What sparks creativity for you?
My passion is to create a journey for people through music and present to them a diversity in musical styles with the didgeridoo and engage with audiences about the uniqueness of Australia. It has been a specific passion of mine to work closely with classical music and composers to develop and sustain music for the didgeridoo in this environment.
William Barton began learning the didgeridoo from about the age of seven from his Uncle, Arthur Peterson who was an elder of the Wannyi, Lardil and Kalkadunga people. After his Uncle passed, William was given the special privilege by his family of holding onto Uncle Arthur’s didgeridoo, which is quite a rare honour in Aboriginal culture because when an old song man passes away, they usually break his didgeridoo into pieces or even throw it into the fire to silence the sound.
For over 20 years, William has forged a peerless profile as a performer and composer in the classical musical world, from the Philharmonic Orchestras of London and Berlin to historic events at Westminster Abbey for Commonwealth Day 2019, Anzac Cove and the Beijing Olympics. His awards include Winner of Best Original Score for a Mainstage Production at the 2018 Sydney Theatre Awards and Winner of Best Classical Album with ARIA for Birdsong At Dusk in 2012.
William has an Honorary doctorate from the Griffith University (2009) and the Sydney University (2010). He has won and an ARIA award for the best classical album (with Kalkadungu, 2012) and a Sydney Theatre Award for the Best Score in a Mainstage Production, in 2018 for Long Forgotten Dream.
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We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we work — the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. We honour their elders both past and present, and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples