Australian Biography: Peter Sculthorpe


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1999, 26 Minutes.

Composer Peter Sculthorpe describes how Australian history and landscape have influenced him and tells of the events in his life that have found expression in his music.

In the 1950s and 1960s many Australian artists, writers and musicians established their homes and creative bases in Europe or America because the Australian cultural product was seen as inferior. However, Australia was the inspiration for composer Peter Sculthorpe, who chose to come back to live and work in the land of his birth. This decision by a man of such exceptional talent has had a profound effect on the history of music in this country.

From the 1950s, Sculthorpe has presented Australia both to itself and to the rest of the world through music. His compositions trace the landscape, representing its contours, beauty and harshness. From Sun Music to Kakadu his work has evoked Australia. His distinctive style has been influenced by Aboriginal and Asian music, which have added another layer to his work and brought him international acclaim.

In this interview Peter Sculthorpe explains, with warmth and eloquence, the nature of his endless journey to create the perfect work of art - a journey which continues to motivate his work today.

A Film Australia National Interest Program. Made in association with SBS TV. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.

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NB The Australian Biography series (1-11) are only available for sale within the territories of Australia and New Zealand.



Producer/Director/Interviewer: Robin Hughes

Year: 1999

Running Time: 26 mins

Classification: Exempt from classification

Curriculum Links:  Beliefs and Values, Contemporary Australian Society, Drama, English, History, Media Studies, Music, SOSE/HSIE, Visual Arts.


Facing the Music

SKU 199710802
Brand Film Australia

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