Joanna Drimatis has been a champion of Australian music and contemporary classical music for over 25 years. She has commissioned works from respected composers such as Iain Grandage (Australia), John Polglase (Australia) and Paul Rudy (USA) and subsequently premiered these works and others in Australia, New Zealand and the USA. Joanna’s commitment to performing new music, especially Australian works, is evident in her recital and concert programs both in Australia and overseas.
After completing her Masters in Music from the University of Texas at Austin, Joanna has performed at major festivals such as the Aspen Music Festival (USA), Strawberry Creek Festival (USA), Christchurch Arts Festival (New Zealand) as well as the Nelson Young Composers Workshop (New Zealand), Australasian Computer Music Conference (Australia) and the University of Colorado Boulder’s Pendulum New Music series (USA). In addition, Joanna is currently Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Beecroft Orchestra in Sydney. In her previous positions as Music Director of the University Orchestra – University of Texas at Austin, Music Director of the Christchurch Youth Orchestra and Conductor for the Adelaide Youth Orchestra association, Joanna initiated collaborations, commissions, premieres and selected performances have been broadcast on NZ Concert FM and ABC Classic FM.
In 2009, Joanna earned her PhD in Musicology from the Elder Conservatorium of Music at the University of Adelaide. Her thesis, entitled “A Hidden Treasure: Symphony No. 1 by Robert Hughes,” was awarded the University of Adelaide’s Inaugural Doctoral Research Medal. A major part of the dissertation was the editing of Hughes’ Symphony No. 1, which has since been published by All Music Publishing and Distribution. In 2012 Joanna conducted a broadcast recording of this new edition with the Sydney Youth Orchestra for ABC Classic FM and the recording was also included in an ABC Classic FM “Music Makers” documentary. In 2011/2012 Joanna received a State Library of Victoria Creative Fellowship to undertake further research on Robert Hughes and this will form the basis of a book about this important Australian composer.
In 2013/2014 Joanna initiated and undertook research projects and activities at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music focusing on the music of Raymond Hanson. This has been highlighted in the new book by Peter McCallum, “The Centenary of the Con” (2015). Joanna has recently been appointed as Head of Strings at MLC School, Sydney and commenced her position in July 2016.