Compositions and Commissions

You can find details of my works below.

Use the shortcut menu to the right to navigate to works of interest.
Most works are available for sale and performance.

For my Soundcloud, click here.
Selected works can be purchased at the Australian Music Centre.
For sheet music not available at the Australian Music Centre, contact me here.

I am an Australian Composer who writes music to prompt discovery and creativity. My works have become known for inspiring people to question the world around them.

I have been sought out to write works for diverse ensembles and contexts due to the breadth of my experience outside composing, as a musician and a teaching artist. This has included working with some of Australia’s finest chamber ensembles alongside community groups and schools. I frequently integrate theatrical elements, audio-visual, and electronic components to my work.

My past compositions include a significant body of new music written for flutes and piccolo (developed with my long-time collaborator and partner Kiri Sollis), new music for mandolin orchestras, and music for eclectic chamber group The Griffyn Ensemble, which I direct, compose and play mandolin for. I have also written extensively for school and community ensembles, including several works for musical theatre.

“Altogether it was an artistic coup, sensitively conceived and rendered”

Chris Latham

Festival Director, The Canberra Times

“Sollis’ music is engagingly visual”

Jennifer Gall

The Canberra Times

“There is no doubt the composer is a skilled orchestrator”,

Rhiannon Cook

Australian Music Centre

“Sollis’ 4-movement piece, written in early morning hours during 2011, is as scary and mysterious as the story, Picnic at Hanging Rock”

Clinton White

CityNews

Commission new works

I have been commissioned to write new music by a range of organisations and musicians including Synergy Percussion, the Australian Society of Music Educators, the Canberra International Music Festival and the Australian Embassy of Sweden, as well as individual donors.

My experience as a chamber musician has allowed me to create idiomatically written music which is practical to perform. I often write works which explore social and cultural thematic material. This has included Ginningininderry, a choral work that traces the evolution of place names in the Canberra region; …so she moaned…, a string quartet based on the work of anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss; Hit Me!, a take on the pop culture of Britney Spears; and Northern Lights, written in the arctic with astronomer Fred Watson.

I am adept at writing music for diverse ages and standards. The process of working with commissioners and collaborating musicians to co-develop a unique creative outcome is one of the most rewarding aspects of composing music for me. Whether it is writing for The Australian String Quartet, overseas groups such as the peärls before swïne experience (Sweden), or a suburban Primary School choir, each experience is wonderfully creative and collaborative.

Contact me to discuss commissioning and co-creating new works of music.

Selected Highlights

Northern Lights

Northern Lights was written after travelling through the Arctic in November 2014, in search of the Aurora Borealis, with Astronomer Fred Watson. This seventy minute piece contains fourteen movements representing the passing of twenty-four hours, in search for the sun. Premiered by The Griffyn Ensemble in 2015.

Hanging Rock

A cello sonata in four movements based on excerpts from Joan Lindsay’s 1967 novel. Premiered by cellist Rachel Johnston and pianist Ashley Hribar in 2016 at the National Gallery of Australia. A video of the fourth movement is included above.

Seven Snake Skins

Commissioned by Mugga Homestead, Canberra Museum and Gallery. Written for a heritage piano that was from the 1800s homestead. The piece was based on seven different historical accounts that were documented to take place in and around the homestead.

Get in touch to find out more about performing or commissioning new music

List of works

Below you will find a collection of some of my works. There is more information at the Australian Music Centre, which also sells selected scores and parts to my music.

If you would like to know more about any of the pieces, need information about obtaining sheet music and recordings, or you want to speak to me about commissioning your own piece, please reach out, I would love to hear from you.

Large Scale Works

The Dirty Red Digger 65′ digital projection, fl, vn, db, mandolin/gtr, hp, soprano premiered by The Griffyn Ensemble 2015 with support from ArtsACT and the Australian Government Northern Lights 80′ electronics, fl, vn, db, mandolin/bass guitar, hp, soprano premiered by The Griffyn Ensemble 2015 Southern Sky (Sisask, arr. Sollis) 70′ fl, cl, hp, soprano, perc, mandolin/gtr/bass gtr, astronomer premiered by The Griffyn Ensemble 2012 and Fred Watson

Instrumental Works with Voice

Ballad of a Highlands Man (guitar version) 12′ 2 x fl, gtr, tenor premiered by Matt Withers, Kiri Sollis, Lina Andonovska, and Tim Hansen 2006 (chamber version) 20′ fl, cl, hp, perc, vn, va, vc, tenor premiered by The Griffyn Ensemble 2008 Comic Book Opera 70’ A musical theatre piece in 2 acts for children. Book and libretto by Liz Argall. premiered and commissioned by the Young Music Society 2009 Dinosaurs! 30’ A musical theatre piece in 1 act for children. Words by Cathy Petocz premiered and commissioned by Music For Everyone, with support from the Australia Council of the Arts, 2011 Liberty or Death! 15’ Site-specific installation for four antiphonal ensembles, narrator, and percussion premiered and commissioned by Music For Everyone, with support from the Australia Council of the Arts, 2010 Look Don’t Look and Umbilical Link 7′ fl, vn, db, gtr, hp, 3 x voices premiered by The Griffyn Ensemble and The Cashews, 2014 Rikki Tikki Tavi – 11′ fl, b cl, hn, perc, hp, vn, vc, voice premiered by The Griffyn Ensemble 2009 Three Bush Songs 10′ mandolin orchestra and Choir premiered by the Canberra Mandolin Orchestra and Canberra Boys Choir 2009

