Deborah Cheetham AO

Deborah Cheetham AO


Deborah Cheetham AO, Yorta Yorta woman, soprano, composer and educator has been a leader and pioneer in the Australian arts landscape for more than 25 years. Deborah is the 2019 Limelight Magazine’s Artist of the Year and winner of the prestigious Melbourne Prize for Music.

She is composer-in-residence for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and a Professor of Australian music practice at the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, Monash University.

Well known to audiences across Australia, Deborah will make her debut performance with Opera Queensland in Songs My Mother Sang to Me in March 2021.

Deborah established Short Black Opera in 2009 as a national not-for-profit opera company devoted to the development of Indigenous singers, and in the following year produced the premiere of her first opera Pecan Summer.

Ms Cheetham’s Eumeralla, a war requiem for peace, premiered to sold out audiences on-country at the Port Fairy Spring Festival in October 2018 and at Hamer Hall in Melbourne with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in June 2019.

Deborah Cheetham’s list of commissions for major Australian ensembles include works for the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Australia String Quartet, West Australian Symphony Orchestra String Quartet, Rubiks Collective, The Sydney Philharmonia, Plexus Collective, the Goldner Quartet and Flinders Quartet.

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