You worked with Southern Cross Soloists as a Next Gen artist in 2017. What did you learn through that process?

Ah, was that 2017!? It feels like no time ago! Though 2017 was the first year when I was an official Next Gen artist my relationship with Southern Cross Soloists actually goes back quite a bit further. My first work with the ensemble was actually back in my first year of undergrad where I arranged Sibelius’s Swan of Tuonela for the group. Since then I have been consistently working as an arranger with the ensemble and for the last two years I have been lucky enough to be their composer/arranger in residence.

John Rotar John Rotar. Photo: supplied

The relationship with the Soloists has been one of great creative challenge and joy! Being able to consistently work so closely with such a fantastic group of musicians has been pretty much a composer’s dream. As a composer it can be easy to become very insular and inwardly focused but in working with  real life people one must out of necessity think of musical ideas with their real world function in mind, and not just as messily calligraphed blots...