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Bruce Crossman


Born: 1961


Bruce Crossman’s sound world embraces Asian traditional musics, free form improvisation and European influenced interval-colour sonority towards a personal Pacific identity.

Crossman (Auckland, 1961) studied composition with Ross Edwards, David Blake and Jack Speirs. His qualifications include a Doctor of Creative Arts from Wollongong University, Master of Philosophy from York University and Master of Music (Distinction) from Otago University. He holds the position of Associate Professor and Coordinator of Composition in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts at Western Sydney University.

His music explores Asian-Pacific influences such as Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Filipino gongs and chant resonances with harmonic colour sonority emphasis in Gentleness-Suddenness (2012), Double Resonances (2008) and Daragang Magayon Cantata (2001). Crossman’s aesthetic is influenced by cross-disciplinary ideas from Chinese esthetics, Japanese aesthetics and architecture, Filipino-Australian poetry and abstract art.

Crossman’s music has been featured throughout the Asia-Pacific region including at the ISCM World Music Days (Sydney), Tongyeong International Music Festival (Korea), Asian Music Week (Japan), Tunugan (Philippines) and Pacific Rim Music Festival (USA). He has won a number of awards including the Queensland Philharmonic’s Corbould Prize and a Finalist Nomination for ‘Vocal or Choral Work of the Year’ at the 2007 Australian Classical Music Awards. Crossman was Mozart Fellow at the Otago University in 1992. Filigree Films have published a DVD of the music-theatre work Gentleness-Suddenness (2014). Wirripang have released several discs of his music including an album of compositions, Double Resonances (2008), and one of piano improvisations with multi-instrumentalist Michael Atherton, Resophonica(2009).

Recent commissions include Spirit-Presence for jiari-shakuhachi and jinashi-shakuhachi (2012), commissioned for performance at the 2013 European Shakuhachi Festival; Resonance of Red for sitār, tablā and harpsichord (2013), commissioned by Vive’ Vinçent for performance at the interdisciplinary event SLOW; Dying of the Light: Pacific Resonance for Peter for soprano saxophone (2014) by Katia Beaugeais; Emergence From Darkness for harp (2015) by Akira Kobayashi; Emergence From Autumn Darkness to Spring for jiari-shakuhachi and jinashi-shakuhachi (2015), commissioned for performance at the 2016 Japan Federation of Composers concert in Tokyo; and Blooms Late When Spring is Gone... for solo erhu (2016), written in celebration of the birth of the new research centre at Western Sydney University: the Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture.

I see the spiritual essence in my own work as an expression of a Christian faith whereby composition becomes a deep-felt emotion and spiritual sensibility linking heaven and earth. In this sense I feel a connection to Asian creativity, especially in its valuing of the intrinsic-spiritual dimension of sound and its capacity to engage emotionally, as well as moving across art-forms aesthetically.

Composed (29)

...Back to the centre

for piano, 5m

After Resonance Blues

for piano, 11m


for clarinet, cello and piano, 9m

Coat-tails Flying

chamber opera in three acts, 1h 18m

Colour Resonances and Dance

for orchestra, 17m

Daragang Magayon Cantata

for mezzo-soprano, piano and (optional) dancer/chanter, 17m

Dialogue for Jerusalem

for clarinet and piano, 12m

Double Resonances

for piano and percussion


for two violins, 9m

Expression in Blue

for violin and piano, 6m

Fierce Tranquillity

for string trio, 15m


for mezzo-soprano, violin, percussion and piano


for SATB choir, 6m

In Gentleness and Suddenness

for shakuhachi, 4m


for baritone and guitar, 2m


for piano, 3m


for flute, clarinet, bassoon, piano, violin, viola and double bass, 15m

Not broken bruised-reed

for piano, percussion and violin, 11m

Pacific Dancing

for orchestra, 11m

Pezzo Languendo

for piano, 5m

Piece No. 1

for orchestra

Piece No. 2

for orchestra, 6m

Rituals for Soprano and String Quartet

for soprano and string quartet, 30m

Sound Rituals

for orchestra, 15m


for jiari-shakuhachi and jinashi-shakuhachi

Te Kooti's Song

for piano, 7m


for guitar, 10m

Winter Journey from a Prague Spring

for oboe and chamber ensemble, 24m

Resources (1)