Calvin Bowman

Calvin Bowman is acknowledged to be one of Australia's finest young musicians. He is well known as an outstanding musician who strives to attain nothing less than perfection.

Calvin Bowman was born in 1972. He is a graduate of the University of Melbourne and was the first Australian to graduate as a Doctor of Musical Arts from Yale University, with the assistance of a Fulbright scholarship. He is a former Senior Lecturer in Composition and University Organist at The Australian National University.

Dr. Bowman is much in demand as a soloist, accompanist and chamber musician. A special love of the music of J.S. Bach led to his performances of the complete Bach organ works twice in public, once in 1995 and then again in 2009 for the Melbourne International Festival where he performed them in a single seventeen-hour sitting. For the latter feat he was nominated for a Helpmann Award. In 2001, he was granted the privilege of re-opening the Melbourne Town Hall organ, following its multi-million-dollar restoration, by presenting the world première performance of Voices by Philip Glass in the composer’s presence.

As keyboardist he has also premièred works by Peter Sculthorpe, Ross Edwards, Richard Mills, Graeme Koehne, Andrew Schultz and others, and appeared as soloist with many of the major Australian orchestras, including regular appearances with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra on the Melbourne Town Hall organ as part of their Melbourne Town Hall series. Dr. Bowman is also a prolific composer who specialises in artsong. To date he has written nearly a hundred songs with more constantly on the way. He is a laureate of the Ned Rorem Award for Song Composition, the Diana Barnhart American Song Competition, and the English Poetry and Song Society Artsong Award. His song Now Touch the Air Softly, recorded by Emma Matthews with the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra for Deutsche Grammophon/ABC Classics, has become one of the most popular Australian artsongs. The author of the text, William Jay Smith, described the setting as “magnificent and flawless”.

Dr. Bowman’s interest in vocal music naturally led to the composition of two operas; Lost to the Music, to a libretto by John Marsden, written for the National Boys’ Choir, and The Magic Pudding – The Opera was commissioned and premièred by Victorian Opera in 2013. It had a return season with the same company in 2018. Dr. Bowman’s major awards include an Australia Council Fellowship, and he has also been commissioned by organisations such as Ars Musica Australis and Symphony Australia, as well as by many individuals and ensembles. Commissions for 2017–18 included works for the Flinders Quartet, Tinalley String Quartet, Greta Bradman, Steve Davislim, Stefanie Farrands, and a major song cycle for the 2017 Adelaide Festival. Recent performances of his songs have taken place at the Musikverein and the Elbphilharmonie.

Dr. Bowman is an exclusive Decca/UMA artist. His début discs of artsong entitled Real and Right and True were released in 2018.

Calvin Bowman is featured on the following titles


Calvin Bowman presents an expert reading of J.S Bach's 'Little Organ Book' - a microcosm of Bach's compositional and improvisational genius.

Performer: Organ

Compositions by Calvin Bowman also appear on

Carols Psalms and Anthems

Under the direction of Professor Emeritus Peter Godfrey, CBE the Trinity College Chapel Choir performs a stunning selection of rarely heard Carols, Psalms and Anthems


Calvin Bowman also appears on

Victoria Brass Live

Victoria Brass Live is a new recording by a top class Australian brass band. Expertly directed by Matthew van Emmerik, they offer a full and varied programme of innovative repertoire, including two world premieres, three Australasian premieres, and some well-loved but very welcome classics. Based in Melbourne, the band’s mission statement puts it very well. They are ‘Leading brass musicians with a collective focus on quality repertoire, collegiality and performance’.

Performer: organ

Calvin Bowman is a member of

Elysium Ensemble

The Elysium Ensemble has been acclaimed by critics for its exciting performances, fine musicianship and authoritative interpretations of music from the Baroque and Classical repertoire.