Lachlan Skipworth was announced as Composer in Residence with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra in January 2016. Lachlan is a young, award-winning composer from Western Australia, whose distinctive music has been performed throughout Australia and the world. The appointment marks a continuation of the Simon Lee Foundation’s Artist in Residence program, which has operated in partnership with WASO since beginning in 2012.
Lachlan’s celebrated skills as a composer will no doubt add another dimension to what is already an exciting phase for WASO. Recently, WASO’s premiere performance of Lachlan’s Clarinet Concerto was awarded Performance of the Year at the prestigious 2015 Art Music Awards. The performance featured soloist Ashley William Smith and conductor Baldur Brönnimann. Lachlan has composed works for a number of large and small ensembles including the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Sydney Youth Orchestra, the Song Company, Synergy Percussion and various international artists at the Musica Viva Festival. Back in 2013, Lachlan was awarded an Early Career Residency from the Australia Council, through which he wrote his award winning Clarinet Concerto.
Over a number of years, the Simon Lee Foundation has nurtured and supported the professional development opportunities of WASO musicians, including violinist Shaun Lee Chen and Double Bass player and luthier Andrew Tait. In 2012, WASO and the Simon Lee Foundation created a banner ‘Artist in Residence’ program that enabled WASO to provide career pathways, mentoring, and help for artists as they bridge the gap between tertiary/early career to a full time professional career. The program also fulfils a key aspiration of the Foundation
– to build an alumni of young artists in WA that can connect, create, support and nurture each other.
The first Artist in Residence was Christopher Dragon who was appointed to the position of WASO Assistant Conductor. This has been supported by the Simon Lee Foundation for the last two and half years (2013 - 2015).
Evan Kennea, WASO’s Executive Manager of Artistic Planning stated “With a growing list of significant accolades to his name, Lachlan’s involvement in this program adds a new dimension to what is already a very exciting time for the orchestra. We are proud and grateful of the philanthropic partnership we have with the Simon Lee Foundation. The foundation’s ethos is to Champion the Human Spirit, and their assistance of Lachlan Skipworth, Chris Dragon, and previous WASO musicians certainly supports that ethos.”