Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University graduate Timothy Munro has received his third Grammy Award – the only Australian to have won this year.
The 37-year-old and his sextet eighth blackbird took out the Best Chamber Music Performance category at the 58th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.
The Chicago-based musician was flautist and co-artistic director of the ensemble from 2006 to 2015, where he performed at major concert venues in 40 US states and abroad, worked as soloist with America’s finest orchestras, curated three music festivals, and premiered more than 100 new works.
He says he is thrilled by the honour and could not have achieved such international success without crucial early encouragement from Queensland Conservatorium, the University of Queensland and the National Academy of Music.
“I am now a solo as well as orchestral and chamber music performer, arranger and presenter – in the US and Australia – and my career in the adventurous world of new music feels suddenly very busy, challenging and above all exciting.”
Tim says his goal is to draw audiences into an engrossing and whimsical musical world – one he continues to achieve through his diverse work as a flautist, speaker, writer and teacher around the world.
An exceptional homegrown talent
Queensland Conservatorium Director Professor Scott Harrison said the third-time winner was an exceptional musician and one for the State to be proud of.
“It’s incredibly inspiring to see one of our graduates on the world stage, celebrated among the very best in the industry,” he says.
“It’s testament to the hard work and passion that pervades everything Tim does and shows just what can be achieved from Brisbane-born musicians.”
Tim accepted an adjunct appointment with Queensland Conservatorium in 2014, which sees him conduct masterclasses, lessons, side-by-side performances and talks both in person and online for staff and students.
As part of the last Brisbane Festival, he premiered Pulitzer Prize winning composer John Luther Adams’ new work Sila, The Breath of the World, alongside 80 of the Conservatorium’s finest musicians in 2015. He will return to work with woodwind students later this year.
According to Professor Harrison, such visits form part of an ongoing commitment to ensure students receive access to international artists of the highest calibre.
“Bringing visiting artists such as Tim to our campus each year ensures international perspective is always part of the learning environment that students experience.
“It’s a vital component of their growth as professional musicians, which gives them great insight into the minds of some of our greatest exports.”
Tim has upcoming collaborations planned with Chicago composer Dave Reminick and Pulitzer Prize-finalist Chris Cerrone (a 20-minute work exploring the emotional potency of extreme acoustic spaces, funded by a New Music USA grant).
He is also co-music director for a large-scale musical project, involving 1000 performers, planned for its US premiere in Chicago in 2017.