Listen to Annika’s original composition submitted with her entry.

Annika Ganesh [Age 12, SA]

Composition: Unum

My name is Annika Ganesh. I am 12 years old and in year 6 in Wilderness School in Adelaide. My passion for music began when I started piano lessons at 5 years old. When I was 7 years old, I saw a performance of Benjamin Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. It impacted me greatly, particularly the viola, and I was inspired to start learning the instrument. I also started flute and bass guitar lessons through the Band Program in my school.  For the past 3 years I have been a member of the Adelaide Youth Orchestras and I am currently the principal violist with the Adelaide Youth Sinfonia.

I enjoy the process of storytelling through music and orchestrating different instruments to impact the sound and feel of a piece. Last year I started composition lessons with Adelaide-based composer Sebastian Collen who has been an amazing mentor. With his encouragement, I entered one of my compositions in the ASME Young Composers Awards and winning first place in the primary schools section.

I enjoy being involved in many music ensembles and performing and have been a prize winner at many Eisteddfods and competitions. My instrumental teachers Rosanne Hammer (piano) and Erna Berberyan (viola) continue to inspire and encourage my love of music. Currently, I am preparing for my AMEB exams in grade 7 Piano, grade 6 Viola and grade 4 Theory of Music.

Composition inspiration

My composition is titled Unum which loosely translates from Latin to “One”. I was inspired to write a heroic fanfare, but not one that describes supernatural strength or the ability to fly. This composition is a tribute to everyday heroes who are united in making a positive difference.

I was influenced by boldly dramatic film scores I have played in the Adelaide Youth Orchestra such as Gladiator by Hans Zimmer and the Superman Theme by John Williams. I also gained inspiration from instrumental pieces I have learnt such as Pour Le Piano by Claude Debussy and Water Nymph by Miriam Hyde. These pieces have taught me the importance of movement built into passages to create atmosphere.

My piece begins with a suspenseful and soft opening passage which builds up in the brass section and is the main part of the fanfare. The other orchestral parts consist of variations on the thematic material. During the lead up towards the coda I have used crotchet triplets to make it seem as if the music is staggering towards the final chord. At the very end, a distant echo of uncertainty can be heard in the flute and bassoon, which originates from a portion of the fanfare’s theme.