“Australia is an exciting tabula rasa for fresh musical creativity”, says young composers’ festival director.

When Carlo Forlivesi announced he was going to bring an international young composers’ festival to Australia, his decision roused its share of skepticism. “People would say, ‘But why Australia? It’s so far from everything’”, he chuckles with an air of poised self-assuredness. The 41-year old Italian composer, and his partner in crime, co-founder of Forme uniche della continuità nello spazioStefano Fossati, however, knew what they were doing.

“Australia is not like Berlin or Paris,” Forlivesi continues. “While these places may be interesting, they have long histories of intense artistic activity and, because of this, they have arguably said all the can. Australia is fresh and so, in a way, young artists feel freer to express themselves here.”

A fondness of what Forlivesi describes as “distinctive geographic areas” – or parts of the world lying outside the traditional power regions of western classical music – has been a defining feature of Forme unichesince its inception in 2008. In fact, the inaugural festival took place in Tokyo, where Forlivesi and Fossati were based at the time. It’s since migrated south from the Japanese capital, taking...