Ian Munro interview in the Sunday Herald Sun

Composer is happy to play on
CATHERINE LAMBERT
Sunday Herald Sun
Sunday 28/8/2011

IAN Munro may be making his name as a classical composer but he will always be a performer at heart. “I don’t think I would ever willingly give up performing,” Munro says. “It has been the big part of my life for 30 years.” It also helps his composing.

He may not be keen to perform while he is in a composing phase but he urges all musicians to compose their own music. “Otherwise there is no way to understand how difficult it is to compose,” he says. “It’s incredibly difficult to write even halfway decent music. It helps musicians to appreciate the enormous effort that goes into writing.”

Even when he is not composing, he hears music all the time. “Sometimes it crowds my own ideas when I’m composing. When I’m trying to put something together I basically stop practising, which is great for the composing but not performing,” he says. “When it’s time to go back on to the stage I find I’m totally out of practice.”

Luckily he hasn’t been composing for a while so he’s fully prepared for his tour with the Goldner String Quartet. He has been performing with the quartet for more than 20 years and they have become great friends. Their two Melbourne programs include Munro’s Piano Quintet No.2 which combines two works he composed several years ago – Dreams from 2002 and Drought and Night Rain from 2005. “This work has undergone quite a lot of revisions to get it to work because both movements are quite orchestral,” he says.

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