winsome evans

Winsome Evans graduated from Sydney University with a Bachelor of Music Honors Degree in composition. After postgraduate studies, and several years teaching music in a secondary school, she took up a position as tutor, then senior lecturer, and now Associate Professor, in the Music Department at Sydney University. A wide range of musical interests from mediaeval to modern music (both Western and non-Western) have led to a strong intellectual and practical involvement with musical styles.

Besides being one of Australia’s busiest professional harpsichordists, she also plays about 25 other wind, string, percussion and keyboard instruments. In 1966/7 she founded The Renaissance Players, a unique ensemble of musicians plus poetry reader, clown and dancers, to perform mediaeval, Renaissance, Baroque and folk music. This professional early music group have performed all over Australia and South East Asia, and has released a number of CDs, including The Sephardic Experience (19911-2) and Testament: Archangels' Banquet/Shepherds' Delight (14197-2)

In 1975, with co-founder Robert Miller, Winsome Evans helped established Sydney Baroque, a group of professional musicians who specialize in playing Baroque instruments; in 1984 to this was added another group, directed and organized by Winsome Evans, called the Baroque Guild.

Other groups with whom she has been associated include the Sinfonia of Sydney, the Leonine Consort, the Song Company, the Australian Ensemble, the Sydney Philharmonia Choir, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and the Don-Burrows-George Golla Jazz Duo and Quintet. From its inception until 1989 (approximately 14 years) she was also the regular harpsichord soloist and continuo player for the Australian Chamber Orchestra with whom she toured Australia (including Tasmania), and New Zealand many times.

She has composed and arranged music for many A.B.C. radio feature programs (including the theme music for the ever-popular Watership Down), for TV documentaries, films, as well as for the Renaissance Players’ Christmas Pudding Concerts.

At Sydney University, besides teaching aspects of composition and music history, including historical performance practice, to generations of students, she is actively involved with all sorts of musical events, as an organizer, promoter, director, as well as a performer.

In 1980 she was awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Honours List and the NSW Jaycees’ Award for services to music, and in 1985 the Order of Australia medal for services to music.