In 2021, Perth-based composer Olivia Davies was announced as the next Composer in Residence (and the first woman in the position) at the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, a three-year residency scheduled to commence in 2022. To frequent WASO patrons and Perth music-lovers, this appointment was delightful if anticipated; the 2021 world premiere of Davies’ work Stratus was incredibly well received, with critics praising the textural soundscape and sophisticated use of orchestral forces.  

Olivia Davies

Even WASO’s Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser Asher Fisch weighed in: “[Davies] is very unique, and she is not giving in to pressures of the trend of the times – she stays her own route, and I think that she will go very far. It’s great that we can give her a platform where she can hear her works performed.”  

To Davies, such praise is both worthy and loaded. “It’s a huge compliment to have someone say you have a really unique voice, or you don’t necessarily sound like anyone else, and to have...