The University of Western Australia extends its deepest sympathy to family, friends and colleagues of Roger Smalley AM, Senior Honorary Research fellow at the UWA School of Music and one of the leading pianists, composers and teachers of composition of a generation, who has passed away in Sydney at the age of 72.
Professor Smalley came to UWA in the early 1970’s, first as a visiting artist and later as a lecturer in composition. In 1985 he became a permanent member of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and later was promoted to Professorial Fellow. Most recently, he was made a Senior Honorary Research Fellow.
In 1989, British-born Professor Smalley became the first artistic director and conductor of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra’s New Music Ensemble, which he continued to conduct until 2000.
In 2001 was awarded an Australian Government Centennial Medal for service to Australian society and the humanities in the study of music and in 2004 he was proclaimed a West Australian State Living Treasure. His concertos, sonatas and symphonies were performed worldwide.
Head of UWA’s School of Music, Dr Alan Lourens said Professor Smalley’s contribution to music will echo through Australia and beyond for generations to come.
“Roger was at the forefront of musical development within Australia. His intellect and vast knowledge of musical development, not to mention an amazing ear, made him one of the most sought after teachers on composition in Australia,” Dr Lourens said.
“Recent prize-winning composers, such as Carl Vine, James Ledger, Iain Grandage and current Head of Composition at UWA, Dr Chris Tonkin , all gained much from his direction. There are many stories about his time at UWA. A man of great warmth and humanity, he will be sorely missed at UWA, and in the wider musical community.”
David Stacey (UWA Media and Public Relations Manager) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716