Ann Carr-Boyd of Bowral has been appointed as a member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her significant service to the performing arts and classical music.
As a composer, pianist, teacher and musicologist, her influence on the industry, fellow composers, musicians and pupils has been extensive.
Co-founder of the Lane Cove Symphony Orchestra (now Mosman Orchestra), the passionate musician has had her compositions included in the Australian Music Examinations Board syllabus for 20 years and more than 190 works published at the Australian Music Centre.
Her contributions were made possible by those behind the scenes, and passionate musicians who’ve played her works.
“I’ve always been so well supported by my family, and am grateful to be associated with lots of wonderful performers.”
Ms Carr-Boyd made particular mention of her friends at Wirripang, a publishing house with a focus on promoting, publishing and embracing contemporary Australian composers.
“I am very grateful to Anne and Brennan Keats, who founded Wirripang, for all they’ve done for me and my music,” she said.
Ms Carr-Boyd, who is still writing and composing, said Fandango had come to be somewhat of a “signature piece”.
“I’ve re-arranged it probably 12 times or more, as it was originally written for mandolins,” she said.
Arranging for orchestra could be exhausting, Ms Carr-Boyd said, but the trick when writing for an instrument she hadn’t played was to ask for help.
“It’s simple – I ask someone with experience. As a composer, you want your works to be comfortable to play. As a pianist, I know straight away if something feels awkward, and it’s the same for other instruments. You want it to feel good, when they’re playing it. So it needs to be comfortable, and it needs to be right.”
The philosophy has clearly worked for her – an internationally acclaimed composer whose breadth of contributions to the performing arts world have been further recognised with this latest honour.