Connor Fogarty [Age 21, SA]

Composition: Razzmatazz!

Listen to Connor’s original composition submitted with his entry.

Listen to Connor’s final composition recorded by the Australian Youth Orchestra.

Connor Fogarty is an emerging composer based in Adelaide, South Australia. He began his composition studies in his hometown of Toowoomba at the University of Southern Queensland under the tutelage of Professor Rhoderick McNeill. He graduated from USQ with distinction and was awarded the Creative Arts Faculty Medal. In 2019 he moved to Adelaide to continue his studies at the Elder Conservatorium of Music with Professor Graeme Koehne and Professor Charles Bodman Rae. He graduated with first-class honours and is now continuing with postgraduate studies at the Elder Conservatorium, where his research topic involves writing a new concerto for clarinet and wind orchestra. Connor has had works performed by symphony orchestras, wind orchestras, chamber groups and soloists, and has collaborated with filmmakers, dancers and theatre artists. In 2019 he won the inaugural Adelaide Wind Orchestra Young Composers Competition and two movements of his first string quartet were performed by the Australian String Quartet. Connor seeks to write music that audiences can immediately engage with, emphasising rhythmic drive, lyricism, rich harmonies and evocative textures.


When composing, I often fall into the habit of taking myself and my work a bit too seriously and forget why I became a composer in the first place: because it is a lot of fun! In this piece, I let go of all urges to be ‘artistic’ or ‘serious’ and let myself play around and have as much fun as I possibly could. The result is a composition that is rhythmically charged from the outset, and it refuses to slow down. Driving ostinatos in the winds and strings create a background texture that is strongly reminiscent of, and inspired by, American minimalism. Over this texture, trumpets and horns blare out a catchy, syncopated melody. I came across the word ‘razzmatazz’ when looking up synonyms for ‘fanfare’ (coming up with interesting titles is not a strength of mine). The word seemed to encapsulate the brash, exciting nature of the piece. I hope it is as enjoyable to listen to as it was to write.