top of page


it is not easy to pigeonhole 

RONAN APCAR - one of australia's emerging young pianists who is quickly garnering a reputation of versatility, edge, and tenacity


his passion for all kinds of music - jazz to the avant-garde, classical to house music - translates into his exciting work as a musician, not just as a performer and a composer but also as a collaborator and an artist 

ronan currently attends the australian national academy of music

where he is studying with timothy young


It all began with a humble Nintendo DS console where Ronan found a little piano game. Wanting to play the 'real deal,' he began teaching himself how to play piano at age eight. After formal lessons and many bad habits unlearnt, Ronan attended the Sydney Conservatorium of Music High School to dive into the big wide world of music.


After building a reputation across many different circles in the local music industry as a performer, collaborator, and organiser in regional New South Wales, Sydney, and Canberra, Ronan has moved to Melbourne to spend some time at ANAM. Once he completed a Bachelor of Music (Performance/Composition) at the ANU School of Music, Canberra, where he was top of the graduating cohort in 2021, he spent time quietly refining his solo performance practice to break down the barriers of traditional art music concerts and bring new music to new audiences. He also enjoys challenging traditional concert attire and formalities by experimenting with venue, dress, speech, and by give the audience greater autonomy over the concert experience. Aside from getting more into free improvisation, there are plans to start experimenting with keyboards, laptops, samples, drum machines, and loop pedals...when there's a spare moment and an available residency!


Ronan has gone on to perform in a diverse range of genres, ensembles, venues, and settings. Whether upstairs at a food hall in Canberra, a cabaret lounge in Sydney, or the concert hall, he always has an "authority and determination" and a "relaxed confidence" (Canberra CityNews) mixed with a slight flair for drama in his playing. He enjoys performing audacious and ambitious works, particularly those of real challenge and large scale that go beyond the standard piano performance, but also focuses on creating meaningful performances by carefully curating and considering his programs for audiences. 

Festival appearances include the 13th International Music Festival in Moscow, the Manly Jazz Festival with the Manly Jazz All Stars, and the 2022 and 2021 Canberra International Music Festival, where he was the Young Artist. Ronan has appeared as guest soloist with the Penrith Symphony Orchestra, the ANU Orchestra, and the Sydney Contemporary Orchestra. Ronan has also presented many modern and contemporary music concerts, both as a solo artist and in collaboration with other musicians. Selections include with cellist David Pereira, bass Jack Stephens, and flautist Emma Warburton.

Ronan is also an acclaimed associate and chamber musician, winning prizes in both these areas. Having a wealth of experience working with musicians across the spectrum from hobbyist to internationally-touring professionals and such a versatility, it is easy to understand why Ronan is so in-demand as a collaborative musician. As well as working with the National Opera and Moorambilla Voices, Ronan was an approved associate musician at the ANU School of Music immediately after graduation.

Ronan is committed to promoting and elevating the presence of Australian music, especially of contemporary or recent composers. In June 2021, he made his recording debut with Dulcie Holland Crescent - an album of largely unpublished and unheard music by Australian composer Dulcie Holland. Since its release, it has been regularly played on 2MBS Fine Music and ABC Classic, where it was made a feature album. This was followed up with the world premiere of Holland's Concertino for Piano and Strings with Leonard Weiss and the Canberra Sinfonia in June 2022, which was awarded a Canberra Critics' Circle Award.


With a wide range of influences and the experience of being a performer himself, Ronan's original music demonstrates a unique voice. His willingness to experiment with genre and medium has seen him described as "amongst the top composers of his generation." (Dr. Huw Belling)

Ronan's works can be described as one of two very opposite styles: 'serious' and rich-with-pathos works, or outrageously sarcastic and tongue-in-cheek. While composition feels second to performance for Ronan, his music has been performed by the Conservatorium High School Orchestra, the Australian Youth Orchestra, and in many smaller ensembles across Sydney and Canberra venues. He has also received recognition for his music from Sydney Chamber Opera, the ANU School of Music, and UNSW Music Performance Unit through prizes and performances of his works.


Ronan also has experience as an arranger and orchestrator, having been commissioned several times in previous years. He has also collaborated in creating cross-discipline artworks with dancers, playwrights, and authors, and is interested in exploring ways music can exist as more than an aural dimension. Ronan is also interested in reshaping the composer-performer model and is interested in experimenting with ways to blend the two into a hybrid-practice, rather than two separate disciplines.



  • Freedman Fellowship - Nominee Australia

  • ADFAS Yarra Prize for Most Outstanding Program in an ANAM Recital ANAM, Melbourne


  • Canberra Critics' Circle Award for Music Canberra

  • National Young Virtuoso Award - Second Prize 3MBS Melbourne 103.5FM, Melbourne

  • ACT Young Virtuoso Award - Winner ArtSound FM, Canberra


  • Bachelor in Music (Performance/Composition) ANU School of Music, Canberra

  • Peter & Lena Karmel Anniversary Prize in Music ANU School of Music, Canberra

  • Harold Wesley Allen Memorial Prize ANU School of Music, Canberra

  • Imad Nassir Prize for Piano Performance ANU School of Music, Canberra

  • Whitworth Roach Classical Music Competition - Third Prize ANU School of Music, Canberra

  • Friends Ensemble Prize - First Prize and People's Choice ANU School of Music, Canberra

  • Shirley Paton Memorial Scholarship Music Teachers' Association of New South Wales

  • Young Artist Canberra International Music Festival 2021


  • Licentiate in Music, Australia (Distinction) Australian Music Examinations Board

  • Harold Wesley Allen Memorial Prize ANU School of Music, Canberra

  • Imad Nassir Prize for Piano Performance ANU School of Music, Canberra

  • Erika Haas Prize ANU School of Music, Canberra

  • Winifred Burston Memorial Prize ANU School of Music, Canberra

  • Certificate of Distinction Neapolitan Masters Competition, Naples

  • Merit Award 2nd WPTA Finland International Piano Competition, Helsinki

  • Friends of the School of Music Performance Scholarship ANU School of Music, Canberra


  • Erika Haas Prize ANU School of Music, Canberra

  • Winifred Burston Memorial Prize ANU School of Music, Canberra

  • Margaret Smiles Accompaniment Prize ANU School of Music, Canberra

  • Willgoss Choral Composition Prize UNSW Music Performance Unit, Sydney

  • Dennis Griffin Undergraduate Scholarship ANU School of Music, Canberra


  • James Easton Memorial Composition Award Conservatorium High School, Sydney

  • Conservatorium High School Concerto Competition - First Prize Conservatorium High School, Sydney


  • Sydney Chamber Opera Masterclass Carriageworks, Sydney

  • Artology Fanfare Competition Artology, Sydney

bottom of page