was 10 years old when I started learning classical guitar, after playing pop and rock for a year. I owe much of my early classical development to Adelaide teacher, Andras Tuske, who developed my skills and guided me towards studying in Canberra at a tertiary level under renowned performer and pedagogue, Timothy Kain. I am proud to now perform alongside Tim in Australia’s much loved guitar quartet, Guitar Trek.

Matt Withers. Photo © Josie Withers 

I greatly admire Tim’s strong history of commissioning and working with composers, generating new music for the guitar, which is a relatively young instrument. Through Tim’s career, music that he has commissioned by the likes of Nigel Westlake, Graeme Koehne,  Ross Edwards and many more has become a staple in the classical guitar repertoire. This motivated me to form my Australian Music Composition Competition in 2014 as a way to continue to raise the profile of the classical guitar as both a solo and chamber music instrument, support composers, build the repertoire, and promote Australian music.

The Competition runs biennially and is now open to all ages with an emerging composer award for under...