Paul Grabowsky is a pianist, composer, arranger, conductor. Born in Papua New Guinea, Paul was raised in Melbourne. During the late 1970s he became prominent in the music scene in Melbourne, working in various jazz, theatre and cabaret projects. Since then, Paul has had a distinguished career including composing for films, founding the Australian Art Orchestra, and in 2020 was announced as the MSO’s 2021 Composer in Residence.
He lived and worked in Europe and the US from 1980-85, during which time he performed with many jazz luminaries including Art Farmer and Johnny Griffin. He returned to Australia in 1986 and established a reputation as one of Australia’s leading jazz musicians with such bands as his own trio and sextet, the Wizards of Oz and as musical director for singer Vince Jones.
He has written the scores for over twenty feature films in Australia, the UK and US including ‘Innocence’ (Paul Cox), ‘Last Orders’, ‘The Eye of the Storm’, ‘Words and Pictures’(Fred Schepisi) and ‘Shiner’ (John Irvin). His television credits include the series ‘Phoenix’ and ‘Janus’ and the Emmy-winning ‘Empire Falls’. His works for the theatre include four operas and various multimedia works. His most recent opera, created for soprano Emma Matthews, ‘The Space Between’, with libretto by Steve Vizard, premiered at Arts Centre Melbourne in September 2018.
He has won seven ARIA awards (most recently in 2019 for his recording ‘Tryst’ with singer Kate Ceberano), two Helpmann awards, several APRA and Bell Awards and a Deadly award. He was the Sydney Myer Performing Artist of the Year in 2000, and received the Melbourne Prize for Music in 2007. He was the 2010 Australian National University H.C.Coombs Fellow.
He was Artistic Director of the Queensland Music Festival from 2005-2007 and was Artistic Director of the Adelaide Festival of Arts for 2010 and 2012.
He is currently a Professor at Monash University, and director of the Monash University Academy of Performing Arts and the Monash Art Ensemble. In 2014 he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for services to music and arts administration.