Oliver Dostal [Age 19, NSW]

Composition: The Golden Gallery

Listen to Oliver’s original sound file submitted with entry.

I have always been drawn to music and its evolution from thought and feeling to notes on a page. I can remember around age six sitting by the piano and writing down music in my musical shorthand as I did not know music notation at the time. I soon realised just how passionate I was about music and my compositions. I knew I would pursue it and it would be my chosen career – so I set about making my decision a reality.

In 2018 I was awarded first place in the school for the Higher School Certificate (HSC) Music 2 and the Music Extension. Upon graduation, I was listed on the Honorary HSC Distinguished Achievers for scoring in the top 10% in Music in NSW. In 2019 I was accepted into the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and my tertiary music journey began. I relished the fact that my life revolves around music in every way possible.

My favourite part of music is being fully immersed in the creative process taking place in my studio. I spend the best hours of my day behind my digital audio workstation (DAW) writing for commissions as well as producing various collections of works. I also love to share my music on weekends, playing my compositions and requested songs at my local nursing homes for the beautiful residents often from morning to evening.

I like an interesting challenge, and this is largely why I find myself entering several competitions a year. In 2019 I was ranked in the top 6 for Arcadia Wind as a merited composer for my musical contribution to their ensemble, and this year 2020, I’ve had the absolute pleasure of being chosen to participate in the National Artology Fanfare Competition. I look forward to future challenges and opportunities in which I can extend myself with new as well as old fields of music and composition.

Fanfare Inspiration

Whilst reading through the instrumentation requirements for this work I was immediately drawn to the brass section. I began to experiment with ways in which I could generate sonorities of sound that combined fanfare-like motifs with an overarching theme of Jazz. I had not written in such a style before and therefore welcomed the challenge.

My composition “The Golden Gallery”, sets out to musically represent the ‘Golden Age’ of music. It travels back through time to the Jazz era; specifically, the swing band scene with Gatsby-like attendees, arriving at concert hall recitals. Audience members bedazzled in pearls and neatly ironed tuxedos would rise for the beginning of a bold fanfare. I imagined it to be something like my work which combines both the worlds of classical and jazz music.