Jack Symonds is a composer, conductor and accompanist, and Artistic Director of Sydney Chamber Opera. He studied composition at the Royal College of Music, London under Kenneth Hesketh and at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where he received the University Medal. Trained also as a pianist and trombonist, he continues to work regularly as an accompanist and pianist, giving the premiere of many new works as well as frequently conducting his own and others’ music, including Britten’s Owen Wingrave (2013- Australian premiere) & The Turn of the Screw (2010), Dusapin’s Passion O Mensch! (2016 Sydney Festival- Australian premieres), Romitelli’s An Index of Metals with Ensemble Offspring (2015), Benjamin’s Into the Little Hill & Kurtág’s … pas à pas- nulle part… (2014 Sydney Festival), Maxwell Davies’s The Lighthouse (2012), Kancheli’s Exil (2013) and Jonathan Dove’s chamber version of Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen (2011- Australian premiere). He has also conducted the world premieres of Elliott Gyger’s Fly Away Peter, Mary Finsterer’s Biographica and Michael Smetanin’s Mayakovsky.

Significant composition premieres include Climbing Toward Midnight, a chamber opera re-imagining the second act of Wagner’s Parsifal, a piece for New York’s JACK Quartet, the Dostoevsky opera Notes from Underground (2011, restaged at Carriageworks in 2016), stage work Nunc Dimittis, (2011), the song cycle Time Unredeemed (2010), a large-scale work for viola and piano, Song Cycle, written for violist James Wannan (2011), Sunless Communion (2013) for the Composers Ensemble at Dartington where he studied with Detlev Glanert as well as new pieces for Timo-Veikko Valve, Jane Sheldon, two works for Australia Piano Quartet, the Streeton Trio, cellist Patrick Murphy, a viola d’amore and percussion double concerto for BIFEM and a 2015 concert series curated around his music by Affinity Collective which included three premieres.


A church made of glass
(Gyger- premiere) & Eight Songs for a Mad King Resonant Bodies Festival, May 5 Melbourne Recital Centre

Arrangement of Debussy Cello Sonata for Australian Chamber Orchestra, 5-19 May

Your Cruel Melodies for tenor and piano quartet (Australia Piano Quartet- premiere), 10 June Sydney Opera House

The Cunning Little Vixen,
 Victorian Opera (22 June- 1 July)

The Rape of Lucretia, SCO (19- 26 August)

CD released on Hospital Hill 



photo: Anja Emzén


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