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Celebration of female & non-binary Australian composers – new works to premiere at concerts in June

Summers Night Project mentees
Clockwise from left: Aviva Endean, Hilary Kleinig, Bree van Reyk, Kate Milligan, Frankie Dyson Reilly

UPDATE 28 MAY 2021: The Summers Night Project, due to start on June 10, has been postponed because of the evolving COVID-19 situation in Victoria. It will be rescheduled at a later date to be decided soon. More info ~~~~ The second iteration of the Summers Night Project will take place from June 10-17 premiering five innovative new works by women and non-binary Australian composers at concerts in Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne.

Presented by Tura, Soundstream and Monash University, the Project is inspired by Anne Summers’ Women’s Manifesto which was released in 2017 and aims to grow the gender diversity of composers in music programs in Australia and support and mentor female and non-binary composers to create new compositions.

The featured composers Aviva Endean (VIC), Hilary Kleinig (SA), Bree van Reyk (NSW), Kate Milligan (WA), and Frankie Dyson Reilly (QLD) have been working with a composition mentors since mid 2020 to expand their practice and create new innovative works for the Summers Night Project ensemble, which features Gabriella Smart (piano), Vanessa Tomlinson (percussion), Aaron Wyatt (violin/viola) and Tristen Parr (cello).

Composer Aviva Endean said the piece she’s written is for three players, one piano – whereby the three musicians join together to draw fragile and quivering tones from the depths of the piano.

“The Summers Night Project is an incredible chance to learn, develop new skills, and create new work in a supportive environment,” Aviva says. “The group of mentors are all wonderful people and musicians. While I have been fortunate to work with many of them before as a performer and improviser, I was very keen to have their input and support as I explore composing and creating notation for other musicians to interpret.”

Composer Frankie Dyson Reilly said the piece she’s written is essentially three scenes from one of her favourite places in the world – the Bunya Mountains, where she’s tried to capture a macro and micro view of the mountains – “amidst the vastness and gravitasse of the bushland, there is a constant flurry of activity from fairy wrens and wallabies.”

She decided to apply and take part in the Project in 2020 whilst taking a gap year from university between Honours and beginning a Doctorate in composition.

“I was excited to be able to really focus on mentorship and personal growth opportunities with the free time I suddenly had,” Frankie says. “I think this mentorship program is a great initiative for emerging women composers – it gives us a chance to put ourselves on the map in the Australian music scene and let our music speak for itself.”

Olivia Davies who is now a mentor in the Project after participating in 2018 (along with Rachel Bruerville and Carmen Chan Schoenborn) further elaborates: “The best experience as a composer is when you get to spend time workshopping a new piece with musicians – exchanging ideas, analysing sounds, and getting new perspectives.

“Being asked to come back as a mentor was really an opportunity to take part in the process that I love and be involved in the development of new works.

“When I participated in the Project, hearing my piece performed in three different venues in a short period of time was interesting acoustically. It was also the downtime that I enjoyed as I got to know the musicians well and was able to meet other artists. The overall experience left me feeling really encouraged and these relationships have continued to be a source of support.”

Audiences attending the Summers Night Project concerts get to hear the compositions of this eclectic group of composers performed live and to support their work. For those unable to attend, ABC Classic are recording a studio session to be broadcast later in the year.



When: Sunday 13 June, 6pm

Where: Richard Gill Auditorium @ WAAPA, Edith Cowan University

Tickets: Postponed


When: Tuesday 15 June, 7pm

Where: Elder Hall, University of Adelaide

Tickets: Postponed


When: Wednesday 16 June, 6pm

Where: Primrose Potter Salon, Melbourne Recital Centre

Tickets: Postponed Duration: 60 minutes (no interval)


The Summers Night Project is presented by Tura New Music along with project partners Soundstream, Monash University, Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Performance partners: Decibel New Music Ensemble and Clocked Out

Presentation partners: The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts @ Edith Cowan University, The University of Adelaide and Melbourne Recital Centre.

The Summers Night project has been made possible through the support of the Sydney Community Foundation’s Women Composers Fund and its associated donors and APRA/AMCOS. Soundstream have been funded for this project by The Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding advisory body.

Media Partner: ABC Classic

Summers Night Project graphic



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