Dr Matthew Orlovich (b. 1970) is a freelance composer based in Sydney, Australia. He studied composition at the University of Sydney under the supervision of Associate Professor Eric Gross and Professor Peter Sculthorpe, gaining the degrees of BMus (1st Class Honours & University Medal) and PhD.
His catalogue of scores has garnered the interest and admiration of performers and audiences worldwide and includes music for solo instrumentalists, large and small ensembles, choirs, bands and orchestras.
Highlights of the catalogue include Lo, there is light! (commissioned by The Harvard University Choir, USA), Crazy Logic for saxophone and piano (performed by Gerard McChrystal and Mary Dullea at Wigmore Hall, London), Tides of Ocean (performed by the Asia Pacific Youth Choir at Milan Expo), Aviation (performed by BBC Singers, London), Carnival Capers (commissioned by soloist Barry Cockcroft for performance with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra at the World Saxophone Congress XVI, Scotland), Communion of Reparation for Our Lady of Sorrows (commissioned for performance by the Sydney Conservatorium Chamber Choir upon the occasion of the centenary of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music), Butterflies Dance (performed by Latitude 34 at the inaugural Gondwana World Choral Festival, Sydney), Flying Colours (a saxophone concerto commissioned for performance by the United States Navy Band, Washington D.C.) and Escapade (a concerto for saxophone and band performed by soloist Jérôme Laran with L’orchestre d’harmonie H2O, Toulouse, France).
Matthew’s most recent contributions to the repertoire include a festive choral work for Acappellago (Chicago, USA), a Vivaldi-inspired setting for the choir and soloists of London College of Music (UK), a setting of poetry by Søren Kierkegaard for soprano saxophone and choir commissioned by Brisbane Chamber Choir (QLD, Australia), a concertino commissioned for premiere performance by the Sydney Conservatorium Saxophone Orchestra with soloist Dr Michael Duke at the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, two new a cappella choral works for Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, as well as new works for Nexas Quartet (Sydney, Australia), Duo Imaginaire (Germany), HD Duo (Sydney, Australia), saxophonists Joseph Lallo & Clifford Leaman (Australia/USA), Ensemble Phantasmagoria (Portugal), plus music for European and US premiere performances at Contrasti Festival (Trento, Italy) and Hot Air Music Festival (San Francisco, USA).
When not composing music, Matthew enjoys getting outdoors to walk, swim, cycle, kayak and sail. To keep in touch with Matthew’s composing endeavours, head over to his website!
Matthew Orlovich is our featured composer for June 2023 – copy and paste the link below into your URL to read our interview with him.
Another Australian work with that characteristic “Orlovich sound” – fresh, buoyant, vital and energized, but without weight and drama. It is always clean on the palate. The sample recording is by the National Youth Choir of Australia.
Combines the text of Brightest and Best of the Sons of the Morning with two verses of Australian bush poet “Banjo” Paterson’s Sunrise on the Coast. Excellent Christmas piece. This work was commissioned in 1996 by The Harvard University Choir.
A six-minute piece that uses the Victor Carrell poem which describes the poet’s return to Australia by sea.
The musical setting of the poem falls broadly into four continuous sections. The opening section comprises a rhythmic and lively music as the choir sings of standing over “tides of ocean”. There follows a calmer music as the poem carries us into the night with images of moon-paths and flying fish which “flash sparks like jewels,” culminating in a “southward dip” which involves all the tenors and basses descending to their lowest registers. The slowly emerging Southern Cross and the excitement of its presence is reflected in the third section of the work by the gradual accretion of voices forming a natural crescendo. The zenith of this crescendo leads the piece to its joyful and spirited conclusion.
Orlovich has a keen ear for the way different texts resonate with each other. This piece uses the traditional Latin text Dulcis Jesu Memoria and Victor Carrell’s Voice of the River which draws on a series of images which address “love” as it is found in some of its myriad manifestations. Commissioned by Graeme Morton’s St Peters Chorale and suitable for a good high school or college choir. It could also be used in church situations as an anthem.