- PhD (Music), Queensland University of Technology, Australia
- BA (Music), Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne, Australia
Dr Timothy O’Dwyer is a world-renowned saxophonist, composer, soundpainter and interdisciplinary collaborator. He is as adept at traditional to freer forms of jazz and improvised music as he is realising the most complex contemporary classical notated scores.
Dr O’Dwyer’s career as a saxophonist, composer and educator has constantly stretched across borders of genre, performance practice and art forms. Trained as a jazz musician at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, he furthered his studies with a tuition grant from the Australian Council for the Arts in 1995, studying with new complexity composer Richard Barrett in Amsterdam and visionary saxophonist and improviser Evan Parker in London.
This diversity and commitment to excellence is evident with the breadth of projects and artists he has been involved with whilst living in Singapore, from performing with jazz musicians Jeremy Monteiro and Andrew Lim, to collaborating with Singapore director Ho Tzu Nyen, Malaysian composer Chong Kee Yong and members of the Observatory.
During the 1990’s, Dr O’Dwyer was a seminal figure in the avante-garde music scene in Melbourne Australia. He was a founding member of the punk-jazz group, bucketrider (1992), that went on to release four acclaimed CDs including tributes to Sun Ra and late period John Coltrane. The group also performed with international rock groups such as Zena Geva (Japan) and Sonic Youth (USA). He was one of the founding directors of the longest running weekly improvised music event in Australia – The Make It Up Club – that is still presenting weekly programmes to this day.
He has been a member of the contemporary classical ensemble ELISION since 1994, premiering many new works for the saxophone and composing works for the ensemble that have premiered at arts festivals throughout Australia, Europe and Japan, including the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (UK) and Radio Bremen (Germany). He is also a current member of the Australian Art Orchestra, whom he regularly tours with in Australia and also to China.
He formed the Tim O’Dwyer Trio in 2005, which has since released two CDs and performed at important jazz festivals in Australia, Southeast Asia, Japan and Europe including the 2010 Montreux Jazz Festival. Dr O’Dwyer has performed and recorded with some of the most prominent jazz musicians in Australia. Internationally, he has won the Bell and Aria awards for best jazz album as a member of the Australian pianist Andrea Keller’s group.
In collaboration with his team at the School of Contemporary Music, Dr O’Dwyer authored the first ever degree programmes in Popular Music and Jazz in Singapore. As the Head of the School since 2009, Dr O’Dwyer has brought transformational change over the past decade, allowing young musicians to develop their own musical voice, creating new works across the pop, jazz, electronic music and classical genres. He serves as an expert on various boards and committees on education and music in Singapore.