Robert Dahm (b. 1981) is fast emerging as one of the most interesting compositional voices of Australia’s younger generation. His music explores liminal states between meaning and meaninglessness, forcefulness and diffuseness, order and chaos, purity and distortion. He is interested in the problematisation of musical objects, and the development of syntaxes and contexts that allow such problematisation.
Robert’s music has been heard on four continents under the auspices of the Melbourne International Arts Festival, the ANAM Contemporary Music series, Nexus (Brisbane), Kunsthalle Würth (Germany) and Danse-Bordeaux (France). His work has featured in the programmes of ensembles such as ELISION, Ensemble Linea the Arditti Quartet, Freshwater Trio, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Confluences Trio, Aark Ensemble, and the Song Company, and soloists such as Richard Haynes and Jessica Aszodi.
Robert has taken part in the prestigious Fondation Royaumont Voix nouvelles programme (under the guidance of Brian Ferneyhough, Liza Lim and Francesco Filidei), the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Cybec 21st Century Composers’ Program (under the mentorship of Chris Dench), and has been recognised with prizes such as the Ormond Exhibition and was a finalist for Orchestral Work of the Year in the Australian Classical Music Awards.
As a conductor, Robert has premièred, recorded and/or workshopped dozens of new Australian works, from his own music to those of composers such as Barry Conyngham, Martin Greet, Shaun Jones, Benjamin De Murashkin, Steven Hodgson and Tim Shawcross, having worked with musicians such as Ensemble Linea, Confluences, the Melbourne University Opera Project, 5:fifteen and others.
In 2009 Robert edited, along with American composer Ray Evanoff, the inaugural issue of the CeReNeM Journal, which focussed on the 2009 Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. He will also be responsible for editing issue no 3. In 2006 he was invited to guest-edit an issue of the musicological journal Context centred around precompositional processes, to which he also contributed a substantial composer interview with Jay Alan Yim.
Robert is based in Berlin.