Stephen Whittington

Senior Lecturer at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, University of Adelaide

Stephen Whittington (b.1953) is a composer, pianist, writer and music critic. A native of Adelaide, he studied at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, and has travelled extensively in Asia, Europe and the Americas, lecturing and performing. He now directs the Electronic Music Unit at the Elder Conservatorium of Music (where he is also Assistant Director - International) and teaches composition, music theory, acoustics and electronic music. With a keen interest in other art forms, he premiered his one-man multimedia show The Last Meeting of the Satie Society at the Adelaide Festival in March 2000. In 2003 he produced a new one-man show Mad Dogs and Surrealists, incorporating music, poetry and film, and in 2006 Interior Voice: Music and Rodin. In June 2006 he appeared at the Sydney Opera House with Ensemble Offspring for the Sydney International Film Festival, presenting a program of live music for four classic silent movies. In 2007 The Wire (London) listed his performance of Triadic Memories by Morton Feldman as one of 60 Performances That Shook the World over the last 40 years. He performed the music of Morton Feldman and John Cage in China in 2008. Recent performances include Rhythmus 09 at the 2009 Adelaide International Film Festival, and performances at the Vienna International Dance Festival 2009 (Austria) and at the Printemps Musical d'Annecy (France) in 2010. His string quartet ...from a thatched hut, commissioned by and dedicated to furniture designer Khai Liew, was premiered in August 2010. A 4-CD set Journey to the Surface of the Earth with Domenico di Clario (piano) and Stephen Whittington (piano, prepared piano, toy piano, gong) was released in September 2010. Music for Airport Furniture, for string quartet, was premiered in September 2011. In September 2012 he directed John Cage Day, a 10-hour long performance which included his own performance of ASLSP (As SLow aS Possible) on the Elder Hall organ, lasting 8 hours, and a Musicircus incorporating many works by John Cage, including Concert for Piano and Orchestra. With the assistance of a grant from the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, he spent May-July in Kyoto, Japan, studying the relationship between Japanese garden design and music. In December 2012 he appeared as pianist and composer at the Turbulences sonores festivel in Montpellier, France. Fallacies of Hope for string quartet and piano was premiered in May 2012 by the Australian String Quartet with the composer at the piano.


  • –present
    Senior Lecturer and EMU Co-ordinator, University of Adelaide