Wednesday 4.00pm - 5.30pm (commencing 3 March 2021)
Venue: 408.G.11 Recital Room
Dr Houston Dunleavy is a native of Northern Ireland and first came to Australia in 1973. He has been academic Director of The Australian Guild of Music Education, Head of Composition and Production at the Australian Institute of Music in both Sydney and Melbourne, Acting Head of the School of Music and Drama at the University of Woollongong and Music Director of the Sydney Male Choir and St Oswald’s Anglican Church in Glen Iris, Victoria. He holds a PhD in composition from the State University of New York at Buffalo, a Master of Music in composition and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the Cleveland Institute of Music.
From 1985, Houston pursued a national and international career as a composer and conductor and in 1998 moved to the USA. During his time there, Houston was Guest Artists at The American University in Washington D.C. and visiting Composer at James Madison University, the Cleveland Institute of Music, Ball State University, the University of Florida, Georgia State University and the University of Southern Florida.
He returned to Australia in 1995 and took up the position of Senior Lecturer in Composition in the School of Music and Drama at the University of Woollongong. Performances of Houston’s music have been given by international concert artists in major venues around the world, including Japan, Thailand, France, China, the USA, the UK, Puerto Rico, Canada, Taiwan, Ireland and Australia. He has conducted over 40 operas and musicals, most of the major choral and symphonic works and hundreds of works for choir or orchestra including a number of premieres.
Born in Capetown, South Africa, Berta emigrated to Australia at the age of 12. Whilst attending the Victorian College of Arts Secondary School, she was the recipient of numerous awards including the Margaret Schofield prize for the best music student in the state. She completed her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in piano performance at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, with highest honours. She was also a prize winner in several national Australian competitions during this time and was the fourth place winner in the Lev Vlassenko piano competition in Brisbane in 2015. She also won the Queensland Symphony Orchestra vote for the best concerto performance of the evening, performing Beethoven’s fourth piano concerto.
Upon returning to Australia in 2016, she attended the Australian National Academy of Music and was the recipient of many prizes including the Ursula Hoff Institute prize for the most outstanding performance of a work by Mozart. She also won the chamber music award in 2017 and her trio, the Clarendon Trio, was selected to perform in the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition in 2018. Berta was also a finalist in the ANAM concerto competition, performing Chopin’s E minor concerto with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in November 2018.
In 2019, Berta was selected to perform at the Castlemaine International Arts Festival with internationally recognised violinist Ye-eun Choi and in March 2020 performed in the Woordfees Festival in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
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