Matt calls again for new music

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Matt Withers
Guitarist Matt Withers… bringing together his love of art and music.
CLASSICAL guitarist Matt Withers is again running his Australian Music Composition Competition, culminating in a recital at the National Arboretum in November.

Revamped to become an open-age competition for Australian residents, the competition has the support, as an adjudicator, of Australian composer Robert Davidson, head of composition at the University of Queensland. A bassist who has performed chamber works with artists such as John Williams, the Brodsky Quartet and Ensemble 24, Davidson tours internationally with Topology.

As well, Artworks, Canberra Classical Guitar Society and Rick Falkiner’s Guitar Centre, ArtSound and Sydney’s New Music Network are chipping in with more than $2500 in cash, prizes and in-kind support.

Withers, who will perform the winning compositions at the Arboretum on November 13, is a member of Australia’s premier guitar quartet Guitar Trek.

Sue Needham
Sue Needham’s painting “Forest”… inspiring composers.
Inaugurated as a personal venture in 2014, the project, Withers says, brings together his love of art and music. Entries must be based thematically on Sunshine Coast (and Canberra-raised) artist Sue Needham’s painting “Forest”, appropriate to the Arboretum setting of the winning performances.

First prize will be $1000 cash sponsored by Withers and a framed copy of “Forest” valued at $700 for an original musical composition for solo classical guitar.

Second prize is $500, third prize is $250 cash, and the Emerging Composer Prize (Under 25 years of age) is $250 cash, sponsored by Withers. Each prize also includes a performance featured in the National Arboretum recital by Withers, a recording of the work and feedback from adjudicators if requested.

Withers is a busy musician. He’ll be performing “Concierto de Aranjuez” by Joaquin Rodrigo and “The Antarctica Suite” for guitar and orchestra by Nigel Westlake with the National Capital Orchestra on Sunday, March 20 at The Q.

His interest is primarily in helping to continue the growth of Australian guitar music but “CityNews” has discovered that Withers and his wife are also showcase ballroom dancers, a rare combination with classical music.

Matt Withers Australian Music Composition Competition 2016. Entries close June 30 to Competition or inquiries to


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