it is not easy to pigeonhole 

RONAN APCAR - one of australia's rising 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 


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.


Ronan completed a Bachelor of Music (Performance/Composition) at the ANU School of Music, Canberra, where he was top of the graduating cohort in 2021. In 2022, he is quietly refining his solo performance practice to break down the barriers of traditional piano concerts and bring new music to new audiences. This includes experimentations with keyboards, laptops, samples, drum machines, and loop pedals. He is also challenging traditional concert attire and formalities by experimenting with venue, dress, speech, and allowing the audience to eat, drink, and chat throughout. On top of this, he is keeping himself busy with gigs, events, and other private work in regional New South Wales, Sydney, and Canberra. 


Ronan has gone on to perform in a diverse range of genres, ensembles, venues, and settings. Whether upstairs at a food hall in Canberra or at the Rachmaninoff Hall in Moscow, he always has an "authority and determination" as well as a "relaxed confidence" (Canberra CityNews) about his playing.

Festival appearances include the 13th International Music Festival in Moscow, the Manly Jazz Festival with the Manly Jazz All Stars, and the 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 will later be appearing with the Sydney Contemporary Orchestra, Canberra Youth Orchestra, and National Capital Orchestra in 2022. Ronan has also presented many modern and contemporary music concerts, both as a solo artist and in collaboration with other musicians. Most prolific of these were piano duo concerts with Australian-Slovenian pianist Katarina Grobler.

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.

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. 


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. 



  • 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