Ronan Apcar (b. 2000) is a rising young Australian composer and pianist. Described as “amongst the top composers of his generation” (Dr. Huw Belling), Apcar is emerging as apromising Australian musician with an “accomplished pianistic technique and penetrating musical insight” (Dr. Edward Neeman).
Photo by Panagiotis Karamanos
Apcar began his first formal lessons in piano at age ten, later also taking an interest in composition. He was then accepted into the Sydney Conservatorium of Music High School to complete his final two years of secondary studies. Here, he studied a double major in composition under Dr. Huw Belling and piano under Elizabeth Powell, and a minor in trumpet with Bruce Hellmers.
At the Conservatorium High School, Apcar was the recipient of various awards and was noted for his “sensitive approach to all styles of music” (Elizabeth Powell). He has become particularly known for his interpretation of 20th- and 21st-century repertoire, especially of Australian and lesser-known composers. During his time there, he joined Australian-Slovenian pianist Katarina Grobler to perform piano duo repertoire in their well-received debut concert Organised Noise.
As a composer, his achievements and awards include the nationwide Artology Fanfare competition and the Sydney Chamber Opera Masterclass in 2017, the James Easton Memorial Composition Award in 2018, and more recently the 2019 Willgoss Choral Composition Prize, where his work Preludes will be premiered by the Burgundian Consort. In piano, he has performed at many significant engagements, including at Government House, Sydney, and was the 2018 Conservatorium High School Concerto Competition winner, which followed with an appearance as guest soloist with the Penrith Symphony Orchestra.
Recently, Apcar returned from studying piano performance at the Moscow P.I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory under inaugural Sydney International Piano Competition winner Irina Plotnikova. He is also the 2019 recipient of the annual Margaret Smiles Accompaniment Prize at the ANU School of Music.
Apcar currently studies a Bachelor of Music at the ANU School of Music, under Wendy Lorenz for piano and Dr Alexander Hunter for composition.