Composing Noosa Festival

Fri 08. – Sat 09. – Sun 10. March 2019

Composing Noosa is an innovative and exciting 3-day music festival featuring inspiring international and local composers and performers.

The festival comprises concerts, seminars and masterclasses, as well as a rare opportunity to socialise with the performers and composers at the festival parties. Click here to Purchase tickets


There will be performances of new music composed here in Noosa especially for the festival as well as classics adored by audiences.

Headlining ensembles and performers include: Ensemble Offspring, from Sydney; Viney Grinberg Duo, from Brisbane; Roman, special guest pianist from the Ukraine; and the Pacific Chamber Players, a local ensemble from the Sunshine Coast with local talented piano student Saxon Mills-Booth.

Internationally renowned composers attending include: Ofer- Ben Amots from Colorado; Jan Jirasek from Prague; Paul Smith from Sydney; Rob Melbourne from Noosaville; 17 Music Students from Colorado College and and 3 composers from Portugal, U.S.A and U.K.


Stimulating and controversial topics will be explored in our “Creating a Noosa Sound” seminar chaired by Professors from local universities and delivered by students from Colorado College.


Festival musicians will be sharing their performance secrets with local piano students. We invite our audience to get a rare glimpse of the transformative magic that occurs on stage as students learn from the experts.

Festival Parties:

Not everyday will you have the chance to tap an eminent composer or performer on the shoulder while mingling at a festival bar. During the festival there will be an informal Gala Night and a series of casual parties where our musicians will welcome your questions and the conversation will flow like the bubbles in your glass.


Noosa Arts Theatre – Weyba Rd in Noosaville. A intimate theatre perfect for chamber music. Click here to Purchase tickets


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Ensemble Offspring

New music has no greater champion than Ensemble Offspring. Their combination of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, percussion and piano has delighted audiences throughout Australia and around the world. A devotion to fearless music-making has seen them premiere more than two hundred works over the course of twenty three years. Led by acclaimed percussionist Claire Edwardes, Ensemble Offspring comprises some of Australia’s most innovative performers, and in 2016 won the APRA/AMCOS Art Music Award for Excellence by an Organisation. The group has toured to locations such as Hong Kong, Albany and Amsterdam, has been regularly featured at MONA FOMA and Sydney Festival, and has a cult following at the Sizzle Series at Petersham Bowling Club. Ensemble Offspring is driven by a philosophy of promoting artistic integrity and challenging the way audiences think about music. Ensemble Offspring will be workshopping new works composed by students at the inaugural Noosa International Summer Academy of Music (Noosa ISAM). Ensemble Offspring will launch the Composing Noosa Festival by giving two concerts featuring the students and the faculty of the Academy.


Roman is one of Ukraine’s most prominent and aspiring young pianists, being a laureate of over 20 international piano competitions, such as: Hamamatsu International Piano Competition in Japan; the Busoni Competition in Bolzano, Italy; the V. Horowitz International Piano Competition in Kiev; and the Sydney International Piano Competition. In 2016 he won first prize at the International Summer Academy of Music (ISAM) Piano Competition, held in Ochsenhausen, Germany.  In 2017, Roman gave his debut at the Musikfestival Heidelberger Fruhling and Musikverein Wien. He is a regular guest of renowned international concert halls and festivals such as Ginza Hall, Tokyo, Steinway Hall, New York, the Mariinsky International Piano Festival, St Petersburg, and the Next Generation Festival in Bad Ragaz, Switzerland. At the Composing Noosa Festival, Roman will be playing a work by our local composer, Rob Melbourne, who won the 2018 ISAM competition held in Germany.  He will also be playing piano favourites by Rachmaninoff, Schumann, Stravinsky and more. Roman will also hold a piano masterclass for local students and interested music lovers.

