Sydney Opera House
The new fanfares will ring out in the Opera House from September
John Rotar
UQ student John Rotar ... "passionate about music"
30 June 2014

University of Queensland music student John Rotar has been selected to write a piece of music to replace the traditional cue bells in the Sydney Opera House.

More than 120 young musicians entered the Fanfare competition, with eight selected to workshop their compositions with the Australian Youth Orchestra and composer Nicholas Vines.

The 30-second pieces of music – fanfares – will be played to call Opera House patrons to their seats.

“I was thrilled to win this competition as I am passionate about music,” said Mr Rotar.

“I have been composing since I was nine, playing piano since I was six and playing trombone since I was 12.”

Last year Mr Rotar won the national Wagner Society prize for composition, resulting in a $10,000 prize and his work, Ein Lied aus Wagners Murmelden Grab, being performed by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

He has received commissions from and had his works performed by the Bundaberg Youth Orchestra and the Queensland Youth Orchestra’s junior string ensemble and has written arrangements for the Southern Cross Soloists.

The eight Fanfare competition winners met in Sydney this month to workshop their compositions.

"Seeing the Sydney Opera House for the first time was exciting," Mr Rotar said.

"As a young composer it's not every day that you have a chance to hear your work performed by such great musicians or in such a legendary place like the Opera House."

The young composers’ new fanfares are expected to be ringing out in the western foyers of the Opera House from September.

Mr Rotar, in his second year of UQ Bachelor of Music studies, majoring in trombone performance, would love to enter the music industry after graduation but is considering postgraduate study.

“I would really like to become a part of the music world,” he said.

“As an art form, music is very important in society, and with further study I would hope to accrue, as a composer, the largest number of tools possible to allow me to make a contribution to the craft.”

Mr Rotar is co-principal trombone of the UQ Symphony Orchestra and a member of the UQ chorale and the Brisbane Chamber Choir.

Contact: John Rotar, 0455 292 568; Kristen Johnston, communications officer, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, ph +61 7 3346 1633,