Portrait of Brenda Gifford seated with a piano behind her

The Night Sky is strange and mysterious.


Brenda Gifford is a contemporary classical composer and a Yuin woman. A First Nations woman, her culture is the basis of her arts practice. Brenda works collaboratively, with an interest in using the medium of music to express her culture.

Brenda is a recipient of the 2022 Prelude Composers Residencies, administered by the Peggy Glanville-Hicks Trust. In 2021, her original composition Djiribawal (Four) was premiered at the Canberra International Music Festival, played by the Australian Art Orchestra.

In 2020, Brenda was Ensemble Offspring’s inaugural First Nations Composer in Residence. She is currently working on a piece for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra; other notable commissions include Four Winds Festival, Sydney Dance Company, Sydney Living Museums, Canberra International Music Festival and One Day in January.

In addition to composing, Brenda is a saxophonist. She has performed with Bart Willoughby, Kevin Hunt, the Black Arm Band, Mixed Relations and other artists and ensembles.

Brenda is a member of the Women in Composition Program at the University of Sydney Conservatorium of Music, undertaking a master’s in composition. Her music is available via ABC Classic.

Photo: Marissa McDowell


Brenda Gifford
Dharawa Miriwa (night sky) (2021)

New PLEXUS commission

In keeping with the theme of Reclaiming the Night I have written a piece titled Dhawara Miriwa (night sky). This piece uncovers the reverence for the natural beauty of the night sky and all it possesses. 

The Night Sky is strange and mysterious. It reveals itself to us as we observe his rawness and splendour. 

© Brenda Gifford, 2021

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