Viney Grinberg

At the Composing Noosa Festival, Liam Viney and Anna Grinberg are playing a selection of fun duets and beautiful solos that give a snapshot of music life in Australia. This concert will not only be a tremendous insight for our international students, but a “must listen to” event for all Australians.  They perform traditional two-piano and four-hand repertoire, as well as contributing to the growth of that literature through commissioning composers. Fifteen new works have been written for them to date, and they have given many world and Australian premieres. Anna and Liam have collaborated with composers, artists, dancers, choreographers, and other established performing ensembles. Their performances have been described as ‘barnstorming’ (The Australian) and ‘unforgettable – the most compelling case for the beauty and variety of two piano repertory this reviewer has ever heard’ (Rick Schultz, Los Angeles Times). Anna and Liam spent a decade in the United States, first studying at Yale University, followed by five years on the performance faculty of California Institute of the Arts, before taking up their current positions as Lecturers and Ensemble-in-Residence at the School of Music, University of Queensland.

Pacific Chamber Players

We are proud to have local ensemble, the Pacific Chamber Players, led by talented pianist, Janet Brewer, joining us for the festival. They have delighted Sunshine Coast audiences with their exhilarating chamber music concerts since 2001. At the Composing Noosa Festival they will be playing works from the 17th century to the present day, showcasing not only the masters but local talent as well.  Local, gifted piano student, Saxon Mills-Booth, 15 years old, will be joining the ensemble for the stunning “Largo” from a Bach Concerto.  


Ofer Ben-Amots

Born in Haifa, Israel, in 1955, Ofer Ben-Amots gave his first piano concert at age nine and at age sixteen was awarded first prize in the Chet Piano Competition. Later, following compositionsStudies with Joseph Dorfman at Tel Aviv University, he was invited to study at the Conservatoire de Musique in Geneva, Switzerland. There he studied with Pierre Wismer and privately with Alberto Ginastera.

​Ben-Amots is an alumnus of the Hochschule für Musik in Detmold, Germany, where he studied with Martin C. Redel and Dietrich Manicke and graduated with degrees in composition, music theory, and piano.

Upon his arrival in the United States in 1987, Ben-Amots studied with George Crumb at the University of Pennsylvania where he received his Ph.D. in music composition. Currently Chair of the Music Department at Colorado College, Dr. Ben-Amots teaches composition, music theory, and a wide variety of liberal arts subjects.

Ofer Ben-Amots’ compositions are performed regularly in concert halls and festivals worldwide. His music has been performed by such orchestras as the Zürich Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, the Austrian Radio Orchestra, Bruckner Orchestra, Moscow Camerata, Heidelberg, Erfurt, Brandenburg, the Filarmonici di Sicili, Milano Chamber Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, North/South Consonance in NY, Portland Chamber Orchestra, and the Colorado Springs Philharmonic among others. His compositions have been professionally recorded by the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, the Barcelona Symphony, Odessa Philharmonic, the BBC Singers, and the renowned Czech choirs Permonik and Jitro. Ben-Amots has received commissions and grants from the MacArthur Foundation, Fulbright Foundation, Amado Foundation, Schleswig-Holstein Musikfestival, Fuji International Music Festival in Japan, Delta Ensemble from Amsterdam, Assisi Musiche Festival, the Geneva Camerata and many others.

For more info visit

Jan Jirásek

Jan Jirásek studied composition with Professor Zdenek Zouhar at the Janáček Academy of Musical Art in the Czech Republic.  Jirásek’s work has been represented at numerous venues and festivals throughout the world since 1989, including Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center in New York, the Avignon Festival in France, the Sydney Opera House and the Prague Spring Festival.  

He has composed music for distinguished performers and stages, such as Bread and Circuses for six percussionists (Munich Biennale, 1992), recomposition of St. Luke’s Passion according to J.S. Bach’s manuscript, and Carl Orff’s concept (Munich Biennale, 1996; Minneapolis, USA, 2000), Concerto for Organ and Small Orchestra To Dance with the Universe (Portland Chamber Orchestra, 2012), Missa propria (for mixed choir or boys’ choir/women’s choir or children’s choir, Prague Spring Festival, 1994 and 2014; Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, New York and Avignon Festival in France, among others), string quartet Fragile Balance/Letter to Heaven (Vega String Quartet, Atlanta, 2012), micro-opera King Lávra (Khorikos New York, 2013) and others. 

