About Judith Clingan

Judith Clingan AM has been a professional composer, performer, conductor and music/music theatre educator for fifty years. Born in Sydney in 1945, she trained in voice, bassoon and composition at the Canberra School of Music, and in Early European Music at the University of Sydney. In her youth Judith founded and directed the Canberra Children’s Choir and the Young Music Society. In 1981-82 she studied conducting and music education at the Kodaly Institute, Kecskemet, Hungary. On her return she founded a large and complex tuition and performance organisation named Gaudeamus (which became known as Music For Everyone, and which is now incorporated into Music for Canberra), and was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM). Since 1990 Judy has been heavily involved with music in Steiner schools around Australia and worldwide, running workshops and providing children and adults with experience and a love of music.


1972 Composition Award, Hobart

1981 ACT Council for Social Services Award

1981 Hungarian Government Scholarship

1981 ACT Travel Grant

1984 Retrospective Composition Award, Australia Council (for Modal Magic)

1985 Commissioned to write opera by Kodaly Institute of Australia (wrote and performed Francis)

1986 made Member of the Order of Australia (AM)

1988 Bicentennial Commission  (wrote and performed Nganbra)

1989 ANU Creative Arts Fellow (wrote and performed Terra Beata – Terra Infirma)

1990 Composer-in-Residence, Canberra (wrote and performed Kakadu and Marco)

1991 Inaugural Canberra Times Artist of the Year

1991 Sounds Australian Award for Kakadu

1991 Commissioned by Canberra School of Music Choir to write The Birds’ Noel

1992 Australia Council Composition Fellow (wrote Songs of Solitude, started The Grandfather Clock)

1994 grant from Carclew Youth Arts, SA (wrote and performed A Pawn in the Game)

1995 Touring grant from SA Arts

1996 Composition awards, Sydney, for The Birds’ Noel and Songs of Solitude

1997 Grant from Women’s Composers Festival (wrote and performed Adam’s Rib?)

1998 Grant from artsACT (wrote and performed The Magician’s Nephew)

1999 CAPO grant, made CD Choralations

1999 Churchill Fellow, researching music theatre in Europe and UK

2001 ACT Creative Artists’ Fellow (wrote and performed Resonances, finished The Grandfather Clock)

2002 performed The Grandfather Clock

2004 Artist in Residence, Bulgaria – vocal improvisations with dancer

2014 Art Music Award for Individual Excellence – relating to her 2013 So Good a Thing festival

COMPOSITIONS include operas, music theatre for a range of ages, cantatas, masses and other sacred works, Christmas music, SSA, SAB and SATB choral music, chamber and orchestral music, music for recorders, music for film, educational music. Many scores are held by the Australian Music Centre; others are available from Judith: judithclingan@me.com

For further information, refer to website judithclingan.net.au

Articles and interview transcripts from Judith:


SPIRITUS AUSTRALIS – The spirit of Australia

What is Wayfarers – talking to Indian media

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