Born in the northwest Tasmanian town of Smithton, Don Kay studied music at the University of Melbourne and subsequently took private lessons in London with expatriate Australian composer Malcolm Williamson. He returned to Tasmania in 1964 where he has remained ever since, lecturing at the Conservatorium of Music at the University of Tasmania. Tasmania has been a potent force in his music, as revealed in the titles of a number of his works, such as Hastings Bay (1986), Tasmania Symphony – The Legend of Moinee (1988) and The Edge of Remoteness (1996). Among his other works are six piano sonatas, a sonata for violin and piano, and a full-length opera, The Bushranger’s Lover (libretto by John Honey), which was given a concert performance in Hobart in November 2014. Don Kay was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 1991 “for service to the arts particularly in the field of music composition” and was awarded a Centenary Medal in 2001 “for outstanding contribution to music, music education and composing in Tasmania”. In 2010 he was awarded the Clive Lord Memorial Medal by the Royal Society of Tasmania.
© Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra