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Peter Sculthorpe
, c. 1969

by David Moore

gelatin silver photograph, selenium toned

Peter Sculthorpe AO OBE (1929-2014), composer, was born in Launceston, Tasmania, and educated in Melbourne and Oxford. He began composing at the age of twenty, encouraged by the conductor and teacher Sir Bernard Heinze. From 1963, he taught composition at Sydney University. His major works include Sun Music 1 (1963), Sun Music Ballet (1968) and Rites of Passage (1974). Later pieces were influenced by Balinese gamelan pieces and music of the Pacific. Sculthorpe’s compositions have been described as ‘showing an appreciation of the Australian landscape long understood by painters’. David Moore took this photograph – one of the earliest works acquired by the National Portrait Gallery - near the home of the composer’s painter friend, Russell Drysdale, at Tallow Beach north of Sydney.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Purchased 1998
Accession number: 1998.17