Orchestral/Large Band Works

The Arc Conscience 11’ Orchestra, Choir, and Visual Projection premiered by the Australian National University Chamber Orchestra 2005 Fantasy on Orion 12′ Brass Band premiered and commissioned by the Queensland Conservatorium Brass Band 2006 Homage to Carl Stalling 12′ Symphony Orchestra premiered and commissioned by the Ku-ring-gai Philharmonic Orchestra 2011 Just Answer It! 7’ Concert Band premiered by Lyneham High School Concert Band 2005 Logrono Suite 10′ Mandolin Orchestra premiered by the Canberra Mandolin Orchestra 2008 Perelandra Piccolo Concerto 20′ Piccolo & String Orchestra premiered by Kiri Sollis and Anthony Smith (piano version) 2010 The Princess and the Dragon 3′ Symphony Orchestra premiered and commissioned by the Ku-ring-gai Philharmonic Orchestra 2015 Secrets In A Shoebox (aka Live and Let Jive) 15’ Mandolin Orchestra premiered and commissioned by the Canberra Mandolin Orchestra 2013

Chamber Works

Beyond Opis 8′ cl, hp, vc premiered at Sound/Proof 2004 Cat’s Cradle 7′ Percussion Ensemble (8 parts) premiered by the Canberra Combined Grammar Percussion Ensemble 2006 City of Trees 17’ pic/fl/a fl/rec, cl/b cl, hp, vibes, soprano, mandolin premiered by The Griffyn Ensemble and commissioned by the Canberra Centenary 2012 Five Monkeys 4’ Variable Instrumentation premiered by the ANU Pre-Tertiary Program 2006 Flute Quartet 15′ pic/fl, fl, a fl, fl/b fl premiered by Lina Andonovska, Kiri Sollis, Naomi Isaac, and Rebecca Timoney 2006 Hanging Rock Sonata 25′ vc, pno premiered by Rachel Johnston and Ashley Hribar 2016 Happy Deathday Mister Robot 13′ cl, tpt, perc, pno, kbd, vc, db premiered by exhAust 2012 Hit Me! (Five Variations on a Theme) 4′ fl, b cl, hn, vibes premiered by The Griffyn Ensemble 2011 Ipanema Variations 16’ Sax Quartet, Clarinet Quartet, String Quartet, Guitar Quartet premiered and commissioned by Music For Everyone, with support from the Australia Council of the Arts, 2010 Mirage 10′ pic, glock premiered by Michael Askill and Kiri Sollis and commissioned by the Canberra International Music Festival 2012 PJ’s Wood House 4′ guitar quartet premiered and commissioned by the Canberra Classical Guitar Society 2012 The Raw and the Cooked – Overture and A Well Tempered Astronomy 36′ fl, ob, cl, trb, hp, perc, vn, va, vc premiered by The Griffyn Ensemble 2008 Tale of Two Frogs 6′ fl, ob, cl, hn, hp, perc, vn, va, vc premiered by the Griffyn Ensemble 2007 Three Mice Chillin’ 4′ oboe trio premiered by Megan Billing and friends 2012 Time to Breathe 9′ cl, 2 x gtr, perc, pno, vn, db premiered by dominantSEVEN and commissioned by the Darwin International Guitar Festival 2005 Trio – Three Movements 22′ vn, va, vc premiered by The Griffyn Ensemble 2009 “so she moaned, and as she uttered her moans” 6’ string quartet premiered by the Australian String Quartet 2011 Water Into Swine 5’ fl, vn, vc, pno premiered by the peärls before swïne experience and commissioned by the Australian Embassy of Sweden in Australia 2013

Solo Instrumental Works

Cabo de Homos 4′ Solo Guitar 2006 Letter to a Greek Nymph (Op 32) 7′ Solo Celesta premiered by Meriel Owen 2011 Rainbow Suite – Yellow, Blue, Red 7′ Solo Piano premiered at Sound/Proof 2006

Unaccompanied Vocal Works

Ginningininderry 4′ SATB premiered by the Radford College Choir and commissioned by the Australian Society of Educators, 2013 London (Op 6) 4′ TTBB Text by William Blake premiered at Sound/Proof 2005 Song of Songs (Op 20) 4′ SATB premiered and commissioned by The Australian Voices 2007 Song of Trees (Op 43), 8’ SAT premiered by Giralang Primary School and commissioned by the Canberra Centenary 2012 Tigress (Op 5) 6′ SSAA Text by William Blake premiered at Sound/Proof 2004 Thus Spake Zarathustra (Op 22) 6′ SSAATTBB commissioned by The Australian Voices 2007

For more examples of my past works, please visit my profile on the Australian Music Centre (AMC) website.

AMC

Reach Me

Here's how to contact me.

Belconnen Arts Centre
118 Emu Bank
Belconnen
ACT 2617, Australia

+61 411 113 769

contact@michaelsollis.com

Leave A Message

11 + 5 =