Mary Finsterer


The music of the innovative Australian composer Mary Finsterer (Canberra, 1962) is performed throughout the world. Finsterer’s work can be heard not just on concert stages, she has also composed film music, such as for the Hollywood blockbuster Die Hard 4. Her style takes its musical cues from contemporary practice and the Renaissance with equal ease. Her first opera Biographica premiered in 2017 and was described as ‘an outstanding new opera that deserves a permanent place in the repertoire’. She composed Afmaeli for a birthday concert for one of her teachers, Louis Andriessen, which was performed at the Holland Festival in 2009.


Bachelor of Music, University of Melbourne
Royal Conservatoire Den Haag (teacher Louis Andriessen)
Master of Music, University of Melbourne (teacher Brenton Broadstock)
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Melbourne

Recent works
2021 Lumen Prime Aurore (orchestra)
2021 The Lost: Missed Tales III (double concerto: viola, cello & orchestra)
2018 Ignis (duet: viola d'amore & cello) *ART Music Awards 2019 – winner
2017 Biographica (opera) *ART Music Awards 2018 – winner
2015 Angelus ~ Julian Suite III (trio: clarinet, cello & piano)
2013 Lake Ice: Missed Tales I (concerto: double bass & orchestra) *ART Music Awards 2014 – finalist
2012 Silva (concerto: percussion & chamber ensemble)
2012 Falling (two pianos) *ART Music Awards 2013 – finalist

Prizes and awards
1991, 1995, 1998, 2010 & 2015 represents Australia in ISCM World Music Days
1993 Royal Netherlands Government Award 
1998 Australia Council Composer Fellowship
2009 Paul Lowin Orchestral Prize
2013, 2014, 2016, 2018 & 2019 Australian Art Music Awards

Previously featured at the Holland Festival
2009 Afmaeli in 70 jaar Louis Andriessen