William Barton is Australia’s leading didgeridoo player as well as composer, instrumentalist and vocalist. William first learnt the instrument from his uncle, Arthur Peterson, an elder of the Wannyi, Lardil and Kalkadunga people and was working from an early age with traditional dance groups and fusion/rock jazz bands, orchestras, string quartets, and mixed ensembles.
Throughout his diverse career he has forged a path in the classical musical world, from the London, Berlin and Bremer Philharmonic Orchestras to historic events at Westminster Abbey for Commonwealth Day 2019, at Anzac Cove in Gallipoli and for the Beijing Olympics.
William holds honorary doctorates from both Griffith University and the University of Sydney, has released five albums on the ABC Classics label including HEARTLAND, released in 2022, with Véronique Serret and the words of William’s mother, Aunty Delmae Barton.
William has been developing a new musical language, which is epitomised in this record. He was named Queensland Australian of the Year for 2023, putting him in the running for Australian of the Year 2023. In 2022 he was recognised for his work with the Australian Chamber Orchestra for the soundtrack from the film “River”, winning two Screen Music Awards, an ARIA award and AACTA award. His other awards include the prestigious Don Banks Music Award from the Australia Council in 2021, Winner of Best Original Score for a Mainstage Production at the 2018 Sydney Theatre Awards and Winner of Best Classical Album with an ARIA for Birdsong At Dusk in 2012. With his prodigious musicality and building on his Kalkadunga heritage, William has vastly expanded the horizons of the didgeridoo.
William will join Camerata as a special guest for From My Homeland, 25 & 26 May 2023.