arrangements for Mark Vincent, Australian Girls Choir, David Hobson, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Sally Maer, Judy Connelli and Suzanne Johnston. Anton’s composition ‘Reverie’, performed by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, is featured on ‘Soliloquy’ and ‘Classical Chill’ (ABC Classics).

Anton Koch's new work Sonatina was premiered in PLEXUS: Panopticon on 22 April 2016 at Elder Hall, University of Adelaide.

Sonatina (2016)

Towards the end of 2015 PLEXUS asked me to write a new work for their 2016 series.  My imagination was immediately ignited by the versatility and possibilities of the textures that can be created from the combination of clarinet, violin and piano.  Overall, ‘Sonatina’ is primarily nocturnal in nature with frequent rhythmic and harmonic shifts breaking away from the contemplative mood.  This allows for the atmosphere to morph into territories of higher tension throughout the three continuous movements. 

The first movement opens with a reflective passage, or ‘night chords’ that walk through the piece like a leitmotiv.  The adjoining second movement (Romanza) is announced by a high single-line piano melody over a chorale-like setting.  The melody is reiterated tenderly by the clarinet, and once again breaks away from the mood with a frenetic violin solo.  Finally, the third movement (giocoso) is characterised by a short contrapuntal 6/8 motif, and presents a lighthearted interplay between the three instruments.”

– Anton Koch