Philip CZAPŁOWSKI bio / orchestral chamber solo / gallery media contact

Various resources



Australian Music Centre

Monash University

National Library of Australia

"A Composer Connects"

"A lament in music"

You Yangs Landscape

"Last Sunday was the first airing of his horn solo, You Yangs Landscape, which takes its inspiration from a Fred Williams painting.

Beginning with a simple, upward-rising arpeggio that acts as a kind of recurring reference point, this work explores the contrast between normal horn sounds and muted stopped notes.

More Tennyson than John Shaw Neilson, this short work makes a welcome addition to a pretty slim repertoire. Evans presented a convincing case for it in spite of a few fluffed notes"

Clive O'Connell - The Age, 30/08/2004

Concerto for violin & strings

"The most obvious of the composer's constructional elements is his device of holding the fabric together through a recurrent motive that acts as both fulcrum and springboard for the discreet segments.

More interestingly, there is an emphasis on technical challenge addressed to the soloist that I can't recall being so pronounced in Czaplowski's earlier Pro Arte-premiered concertos for oboe and flute.

Yet, along with its many jumps in mood, harmonic language and degrees of difficulty, this new concerto has an engaging nature, Mogilevski giving a solid, disciplined account of the penetrating and individualistic solo line."

Clive O'Connell - The Age, 1/10/2003


"Phillip (sic) Czaplowski chose to represent Young and Jackson's by its most famous attribute, Jules Lefebvre's nude study Chloe. Czaplowski's piece considers the young model who sat for the portrait and revels in wistful and lyrical patterns. There is some delightful solo violin writing, engagingly played by Mark Mogilevski."

Martin Ball - The Australian, 8/5/2003

"...Czpalowski's (sic) Chloe chiefly comprised a valse-type movement of sentimental charm, a light-spirited if melancholy musical picture of the era that produced Young and Jackson's famous nude."

Clive O'Connell - The Age, 7/5/2003

"Local composers Brenton Broadstock and Philip Czaplowski honoured the proceedings with inspired compositions for string orchestra. ...Czaplowski's Ode to (sic) Chloe, after Lefebvre's famous painting at Young and Jackson's Hotel, is retrospective in style, finding its inspiration in the minuet."

Xenia Hanusiak - Herald Sun, 6/5/2003

"In the last few years, Czaplowski has developed a style which is certainly contemporary, but which also allows for expressiveness and a sense of direct communication with his audience."

ABC 24 Hours Magazine, November 2001

Concerto for clarinet & strings

"Sunday saw the final Pro Arte concert for the year, notable for the premiere of Philip Czaplowski's Clarinet Concerto, and the appearance of David Thomas in this and the Copland Concerto.

...Czaplowski's concerto also opens peacefully, employing a recurring motive throughout. Thomas made a more impressive display in the Australian piece, not because there are less demands than in Copland's work but because the work is more assimilable, graceful and emotionally heart-on-sleeve."

Clive O'Connell - The Age, 14/09/2001


"One of the shining performers was violinist Zoe Black. She is an alluring and sensual musician with an appealing charisma. Partnered by pianist Ian Munro, she performed Philip Czaplowski's Innocence for violin and piano.

With its minimalist repetitions, and its Michael Nyman film-score quality, this contemporary piece was attractive in its opaqueness but also lulling in effect."

Xenia Hanusiak - Herald Sun, 15/8/2000

Via Dolorosa

"Czaplowski's new work is a concerto for flute and strings, taking its impetus from the Way of the Cross, although the composer clearly does not intend the work to be seen as simple image construction. Soloist Prudence Davis found ample opportunities to exercise her facility in lengthy phrase-spinning and busy passage-work.

Nevertheless, the work's language is accessible, the form is lucid and the piece has emotional variety; a welcome addition in an undernourished field."

Clive O'Connell - The Age, 2/8/99

Concerto for oboe and strings

"Philip Czaplowski's Concerto for Oboe and Strings... was music which stemmed from the neo-spiritual school of Arvo Part. However, Czaplowski did not allow his score to float on some ethereal premise. Rather, the solo oboe line dictated a potency which, at the work's world premiere, Crellin smoothly articulated."

Joel Crotty - Herald Sun, 22/8/97

"A highlight of the program was Philip Czaplowski's one movement Concerto for Oboe and Strings written for Jeffrey crellin. It is a work that espouses musical values rather than mere instrumental ones..."

Geelong Advertiser, 6/9/97

"...a particularly effective work which exploits the plaintive, singing quality of the oboe. This aspect was shown off to exquisite effect due to Crellin's exceptional tonal control."

Johanna Selleck - Herald Sun, 2/9/97

"Czaplowski's new concerto speaks with a quiet, sonorous voice."

Clive O'Connell - The Age, 21/8/97

This was a well-crafted, structurally simple, and accessible miniature that was given its first performance less than a year ago. Its predominantly contrapuntal textures suited the oboe and strings, which again played with excellent cohesion and control.

David Dell - Christchurch Press, NZ 5/98


"Probably the most glaring example of a composer looking back to go forward was with Czaplowski and his Threnody, which had its first performance on Tuesday night. Once, this composer wallowed in modernist systems and wrote music accordingly. Since the early 1990s, however, Czaplowski has been embracing (occasionally with exuberance) the idea of melody and functional harmony and the result has been imbued with much craftsmanship.

His latest string orchestral work Threnody, written in response to his mother's death, moves through a gamut of emotions, from dark and brooding to passionate, sweeping phrases of emotional release.

As well as Czaplowski's use of a traditional compositional approach there are faint hints of influences from Britten, Gorecki and Barber. But unlike the arch formation within Barber's famous Adagio for Strings, Czaplowski has a greater need to hone in on smaller units that act as building blocks. This working material has been assembled by the composer in strategic ways for both immediate and long-term dramatic effect. Credit must be given to double bassist Steve Reeves, who superbly anchored the piece and articulated his solo passages with dedication.

Joel Crotty - The Age, 26/6/98

...Threnody for strings by Melbourne composer Philip Czaplowski led the audience gently into the 20th century. There were no jarring shocks in store here, but rather long exposed threads of melody which wove together in an emotional song for the dead, written in memory of the composer's mother. ...[a] brief respite into a more spiritual, contemplative mood..."

Johanna Selleck - Herald Sun, 26/6/98

Soundtrack to the feature film The Caretaker

"...the melancholic soundtrack that accompanied the opening of the movie... The cinematic framing melded with the tense violin and piano based score that I alluded to earlier wasn't just limited to the opening frames. They both relentlessly combined to make this a fine looking movie loaded with tension".

"The music of the film, made up of mostly slow, moody piano and deep trembling sound cues, is appropriate to the style..."

"One criticism which seems frequent in a few reviews is that the music grated. I felt the opposite in all honesty, and thought that it benefitted it as more than anything it emphasised the tragic nature of this potential end of civilisation."

"Possessed of a beautiful (though poorly volume-mixed) score..."