Member Profile - Music Arrangers Guild of Australia

Member Profile: Adrian Kelly



Offers written quotes?

Abelton Live
Pro Tools
Reason 8

Brass Band
Concert Band/ Wind Band
Rock/ Contemporary/ Club
Chamber (String/ Brass / Woodwinds, etc)
Film/ TV
Dramatic (Opera/ Musicals/ Ballet, etc)
Jazz (Big Band/ Jazz Band)
Instrumental (Solo instruments)
Percussion Ensembles

B.Mus. (Composition), WAAPA

West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Perth Symphony Orchestra, Australian Youth Orchestra, Perth Jazz Orchestra, Hip Mo' Toast Big Band, WAYJO, City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong, Jacky Cheung, Eddie Ng, Candy Lo, China Hong Kong Youth Symphony Orchestra

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Adrian Kelly
Adrian Kelly began his music education at the age of six, taking trumpet lessons with local tutors. He went on to graduate from the prestigious music scholarship programme at Perth's Churchlands Senior High School, and later graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree, majoring in composition, from the renowned Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). In 1998, he returned to WAAPA to supplement his compositional education through study with classical composers Lindsay Vickery, and Nigel Sabin. Adrian has gone on to establish a wide and varied career as both a composer and performer across a wide range of musical genres and situations.

His first commission came in 1999 from a collaboration between the West Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO) and Westfarmers to create a jazz composition, Equinox, describing the Australian landscape. Other notable jazz works by Adrian include his composition for chamber orchestra and jazz ensemble, Meditation on an Aztec Butterfly, composed for a performance in Sydney during the 2000 Olympic Games, and his big band composition, Taking A Break, that was featured on the WAYJO album release 'Tom Terrific'. In 2002, two original songs with lyrics and music by Adrian Kelly were commissioned and featured on the Hip Mo' Toast Big Band album 'Mischievous Girl', and in 2005 Adrian was commissioned to compose eight works for an album by the New York Trumpet Company, featuring five American trumpet players alongside Western Australian strings, and rhythm section players. This album, 'Intercontinental Drift', was recorded partly in Western Australia, and partly in New York, USA and released internationally to excellent reviews. The composition, Curious Yellow, from this album, was awarded the Song of The Year Award (jazz category) at the 2007 West Australian Music Industry Awards

Most recently, Adrian's jazz compositions have been featured in the offerings of his electric-fusion jazz quartet, which has toured extensively around China, headlining at the inaugural Chongqing International Jazz Festival in 2013, and at the 2014 Haikou International Youth Experimental Arts Festival. 

In addition to his jazz compositions, Adrian has written music for experimental improvisation groups, and founded the contemporary classical ensembles The Collective, and PantheonThe Collective premiered many new compositions by Adrian and other Western Australian musicians during its life, and was featured at the inaugural Tura Totally Huge New Music Festival. In 2002 the ensemble collaborated with British composer Graham Collier to produce the internationally released, and highly regarded, album 'Bread and Circuses'. Pantheon was a short lived improvising ensemble placing second in 2000's ABC radio national competition for improvised music, performing Adrian's composition Improvisations on a poem by T.S. Eliot. This composition featured guided improvisations working with text and marked the first of Adrian's inter-disciplinary compositions. A modern incarnation of this ensemble was featured at the Perth Jazz Society in 2010, performing a series of Adrian's compositions that worked with improvisatory material to build musical impressions of visual artwork by Adrian's father, Robert John Kelly. One of these compositions, Grey Swan, Quiet City was recorded and released as two movements, on consecutive CD releases (vol.5&6), as part of JazzWA's Jazzaziz project. In 2009 Adrian was commissioned once again by JazzWA to compose a work, entitled Turning the Corner, for brass quintet with jazz improvisor. Adrian's most recent inter-disciplinary composition, Sun, was commissioned by China's Thinking Hands Group, and premiered at the 2014 Haikou International Youth Experimental Arts Festival. It features an electronic score based upon the D.H. Lawrence short story of the same name, to accompany dancer and conceptual artist Rose Wong.

Adrian's fully notated contemporary classical scores include music composed for a collaboration between the Australian Youth Orchestra and Sydney's Theatre of Image. The Helpmann Award winning production, 'Stella and the Moonman', featured five compositions by Adrian and premiered in 2003 at the Sydney Theatre Company. Other theatrical compositions include the 2002 composition A Shower of Roses Overture, and a 2015 film score for the short film 'Shepherd in the City', by Beijing film-maker Xu Zhou. 

Adrian has composed a number of works for brass, including two commissions for the WAAPA brass ensemble led by then principal trumpet of the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra, and current London Symphony Orchestra trumpeter, David Elton. Morning Swan, Evening Dragon, for trumpet choir was premiered at the International Trumpet Guild Conference in Sydney in 2010. Adrian's A Dirksey Fanfare, for brass choir and percussion, was commissioned by Edith Cowan University in 2016 as part of their anniversary celebrations.

In 2014, Adrian produced two compositions in collaboration with Korean violinist and composer, Erica Lee, that were workshopped in Hong Kong, before being recorded in Seoul, South Korea. Rothko received its premiere performance at the Australian Embassy in Seoul in March, 2015.

Supplementing his work as a composer, Adrian built an international career as a multi-faceted performer; performing, and recording classical, contemporary pop, and jazz music. He lived and worked in China from 2010 to 2015 and has performed and/or recorded with many of the top artists in the region, including a record breaking 18-month world tour with superstar Jacky Cheung for which Adrian also composed a number of the horn section charts. Adrian has performed with YangKun, Eason Chan, Joey Yung, George Lam, Mimi Lo, J.Arie, Eddie Ng, and Hins Cheung, and appeared as a guest soloist on, QingHai TV’s “Flowers” music program. He has performed for live broadcasts on Hong Kong’s TVB, and RTHK and, in 2012, performed live in front of former Chinese head of state, Hu JinTao. 

Adrian held the position of principal trumpet with The City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong from 2011 through 2015. He has played on over 30 musical theatre productions and performed classical music with The Western Australian Symphony Orchestra, Perth Symphony Orchestra, The Hong Kong Philharmonic, The West Australian Philharmonic, and Dunshan Wind Orchestra (Beijing). Over the course of his career, Adrian has also appeared with many western contemporary artists including Hugh Jackman, Ray Charles, Shirley Bassey, The Four Tops, Tim Minchin, Olivia Newton-John, Bobby Taylor, Bonobo, Ben Folds, Dave Weckl, Bobby Shew, Frank Foster, and The Manhattan Transfer. 

Adrian has taught classes in jazz and trumpet at Edith Cowan University, The University of Western Australia (Australia), Lasalle College (Singapore), Hong Kong Institute of Education, ShangHai Conservatory of Music, XingHai University, Harbin Teacher Training College (China).

Adrian’s arranging credits include writing music for classical ensembles The Western
Australian Symphony Orchestra, the Perth Symphony Orchestra, and The City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong, writing for Asian pop artists Jacky Cheung, Joseph Koo, Eddie Ng, Candy Lo, scoring music for Qinghai TV (China), and composing for numerous jazz groups and show bands in Australia and Hong Kong.

2012 saw the release of Adrian’s latest CD, Chinese Whispers ç´°èªž, featuring music from and inspired by China. From December 2012 to late 2013, this album was selected to be featured on Cathay Pacific flights as part of their onboard music offerings.

Adrian is a Yamaha Performing Artist and performs exclusively on Yamaha trumpets. Adrian Kelly's trumpets always travel safely inside his Torpedo Bag.