Biography

Jaret Choolun (born 1988) is an award-winning Australian composer and choral conductor resident in Bremen, Germany. From 2006-2010 He studied composition with Stephen Leek at the Queensland Conservatorium, simultaneously training his choral skills further by singing with, composing and conducting for The Australian Voices.

In 2012 Choolun relocated to Germany to direct the chamber choir Northern Spirit, and in the following six years has championed with them modern choral music written by himself and other contemporary art composers. Northern Spirit’s highlight under Jaret’s direction has been winning two gold medals at the 2017 European Choir Games.

Jaret’s entry into the VCM Foundation choral composing competition in 2017 was awarded second place and premiered by Voces8, one of Britain’s leading vocal ensembles. Early in 2018 Jaret expanded his focus to once again include instrumental writing, premiering his new work for chamber choir, orchestra and solo viola da gamba, Particles of Cosmic Dust.

 

Full Biography

Jaret Choolun (born 1988 in Melbourne, Australia), is an award-winning composer and choral conductor resident in Bremen, Germany. His early years were consumed by choral singing and the piano, and from 2006 until 2010 he studied composition with Stephen Leek at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University. During this time Choolun discovered the true breadth of modern music for voices and was particularly motivated to pursue this in his writing, producing pieces for solo voice, unaccompanied choral music as well as chamber operas, and was awarded prizes and honourable mentions for his pieces from organisations such as the Australian Society for Music Education and the Barbara Blackman Prize. Concurrently Jaret sang with and composed for renowned ensemble The Australian Voices, led by Stephen Leek and later Gordon Hamilton. This included year-long residencies with the choir as Young Composer as well as Conductor in Training.

In 2012 Jaret relocated to Europe and took over the direction of Northern Spirit, a chamber choir in Bremen, Germany, which had been founded by Gordon Hamilton with the special purpose of championing new Australian choral music away from home. As a choral conductor Jaret has driven Northern Spirit to win multiple awards, including the prize for best foreign choir performing a Polish piece at the 2015 Krakow International Choral Competition, and in 2017 two gold medals in the chamber choir division at the European Choir Games in Riga, Latvia, where among other pieces they performed György Orbàn’s Pange Lingua as well as Choolun’s arrangement of the Australian folk song Botany Bay. Also in 2017 under Choolun’s direction Northern Spirit produced its first CD, featuring his newest piece, Flight, among a collection of folksong arrangements and pieces from the Classical a cappella canon.

In November 2017 Jaret received second place for his entry Lullaby for the Christ Child in the inaugural VCM Foundation choral composing competition and had the honour of attending a performance of his piece by renowned British ensemble, Voces8. Though Choolun’s focus is primarily vocal music, his work with instrumentalists has included collaborations with soloists, quartets and orchestras. Early in 2018 Jaret premiered his new work for choir, orchestra and viola da gamba, Particles of Cosmic Dust, a reflection on the late astrophysicist Carl Sagan’s novel Contact. He is currently collaborating with Bremen clarinettist Jonathan Jehle to produce a new work, as well as writing for New York double bass and soprano duet Confluss.