Evan J Lawson
Evan J Lawson (b.1989) is one of Australia’s leading queer artists, working at the forefront of contemporary culture as composer, curator, and conductor, chiefly as artistic director of Forest Collective.
Hailed by Bridget Davies in The Age that Lawson’s innovative musical imaginations...are striking… Evan is a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts and the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. He has studied with Benjamin Northey, Johanna Selleck, David Aronson (at the Wiener Staatsoper), Alim Shakh and Matthias Pintscher (at Grafenegg Festival) who has said that his music is serene, deep, it's even breathing the heritage of Mahler.
Alexander O’Sullivan of Partial Durations has said Lawson's music is, bar to bar beautiful. Performances and commissions of his music have included Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Forest Collective (Melbourne Recital Centre, Metropolis New Music Festival, Midsumma Festival), Density 512 and Prismatx Ensemble (Butler School of Music, Texas USA) Ensemble Lux (Cite Internationale Universitaire de Paris, France), by harpist Jessica Fotinos at Jinji Lake Concert Hall (Suzhou, China), Tonkünstler Orchestra (Grafenegg Festival, Austria), Cochlea Duo (SoundSCAPE New Music Festival, Italy), Edges Duo (University of Oregon, USA), Victorian Youth Symphony Orchestra, Australian Children's Choir and Syzygy Ensemble, among others.
Evan made his European conducting debut in 2015 with the Tonkünstler Orchestra, as a part of Grafenegg Festival. He recently made his USA conducting debuts with Density 512 and Prismatx Ensemble. As guest conductor Evan has worked across Australia and Europe, including performances with the Moravska Filharmonie, Australian Youth Orchestra, Australian National Academy of Music Orchestra, Melbourne University Symphony Orchestra, at the New Music Studio Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and at Melbourne International Arts Festival and SoundSCAPE New Music Festival.
As conductor Evan’s practice goes beyond the standard concert hall to encompass various collaborative projects. Projects include Nico, featuring the music of Christ Päffgen (Melbourne Fringe, Forest Collective and Cabaret sensation Danielle Asciak), the world premieres of his operas Calypso and dance-opera Orpheus (Forest Collective, Prismatx Ensemble, Density 512, Midsumma Festival, Abbotsford Convent, Creative Victoria, City of Yarra, Ashley Dougan Choreographer), fluttering hearts // thinking machines (Forest Collective, Abbotsford Convent) by pop music doyen Addison, community music making with the RMIT Symphony Orchestra, Australian premiere of Holcombe Waller's Requiem Mass: LGBTI (Performance Space and Carriageworks) and for various theatre productions including Come Away with Me to the End of the World (by Adriano and Raymondo Cortese for Ranters Theatre, Malthouse Theatre and Dublin Theatre Festival), Benjamin Britten's Curlew River (Gertrude Opera), Carmen (In Good Company) and Die Zauberflöte (Gertrude Opera).
Evan has worked with some of the world's finest musicians, including Sir Andrew Davis, Brett Dean, Fabian Russell, Christopher Hogwood, Jan Willem de Vriend, Tan Dun, Marshall McGuire, Tony Arnold and Warwick Stengards.
Outside of his musical activities, Evan has had wide artistic administration experience working with leading companies including the Melbourne & Sydney International Arts Festival's, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Galway International Arts Festival, Victorian Opera, Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Melbourne International Jazz Festival.
© Evan Lawson 2019
Evan regularly collaborates with other diverse artists such as:
Poets; Samuel Yeo; Jie Eccles; Nicole Butcher
Theatre makers and designers; Bridget McKey; John Pyburn; Jane Noonan; Candice MacAllister
Cabaret sensation Danielle Asciak
Pop-music doyen Addison
Forest Collective, Australia
Density 512, USA
Prismatx Ensemble, USA Sara Sasaki Artistic Director
Midsumma Festival, Australia
Play On, Australia Lydia Dobbin Director
Gertrude Opera, Australia Linda Thompson Artistic Director
Bendigo Festival of Exploratory Music, Australia David Chisholm Artistic Director
Conductors; Gloria Gamboz; Patrick Burns
Musicians; Percussionists Crystal Chu; Peter Neville; Violist Alexina Hawkins; Cellist Stephanie Arnold; Nikki Edgar; Flutists Naomi Johnson; Tamara Kohler; Clarinettists Vilan Mai; Edward Ferris; Ashley Smith; Pianist Danae Killian; Harpists Jacinta Dennett; Jessica Fotinos; Catherine Ashley, Samantha Ramirez