Corrina Bonshek (PhD Western Sydney University) is an award-winning Gold Coast based composer best known for her immersive, site-responsive large-ensemble works inspired by nature. Her music has been described as ‘sonically attractive’ (Loudmouth 2020), ‘meditative and euphonious’ (Journal of Music 2021), with ‘pared-back language and gentle, reflective motion’ (The Irish Times) and ‘connected to the essence of South-East Asian music – timelessness’ (Chinary Ung, 2015).
Corrina regularly composes for festivals and formed Corrina Bonshek & Collaborators to create and tour innovative music-led events that open the heart, uplift the spirit, and celebrate the connection of humans to nature and each other. She has created music for Bleach* Festival (2017,2018, 2021, 2023), Singapore Arts in Your Neighbourhood Festival (2022), Taipei International Festival of the Arts (2017), Rainforest Fringe Festival Sarawak Malaysia (2019), 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Arts & Culture Festival, Hervey Bay Whale Festival 2021, and more.
Corrina’s concert music has been recorded and released by leading Australian musicians including Alex Raineri, Jason Noble, Karen Schuapp and Bowerbird Collective. It is regularly performed in Australia, and increasingly in Europe, USA, and Asia.
Her collaborations in Asia, have been a major influence on her compositional voice, and have led to several prestigious international engagements including resident composer at the 2015 Experimental Thai Music Laboratory of Burapha University in Thailand, inaugural visiting scholar of 2016 Nirmita Institute for Young Composers in Cambodia. In 2018, she was a finalist in Australia Art Music Awards – Instrumental Work of the Year category for Up in the Clouds, a work for septet that reimagined Pipa sound-colours and gestures from her solo work for Taiwanese virtuoso Jasmine Chen. In 2022, she was a finalist in Queensland Music Awards Classical Music Category for Dreams of the Earth, performed by Ady Ensemble under the baton of conductor and artistic director Adrian Head.
She graduated with a PhD in Contemporary Arts in 2007 from University of Western Sydney, where she was the first music postgraduate to divide her submission equally between a composition portfolio and musicological thesis. She studied composition with Dr Bruce Crossman, and has since received mentoring from Grawemeyer award-winning composer Professor Chinary Ung.
Her major works include the highly successful 90-minute Song to the Earth, a live music installation for string orchestra and percussion, co-commissioned by 2018 Bleach Festival & Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Arts & Culture Festival, which has been adapted for 2019 Rainforest Fringe Festival Malaysia in collaboration with The Tuyang Initiative, and is the basis of sister shows Song to the Ocean and Song to the Mountain. Her site-specific work Journey to the Centre is permanently installed in Centennial Park Sydney’s new public labyrinth and can be heard by streaming or downloading the audio onto your mobile phone. There were 5,000 downloads of this piece in the first year, and was featured on ABC TV The Compass Program, ABC Radio National Off Track and is the subject of a 30-minute radio feature for ABC Radio National’s The Rhythm Divine called The Labyrinth meditation (available as a download).
Corrina was finalist in the 2018 Australia Art Music Awards – Instrumental Work of the Year Category for Up in the Clouds (premiered by All of the Above in USA), resident composer at 2015 Experimental Thai Music Laboratory at Burapha University in Thailand, inaugural visiting scholar at Nirmita Composers Institute in Cambodia in 2016, and composed music for Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra for 2017 Taipei International Arts Festival.
Corrina has been the receipt of numerous grants and awards from Creative Australia/ Australia Council for the Arts, Arts Queensland, City of Gold Coast and more. Between 2000-2007, Corrina was a sessional lecturer/tutor in musicology at University Western Sydney. During this time she presented numerous papers on experimental music-theatre (including her own creative practice) at conferences including National Conference of Musicology Society of Australia, Symposium of the International Society of Musicology, Graduate Music Symposia of the Sydney Chapter of the Musicological Society, and the annual symposia of University of Western Sydney School of Arts. Corrina has written articles for Australian Music Centre’s Resonate Magazine, Cut Common, Body Space and Technology, Contemporary Music Review and published a chapter in The Big Fish: Consciousness as Structure, Body and Space (Rodolphi). Between 2008-2021, Corrina has worked in online marketing and in 2014 cofounded Australian natural health business Better Earthing.
For her musings on composing and creativity 2014-2019, visit her blog