Peter McNamara

Peter McNamara (b. 1980) was born and educated in Sydney’s outer western suburbsand is gaining a reputation as one of Australia's emerging composers.  Between 1999 and 2011 he studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with composers such as Michael Smetanin, Bozidar Kos and Trevor Pearce, graduating with a PhD.  He has worked as a freelance composer across a variety of areas including orchestral, chamber, electronic and film composition and is currently a lecturer at the Sydney Conservatorium.

McNamara’s works have been performed by a variety of major orchestras and ensembles in Australia and overseas including Ensemble Modern, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Insomnio, Orchestra Victoria, Orkest de Erepijs, Ensemble Offspring, Tokyo Sinfonietta, Ensemble Nomad and the Stroma Ensemble.  His work has appeared at numerous international events in Australasia and Europe including a number of performances at ISCM World New Music Days conference and Gaudeamus Music Week in The Netherlands.

McNamara has a growing number of works published by Wirripang Pty Ltd and  is represented by Alexander Street Press. He also has a growing number of commissions from various artistic bodies and ensembles nationally and internationally.  This includes Perpetual Inertia for the Dutch Orchestra and Ensemble Academy, The German Hills for Ensemble Offspring and Duo-Charged for Ars Musica Australis and the Sydney Conservatorium. In 2006 and 2012, he was the composer-in-residence at the Campbelltown Arts Centre.  His work The Styx for chamber orchestra and solo percussion was commercially released on CD in 2009, recorded by Ms. Claire Edwardes and the Kammerklang Chamber Orchestra.

McNamara has received many awards including second place at the 2011 Young Composers Meeting with Orkest de Ereprijs (Cross Modifications), the 2008 2MBS-FM composition award for Orchestra (Modes of Deception), the 2007 Betty Amsden Award for Orchestra (Auftauchen der Nacht) and second place in 2007 Asian Composers League Young Composers Awards (Landscape of Diffracted Colours).  McNamara also received a High Credit from the Lepo Sumera International Composition Contest in 2003 for his orchestral works Shadows of Fallacy.

Peter McNamara is represented by the Australian Music Centre (, and his works are published with Wirripang (  His unpublished music is also available to purchase online at


1. Gaudeamus Music Week 2008 [First Musical Excerpt]

2. "Distorted Waters" from the Irino Foundation Concert 2010

3. "Zodiac Turbulence" [from 18:00]

4. Irino Foundation Promotional Video 2010


Credo - Peter McNamara

Composition provides an emotional outlet for me, and a way to express the timbral sounds conceived by my imagination.

Photograph by Deen van Meer


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