William Gardiner is an Australian composer of music for acoustic and electronic instruments. He is a graduate of the Yale School of Music, where he was mentored by David Lang, also studying with Martin Bresnick and Aaron Jay Kernis, and the University of Sydney, where his teachers included Anne Boyd and Paul Stanhope. In addition to formal studies, he has worked in electronic music composition, production and sound engineering with Ben Frost at Bedroom Community/Greenhouse Studios in Reykjavik, Iceland, with the support of the Australia Council for the Arts.
In 2017 he was commissioned by the composer John Adams and his partner Deborah O’Grady to write a cello concerto for the Berkeley Symphony and cellist Tessa Seymour, to celebrate Adams’ 70th birthday year. Also in 2017, the LA-based chamber ensemble wild Up premiered the first version of ALL IS FOR THE BEST—a video opera co-created with DRELLER, and still under development—as part of The Industry’s First Take 2017 program. In 2015, wild Up also gave the premiere of Chiaroscuro, a work for large ensemble, as part of the American Composers Forum National Composition Contest, in which Gardiner was selected as one of three winners.
Gardiner’s output includes works for symphony orchestra, chamber music, early music ensembles, electronic media, and amplified instruments, drawing on his ongoing activity in sound engineering and electronic production, with influences ranging from the French baroque to contemporary electronic music. His work has has been performed at venues including the Melbourne Recital Centre, the Sydney Opera House, Yale University’s Morse Recital Hall, and the Roy and Edna Disney/Cal-Arts Theater in Los Angeles, and has been supported by the Presser Foundation/Yale School of Music (Graduate Award, 2013), the Australia Council for the Arts, the Ian Potter Cultural Trust, the American-Australian Association, and Ars Music Australis. He has also been a winner of the Albany Symphony Orchestra’s ‘Composer to Center Stage’ competition (2013), the Sarah Theresa Makinson Prize for Musical Composition (University of Sydney), and a finalist in the Carslbad Composition Competition, the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, and the APRA Professional Development Awards. He was a 2014 fellow in composition at the Bang on a Can Summer Festival at Mass. MoCA. In 2019, he will be in residence at Beaumont House in South Australia, as part of the Prelude residency program of the Bundanon Trust.
Gardiner’s work has been credited as “absolutely stunning...a bright beacon of things to come” (Adam Mills, Mess+Noise) and “emotional without emotions, and utterly spellbinding” (Elizabeth Hambleton, New Classic LA).