Queen Honours Chiswick Aussie
Composer John Carmichael receives OAM in Birthday Honours list
John Carmichael , long time Chiswick resident, dual nationality Australian/British, has been awarded an OAM (Medal of the Order of Australia) ‘for services as pianist and composer’ in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
The award comes at a particularly exciting time as in this coming August, John will be in Melbourne, where he was born, for the Premiere of his Piano Concerto No. 2.
An event occurring when John was just 13 years old was, he feels, crucial in leading him towards music composition. A holiday task from the teachers at his school was to write an essay on What I would like to be in 20 years time. John asked if he could write his essay in music rather than words because in 20 years time he hoped to be a composer. Permission was given, and Opus 2 was handed in with all the other essays. John gained 2nd prize for his effort, but somehow, the Melbourne newspapers picked up the story and printed small articles about the budding composer who was then invited to perform his work on the radio.
This notice and encouragement at this early age, John feels, was a most important stimulus towards realising this dream he had of becoming a composer.
After finishing his studies in Melbourne, John Carmichael studied piano in Paris at the Conservatoire National where he gained the Diplôme Etranger in 1954.
Moving to London, John became one of the early pioneers in the field of Music Therapy when he was engaged in 1956 by the newly formed Council for Music Therapy to work at Stoke Mandeville Hospital - the centre for paraplegics, and where the Paraplegics Olympics were born.
In 1984 James Galway premiered Carmichael’s Phoenix - Concerto for flute & orchestra in the Sydney Opera House and included it in his Flute Masterpieces Series recordings on RCA. Galway later opened the Hollywood Bowl season with Phoenix with Michael Tilson-Thomas conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.
On May 31st this year, John Carmichael's new work Escapades was premiered at St Martin-inthe- Fields , and in November his Concierto Folklorico for piano four hands & orchestra will be performed at St. Michael & All Angels, Chiswick W4.
John is a founding member of a group of composers, Composers Present, who give regular concerts in West London and include Celia Harper and Andrew Wells , also residents of Chiswick.
A new work, a Piano Trio , has been commissioned for performance in London next year, and recordings of his Aria & Finale and Escapades will be released.
June 17, 2011