Connor D'Netto (b. 1994) is a composer of contemporary classical music, described as "the model contemporary Australian composer" by ABC Classic FM.
Throughout his works, Connor balances the quasi-neoclassical with post-minimal influences, combining them with contemporary performance practices, unique one-off concerts and performances, and the delicate incorporation of electronic music elements and production techniques. His music combines driving rhythmic elements with heartfelt lyrical expression drawn from his extensive performance experience as a classically trained bass baritone, contrasted with textural devices that push expectations of an instrument’s capabilities. Connor’s music has been commissioned and performed across Australia and abroad, including commissions from ensembles such the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Australian String Quartet, the prolific New York based collective Bang On A Can, and performers such as Katie Noonan, Karin Schaupp and Claire Edwardes.
In 2017, Connor was selected as a fellow of Bang On A Can. As part, his music was featured at Bang On A Can's Summer Music Festival at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts (MASS MoCA) in July, having travelled to the USA to take part in a three-week residency with the ensemble.
In 2015, Connor was named winner of Chamber Music Australia’s Australian New Works Award, with his winning work, String Quartet No. 2 in E minor, becoming the set work in the finals of the 7th Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition at the Melbourne Recital Centre. He has also been awarded a Brisbane Arts and Cultural Innovation Award 2017 for his contribution to the Arts, the Percy Brier Memorial Composition Prize 2016 for his Texture No. 1 for Orchestra, and the Donald Tugby Musicology Prize and Scholarship 2015 by the University of Queensland for exceptional contribution to the field of music research.
Connor is the artistic director, producer, and co-founder of the successful Brisbane-based contemporary classical concert series “Argo”. Founded in 2015, Argo creates immersive art music experiences bending the boundaries of artform, fostering creative collaborations between artists of various mediums. Its focus is on creating experiential and concept driven events that fuse classical instruments and ensembles with contemporary influences and new modes of musical expression. To find out more about Argo, head to www.argosound.com.
As a performer, Connor is one half of “We Are Breathing” alongside American cellist Ben Baker. After the pair met in July 2017 at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, where they were both artists-in-residence, they sought to collaborate on a project bringing together their various musical backgrounds spanning classical, folk and electronic music, their love of diverse musical styles from minimalism, electronica, alt-rock and jazz, and their passion and drive to create art that breaks down the barriers between genres and audiences. The result is We Are Breathing, a new music duo creating raw, tender and emotional sounds straddling across musical worlds. With Ben on cello and Connor on synths and live electronics, their music fuses Connor’s unique compositional voice and Ben’s virtuosic playing with live signal processing and electronics creating complexly layered experiences.
Connor is a trained classical bass, having previously studied with Shaun Brown. He is also a talented photographer, videographer and visual-artist, creating and shooting not only material for his music, but also for a number of other artists and musicians.
Currently Connor is based in London where is he studying his Masters of Music at the Royal College of Music. He is a Tait Trust Scholar at the Royal College of Music, and his studies are further supported with an Australian Music Foundation Award, a Churchie Foundation Scholarship, and by the Big Give Campaign at RCM. Connor is concurrently working on his PhD through the University of Queensland, where he completed a Bachelor of Music (Honours) graduating with First-Class Honours in 2016.
Brisbane Arts and Cultural Innovation Award 2017 – Brisbane City Council
For contributions to the Brisbane Arts scene
Percy Brier Memorial Composition Prize 2016 – University of Queensland
Texture No. 1 for Orchestra
Donald Tugby Musicology Prize and Scholarship 2015 – University of Queensland
For the most outstanding research contribution to the field of musicology, for his 2015 thesis.
Australian New Works Award 2015 – Chamber Music Australia
String Quartet No. 2 in E minor
Residencies & Fellowships:
Bang On A Can – 2017 Fellowship and Residency
Summer Music Festival @ the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts
Tait Trust Scholar – Royal College of Music
Australian Music Foundation Award 2017 – towards my studies at the Royal College of Music
Churchie Foundation Scholarship – towards overseas postgraduate studies