Arts / Fun begins as winning music goes on tour

Acacia Quartet with Matt Withers on the right

THE Matt Withers Australian Music Composition Competition has been run and won, but now the fun part starts, with two concerts in Canberra this weekend and an interstate tour to follow.

The $2000 first prize went to Wade Gregory for his composition “Water Music”, which was inspired, as stipulated in the competition, by artist Sue Needham’s “Stormy Seashore” suite of paintings.

Rick Alexander’s work, “Storming”, won the $750 second prize, and the $500 emerging composer/under 25 prize went to Nava Ryan for “Solitude”.

Sue Needham’s ‘Stormy Seashore’

The winning works will work toured by Canberra guitarist Matt Withers, the brains behinds the competition, which began in 2014, and the Acacia Quartet. The works will also be recorded and released digitally by ABC Classics.

Withers personally sponsored the main prize, while the others were supported by Walkin’ Promotions and Rick Falkiner’s Guitar Centre.

The tour with the Acacia Quartet, which begins at the National Arboretum in Canberra this weekend continues to Sydney and to Melbourne, will also include other works for guitar and string quartet and new commission by Richard Charlton, also based on the Needham’s artworks.

“Imaginations”, Margaret Whitlam Pavilion, National Arboretum, 3pm concert sold out but some tickets available for 6pm, Saturday, August  18. Bookings to

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