Fowler, Jennifer

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Jennifer Fowler


Born: April 14, 1939

Country: Bunbury, Western Australia

Studies: University of Western Australia (1957-62, 1964-68), University of Utrecht (1968-69)


Jennifer Fowler was born in Bunbury, Western Australia, in 1939. During her student years at the University of Western Australia she won several composition prizes and received the University's Convocation Award for outstanding results. While still a student, her pieces were performed in the Festival of Perth and broadcast by the ABC.

In 1968 Fowler spent a year working at the Electronic Music Studios of the University of Utrecht on a Dutch Government scholarship. Since 1969 she has been living in London where she works as a free-lance composer.

Fowler has won a number of international prizes including an award from the Academy of the Arts in Berlin (1970), joint winner of the Radcliffe Award of Great Britain; first prize in the GEDOK International Competition for Women Composers (1975) and the Miriam Gideon prize from the International Association of Women in Music (2003). In 2001 her 50-minute song cycle, Eat and Be Eaten, commissioned by The Song Company, received a High Commendation at the Paul Lowin Awards. Also: prizes in Christopher Bodman Memorial Competition, UK (2006); The International Sylvia Glickman Memorial Prize (2009); and the Marin Goleminov International Composition Contest, Bulgaria (2009).

Fowler's output includes orchestral works, chamber pieces, works for voice and instrumental ensemble, solo music and vocal ensembles. She has written for top professional players and also for amateurs and children. She is particularly interested in writing for particular performers or in using old or unusual instruments in a new way.

Fowler's music has been performed at international festivals such as the ISCM World Music Days, the Gaudeamus Music Week (Holland), the Huddersfield Festival of Contemporary Music (UK), the International Sydney Spring Festival, the Festival of Perth, City of London Festival (UK), and Women in Music festivals in London, Atlanta, Alaska, Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Rome and Beijing.

She has received commissions from organisations such as the BBC, the ABC, the Festival of Perth, the Music Board of the Australia Council, the Radcliffe Award of Great Britain, The Song Company (Sydney), Donne in Musica (Italy), Women in Music (UK) and the University of Western Australia.

Articles about Fowler can be found in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (Macmillan, 1980), and also in the latest edition of 2001; in the Pandora Guide to Women Composers (Pandora, 1994, 2001) and in The New Grove Dictionary of Women Composers (Macmillan, 1994).

Fowler has written about her music in The Contemporary Music Review, Vol 11 (Harwood Academic Publishers, 1995) and the Journal of the International Alliance of Women in Music, Vol 12, No 1 (Oceanna Music Publications, 2006).

Latest news: A commission from the University of Western Australia for a piece for 3 cellos has been released on CD; A commission from "Music in the Village" in Walthamstow, London for "Uncoiling" for oboe and piano was performed in London 2012 by two different duos; A commission from the Whitehall Orchestra of London for a Concerto for alto saxophone and orchestra was premiered in London in 2011 with Amy Dickson as soloist, and a repeat performance took place in NSW with the Ku-ring-gai Orchestra. A piece for SSATB "Lament for Dunblane" was featured in the City of London Festival, 2011 and broadcast by BBC Radio 3. A new piece "Magnificat 3" was premiered by the Kaleidoscope Ensemble with Corinna Dolso (sop) in Ipswich (UK) in October 2013.

Fowler writes "My aim is to convey a sense of direction in music, which is guided by an evolving logic, such that one cannot foresee the next step, but which will have a sound of inevitability when it arrives. I like to build-in a bias which allows change while retaining inner consistency. One needs to stimulate the imagination, step off the known paths, see a vision: Then one can communicate a sense of excitement!"

Jennifer Fowler — current to January 2014[1]

Works for Percussion

Echoes from an Antique Land - Percussion Quintet
Towards release - Marimba; Violin