"...a superbly judged musical vernacular from Hamilton, blending traditionally conceived orchestral textures with more hard-edged gestures... wildly entertaining, innovative and brilliantly unconventional..."
–Limelight Magazine on 'Thum Prints'
Several recent works by Gordon Hamilton subvert expectations of the orchestra. He conducted his 2015 beatbox concerto 'Thum Prints' at the 2016 BBC Proms AU with beatbox superstar Tom Thum. His 2014 work for QSO 'Ghosts in the Orchestra' places a choir among the orchestral players, prompting them with sung instructions. He also collaborated with turntablist Sampology on 'Natural Selections' for orchestra and turntables. In his '482 Variations on a Very Short Theme' a brief Beatles recording plays; the orchestra latches onto three notes, spinning them out into 482 (extremely short!) micro variations. In 'Action Hero' (commissioned by the West German Funkhausorchester) an Arnold Schwarzenegger speech plays through a speaker while the orchestra plays along. In 2018 he will present a new orchestral collaborations with rapper-poet Luka Lesson and hip-hop duo Horrorshow at QSO WAVE Festival.
In recent seasons Gordon has conducted the Melbourne and Queensland Symphony Orchestras and the St. Christofer Chamber Orchestra (Lithuania). In 2018-19, Gordon will conduct the WDR Funkhausorchester (Cologne), the Nürnberg Symphoniker the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Havana.
Having freelanced for five years in Germany, Gordon was appointed as Artistic Director of The Australian Voices in 2009. Of their 2013 concert in New York City, the New York Times wrote "... it was as if the gates of heaven had opened." They have released albums with Warner Classics (2013) and ABC Classics (2016) as well as a songbook with Edition Peters (2013). Gordon's choral opera MOON (2011) toured Australia, Germany and to the Edinburgh Fringe and was named by The Herald Scotland as “one of the outstanding musical surprises of Fringe 2012.” In 2014 they made international headlines with the commission and subsequent video of Rob Davidson's 'Not Now, Not Ever!' – a musicalisation of former PM Julia Gillard’s famous ‘misogyny’ speech. Under a more cheeky guise, Gordon and The Australian Voices have reassembled the contributions of unwitting collaborators. His 'Tra$h Ma$h' (2012) reassembles fleeting grabs from pop songs. 'Toy Story 3 = Awesome!' (2011) – sets a stream of inane consciousness from his own Facebook news feed. His choral setting of a BuzzFeed article 'The 9 Cutest Things That Ever Happened' (2013) has been viewed on YouTube over one million times.
Gordon received first prize in the Coral Gables Congregational Church Florida 2006 Composition Prize, as well as awards at the International Chamber Days, Raumberg (2008) and the Luxembourg Sinfonietta Composition Prize (2007). For his work with hearing-impaired children he was presented with a Community Champion Award (2011) by former PM Kevin Rudd.
Originally from Newcastle, Gordon studied at the University of Newcastle (2000-4) under esteemed composer Nigel Butterley. He is a represented composer at the Australian Music Centre.
After freelancing for five years in Germany, composer and conductor Gordon Hamilton took over in 2009 as Artistic Director of one of Australia’s foremost vocal ensembles, The Australian Voices.
Several recent compositions by Gordon Hamilton subvert expectations of the orchestra, including 'Ghosts in the Orchestra' (2014), 'The Trillion Souls' (2015), 'Thum Prints' (for beatboxer and orchestra, 2015) and '482 Variations on a Very Short Theme' (2016). His 'Action Hero' (2016) pairs the recorded voice of Arnold Schwarzenegger with orchestra and was premiered by WDR Funkhausorchester, Cologne.
His 50-minute choral opera 'MOON' (2011) has toured Australia, Germany and to the Edinburgh Fringe. Under a more cheeky guise, Gordon reassembles the contributions of unwitting collaborators. His 'Tra$h Ma$h' (2012) reassembles fleeting grabs from pop songs. 'Toy Story 3 = Awesome!' (2011) – sets a stream of inane consciousness from his own Facebook news feed.
In 2018-19, Gordon will conduct the WDR Funkhausorchester (Cologne), the Nürnberg Symphoniker and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
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