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 driving rhythmic elements, heartfelt lyrical expression drawn from his extensive performance experience as a classically trained bass baritone, a lushly textural approach to orchestration, combined with contemporary performance practices, unique one-off performances, and the delicate incorporation of electronic music elements. Connor’s music has been commissioned and performed across Australia and abroad, including from ensembles such the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Australian String Quartet, New York based groups including Bang On A Can and the Mivos Quartet, and performers such as Katie Noonan, Karin Schaupp and Claire Edwardes.
In 2019, Connor was announced as the Composer-In-Residence of the 2019 Australian Festival of Chamber Music, making him the youngest in the Festival’s 29-year history. Under the direction of acclaimed pianist and AFCM Artistic Director Kathryn Stott, the Festival will feature five of Connor’s works, including the Goldner String Quartet giving the world-premiere of his String Quartet No. 3, which was co-commissioned by the Festival. Connor has also held residencies and fellowships with the prolific New York new-music collective Bang On A Can in 2017, with his music featured at their annual Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA, and with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
In 2015, Connor was named winner of Chamber Music Australia’s Australian New Works Award, with his winning work, String Quartet No. 2, becoming the set work in the 7th Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition at the Melbourne Recital Centre. He has also been awarded an APRA Art Music Fund Award 2018, the Brisbane City Council’s Lord Mayor’s Young and Emerging Artists Fellowship 2018, a Brisbane Arts and Cultural Innovation Award 2017, the Percy Brier Memorial Composition Prize 2016, and the Donald Tugby Musicology Prize and Scholarship 2015.
Connor is the artistic director, producer, and co-founder of the Brisbane-based contemporary classical concert series “Argo”. Founded in 2015, Argo creates immersive experiences bending the boundaries of artform, fostering creative collaborations between artists of various mediums. In 2018, Connor was nominated and shortlisted as a finalist in the APRA AMCOS Art Music Awards in the “Excellence by an Individual” category for his artistic direction of Argo throughout its 2017 Concert Season.
As a performer, Connor is one half of “We Are Breathing” alongside American cellist Ben Baker. After the pair met in July 2017 when both were artists-in-residence at the MASS MoCA, 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 drive to create art that breaks down the barriers between genres and audiences. The result is 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. In 2018 We Are Breathing undertook their debut tour in Australia with four shows along the east coast, including a performance in the line up of City Recital Hall’s new all day new-music festival Extended Play.
Connor is a trained classical bass, performing throughout Australia. 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 by the Australian Music Foundation Award, the Brisbane City Council Lord Mayor’s Young and Emerging Artists Fellowship, the Tait Performing Arts Association, a Churchie Foundation Scholarship, The Julian Baring Award and by the Big Give Campaign at RCM. Connor has a Bachelor of Music (Honours), graduating with First-Class Honours in 2016 from the University of Queensland.
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:
Lord Mayor’s Young and Emerging Artists Fellowship, Brisbane City Council – 2018 & 2019
Julian Baring Award 2018 – Tait Memorial Trust
Tait Performing Arts Association Award 2018 – towards my studies at the Royal College of Music
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