His film music has won a number of prestigious awards: in the Czech Republic, his scores for films by the Czech director F.A. Brabec, Kytice (‘The Bouquet’), and the distinguished Slovak director Juraj Jakubisko’s Nejasná zpráva o konci světa (‘An Ambiguous Report about the End of the World’) have each been awarded the Czech Lion prize. In the sleevenote to the album Renaissance of Humanity, which includes music by Hildegard von Bingen, Jirásek, and Arvo Pärt (BMG Classics 1995), Samuel Hendricks wrote: “Jirásek’s subtle, superb arrangements give clear expression to his musical ideas which, like those of any honest artist, are concerned not with the mask of art but the face behind it.”

Jan Jirásek also devotes his time to teaching. He has taught composition at prestigious universities in Europe (Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Vienna; ISAM, Ochsenhausen, Germany and many others), as well as in the United States (Hartt School of Music, Connecticut; Colorado College; Florida International University; Lehigh University, Pennsylvania; University of Colorado at Boulder).

For more info visit

Rob Melbourne

Rob Melbourne is not only an emerging composer but a seasoned survivor of ISAM.  He has travelled twice to Germany to participate in the 2017 and 2018 ISAM workshops and worked under the tutelage of  both Ofer and Jan to compose new works. Having loved it so much and wanting to share the magical experience of ISAM with local composers he has arranged for the Academy to visit Australia.

Melbourne, while participating in both ISAMs, entered the Joseph Dorfman International Composition Competition. In 2017 he came second with his piano trio Four Attempts at Reconciliation and in 2018 won first place with his piano quartet Beyond the Gate. More importantly, Melbourne has created relationships with emerging composers across the globe as well as professional performers throughout Europe.

Having recently graduated from the University of New England as Vice Chancellor’s Scholar, Melbourne also won the Cecil Hill Award and the Cath Ellis Prize. While studying at Berklee College he won the Michel Camilo Celebrity Scholarship for his compositional studies. He has studied composition with Paul Smith, Donna Hewitt and Marti Epstein. As a pianist he has had masterclasses with famous Australian composers Nigel Butterly and Peter Sculthorpe, and has performed their piano works extensively in his concerts.

Melbourne and Smith recently had their two Chamber opera’s performed as part of the Parramatta Lanes Festival in Sydney and will be producing them for the Noosa Alive Festival in July 2019.

For information about Noosa ISAM

Paul Smith

Paul Smith is a lecturer in music at the University of New England where he teaches composition and music theory. He holds a Doctorate of Creative Arts from Western Sydney University where his research focused on music’s connection with visual art forms, specifically Japanese anime. Originally from the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, Paul studied piano and classical voice while completing a Bachelor of music at Western Sydney University. In 2011, he was a young artist with Pacific Opera and began working with many Sydney ensembles as a singer before completing his doctorate in composition in 2014.

Many of Paul’s compositions explore music’s potential connection with other art forms and as a result his pieces are often accompanied by other works of art, including animation, theatre or poetry. He also specialises in composing opera and is the co-artistic director for Sydney-based group Blush Opera. His works for theatre include the chamber operas Fancy Me Dead, first performed as part of the New Music Network Mini Series in 2015, and The Spider Maiden and the Runaway Plum Blossom, commissioned by Chamber Sounds and premiered in Singapore in 2016. He also composed and performed a piano score for a collaborative theatre work, Frankenstein, at the Q in Penrith in October, 2016. He is currently composing a new work in development – Chop Chef: The Opera – with librettist Julie Koh, workshopped throughout 2017.

Paul’s instrumental compositions include numerous pieces for keyboard. He has collaborated regularly with Italian pianist and toy pianist, Antonietta Lofreddo, who has performed his work in Australia and Italy. She has released his pieces on three albums with Wirripang. She most recently performed the piece Holding Masks at the Associazione Carducci in Como in May 2017.


Noosa Arts Theatre

The theatre is an intimate venue, featuring comfortable raked seating and an air-conditioned auditorium. Click here to Purchase tickets

The venue is fully licensed and the festival bar opens 30 minutes before each event, during the interval and after the concert.