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John Wayne Dixon

John Wayne Dixon

John Wayne Dixon, born in Sydney in 1945, attatined a Master of Arts (Honours), University of Wollongong and LTCL and taught composition, music history, performance and sound studies in the Faculty of Creative Arts, University of Wollongong, from 1975 until his retirement in 2005.

He studied composition with John Antill and Edward Cowie and also, while living in London in the early seventies, took some conducting lessons with Sir Adrian Boult and Vernon Handley, later working also with Werner Andreas Albert in Brisbane, which gave him the opportunity to work with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. These opportunities led to his being appointed as Music Director of the City of Wollongong Symphony Orchestra, which he directed from 1976 until 1997. During these years this orchestra performed several of his compositions including the ‘Overture For a Holiday’ and the ‘Lamentations’ for strings.

In 1992 he was appointed by the New South Wales state arts ministry to the steering committee of the Orchestras of Australia Network (TOAN) which later became Orchestras Australia, and was a foundation director of that organization and its overseas liaison officer, communicating with like organizations in Scandinavia, Europe, the United States, Japan and Mexico (1993-1999). He was also a member of the Board of Governors of the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre, Wollongong, from 1989-2001.

Among his achievements as a composer is his “Colonial’ Symphony (his 3rd symphony), which was a Bicentennial commission and which was first performed in Wollongong in 1988 under the direction of Edward Cowie. This work makes its impact by the use of traditional Australian folksongs and is a large-scale piece for vocal soloists, chorus and large orchestra. There are also ensemble pieces, chamber works, song cycles, solo instrumental pieces and several orchestral pieces.

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