William Gardiner

The Ian Potter Cultural Trust 20 Dec 2012

William Gardiner

In 2011, William Gardiner was supported to undertake a Masters of Music (Composition) at Yale University, USA, and study under the mentorship of American composer and Pulitzer Prize winner David Lang.

William Gardiner is a composer of electronic and acoustic music who holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts (Music) from the University of Sydney.

In 2011, William was accepted into the Masters of Music (Composition) at Yale University, USA, with the unique opportunity to study under the mentorship of American composer David Lang for a full year. Normally students change teachers every semester. However, William’s main motivation in attending Yale was to benefit from the Pulitzer Prize winner’s teachings. 

During his time at Yale, William completed music coursework, and grew familiar with a new musical repertoire and advanced his knowledge and capabilities in electronic music. William describes being part of a vibrant community of the world’s finest young musicians as “transformative”.  He made lasting musical connections, strong friendships and also met fellow Cultural Trust grantees Holly Piccoli, Ashley Smith and Aura Go.

William reported that he lacked confidence when he began the course but then went from strength to strength during his tutelage with Lang. Having never had composition lessons before, Lang encouraged William to challenge himself and develop new skills. William also created strong networks with his musical peers, fellow students and other professionals.

During this time, William learned a great deal about the craft of composition but also about the practicalities of being a professional composer. He completed a major piece for large ensemble and three smaller-scale pieces, all of which have now been performed. One of William's compositions earned him the John D Jackson Scholarship (for best composition for strings written during the first year). 

Despite his exciting career developments in the United States and plans to pursue doctoral study, William seems eager to ultimately return to Australia. He sees huge potential for growth in his field in Australia and hopes to play a role in that growth and perhaps to teach.