Alexander Voltz: Curtain!


Alexander Voltz (b. 1999) takes inspiration from myth, politics and history. His music has been performed and supported by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Opera Queensland, Australian National Academy of Music, Flinders Quartet, Australian Youth Orchestra, Queensland Youth Orchestras, The University of Queensland and others and he is currently Emerging Composer-in-Residence with Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra. His chamber opera, Edward and Richard: The True Story of the Princes in the Tower, premiered in July 2021 in Brisbane. Voltz holds a Bachelor of Music (Hons I) from The University of Queensland, where he studied viola performance under Patricia Pollett and then composition with Robert Davidson. His Honours thesis investigated harmonic language within his music, and argued that contemporary art music composers should aspire towards authenticity, rather than originality or imitation. Voltz has also benefited from the mentorships of several other leading Australian composers, including Brenton Broadstock AM, Melody Eötvös, Nicole Murphy and Cathy Likhuta. Voltz also holds a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Ancient History/History and Writing. He has penned articles for Limelight Magazine and 4MBS Classic FM. Voltz lives in Brisbane, Australia. He signs his work A. D. K. Voltz, and is currently the youngest composer represented by the Australian Music Centre.

About Curtain! (2019), the composer writes: “Recounts, obviously, draw on the past. As does narrative fiction, but it also draws on the present and the predicted future as well. Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek, for example, with all its innovative wonder, assumes that sapient beings will still wear uniforms in the twenty-third century. Curtain!, then, is my reaction to the fact that fiction is merely a perspective of reality. That fact should terrify you as much as it does me. Most school students have read Orwell and Atwood; if not, they’re well aware of franchises like Star Wars and The Hunger Games. Really, how unfamiliar are the dystopian societies that dominate these stories? I hardly need mention the United States. Australia is no exception either. In its recent history, my country has seen five different Prime Ministers in as many years. Not exactly an optimised democratic utopia. In Curtain!, there exists a story, its beginning and end coated in bleak reality. I wonder what that story will be for you. And when the ratchet signifies the theatre’s falling curtain, I wonder if you will realise. As a brief, closing aside, I also really wanted to write a waltz.”

Alexander Voltz: Curtain! (2019)
Andrew Groch, conductor Tutors of the 2020 AYO NMC Premiere – Elder Hall, Adelaide, 17/1/20