Rosalind Carlson

About Rosalind Carlson

Home > About Rosalind Carlson


To find out more about Rosalind Carlson, including a detailed description of all of her works, along with order information, please visit the main page of this site.

Rosalind Carlson, Dip. Mus. Ed., A. Mus. A. (Theory), L.T.C.L. (P), A. Mus. T.C.L., A.T.C.L (P), Dip. Mus. (hc), D.S.M.E., F.F.C.S.M.E., T. Cert., M.I.M.T., M.M.T.A., F.I.B.A., F.A.B.I.,  was born at Wahroonga in Sydney N.S.W. on 13th March, 1937.  In 1955 she was awarded a Department of Education four year scholarship to study music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and Sydney Teachers' College.  Here her pedagogy studies included piano, vocal training, music composition, musicology and education.

During this period of time Rosalind studied piano with Professor Edwin Robinson, Winifred Burston and Nancy Salas: singing with Ruth Ladd and Lyndon Jones: and composition with Raymond Hanson and Dr. Noel Nickson.  Rosalind graduated in 1958.

In post graduate studies Rosalind studied vocal production with Florence Taylor and composition with Dr. William Lovelock.  As part of Rosalind's post graduate private studies with Trinity College London, she gained diplomas in composition, musicology and singing performance.

In 1980 Rosalind was awarded the Israel State Medal in recognition of the Carlson Chorale's international concert tour in 1979. 

In 1988 she won the Gold Coast Annual Composers' Competition Open Award with Waterfall in Spring for flute and piano.

In 1998 Waterfall in Spring was selected from the Australian entries by the Asian Composers' League Festival Selection Committee for performance in their music festival held in Taipei, Taiwan.

In 2003 on Australia Day (January 26) Rosalind was given the Australia Day Merit Award for her "Services to the Community through her deep desire to stimulate a love of music in its composition, performance and appreciation".

Rosalind says - "My aim in composition is to absorb the natural Australian environment which surrounds me.  This has a powerful influence on the approach to all of my musical works.  In this I consider myself to be a "grass roots" composer.  I am fortunate to live in a rural area that stimulates this aim.  So my musical inspiration is derived from Australia itself.  It is my observations of this wonderful country with its vast contrasts that awakens and stimulates my music.

"In my role as a music educationalist, I have researched many musical scores of the different genres, from early music to 20th Century.  Here my detailed analytical studies and compilations of major works and their comparative stylistic features have given me an excellent insight into the musical compositional trends over the centuries.  This included special details of modern 20th Century musicological styles, as those of Bartok, Britten, Stravinsky, Kodaly, Debussy, Phillip Glass and Ross Edwards - in choral, orchestral, and instrumental works.  These also have helped to influence and shape my compositional thinking."

Three works representative of Rosalind's style are:

(a)  Waterfall in Spring - for flute and piano ensemble  1997
(b)  Psalms of Joy - SSAA choral a cappella  1997
(c)  Whales, Waves & the Ocean - for cello and piano ensemble  2008

The following non-composition related musical activities and interests are:


During her 28 years as a music educator Rosalind stimulated a love for singing in her music making activities conducting massed choirs of over 1,000 voices with orchestra, to highly specialised a cappella vocal ensemble work.

In 1972 Rosalind founded the Carlson Chorale, an all female chamber choir which has won numerous awards and honours.  In 1979 the Chorale toured internationally for 4 weeks to Israel, Europe and England giving many official concerts.  This touring Australian Youth Choir's events became a cultural exchange internationally.  In this regard the Carlson Chorale became worthy ambassadors for our Australian country.


Rosalind had the honour of being invited to be a Choral Review writer for the American Choral Directors Association's The Choral Journal, reviewing newly published women's choral repertoire.

Rosalind has written many of her own lyrics for her vocal and choral works.  She also writes articles for various music magazines, such as The Australian Music Teacher and The Studio for the Music Teachers' Association of NSW.


In 1987 Rosalind recommenced her own vocal studies with Florence Taylor.  The following year Rosalind gained a Trinity College Performance Diploma in singing and was engaged to sing in Goulburn (New South Wales, Australia) at a charity concert.  Here she performed Rodrigo's Quarto Madrigales Amartorios.


In 1959 Rosalind was appointed as a music specialist to the Secondary teaching staff of the NSW (New South Wales, Australia) State Department of Education.  During her 28 years as a music educator Rosalind became a demonstration teacher to young trainee teachers.  Over that period of time she was promoted from a music mistress to relieving Secondary Principal at Cheltenham Girls' High School in 1979.  Also in that year the Department of Education appointed her as a HSC (Higher School Certificate) music examiner for the State in performance, composition and musicology.

Rosalind enjoys considerable success as a teacher, guest lecturer and assessor (Australian International Conservatorium of Music, Sydney Australia, in teacher professional development courses), conductor, composer, performer, examiner and adjudicator.

A change in musical direction in 1987 provided Rosalind with the opportunity to pursue and to develop her own creative talent.  This talent together with her teaching ability led to the realisation of Flexi-Fingers.  Under this title her graphic piano technique teaching program has developed.  Her graded technical exercises for pianists Flexi-Fingers and associated books have enjoyed enormous success since their publication in 1992.

Phylloscopus Publications in England published in 2001 Rosalind's The Wooden Broomstick Scherzo (1998) for bassoon and piano.  This work is soon to be recorded for CD by the Sydney bassoonist John Cran.

Rosalind's Australian Bird Suite (2001) for solo flute recorded on CD by Christine Draeger was published in 2002 by Phylloscopus Publications U.K..  The World Premiere Performance took place in London on 6th June 2002 given by Lewis Mitchell.

Waterfall in Spring (1997) has had six London performances so far.  It is also recorded on CD "Streeton's Noon" - Australian works for flute and piano.  Flute - Christine Draeger,  Piano - Kathryn Lambert.  The music score is published by Flexi-Fingers.

Psalms of Joy (1997), SSAA, was launched in November, 2000 on the CD "Arcadia" sung by the Carlson Chorale.  The song is published by Flexi Fingers.  The World Premiere performance was at the Third Australian Women's Music Festival in September 1997 in Sydney, Australia.

Cat and Kitten (2002) for solo clarinet was published in 2003 by Phylloscopus Publications U.K. and performed in Sydney, Australia, by Rowena Watts in the same year.

Rosalind is a member of a number of professional organizations, and in 1998 joined the Council of the Music Teachers' Association of New South Wales, Australia.  She is a member of the Fellowship of Australian Composers.  She is also a committee member of the Collegiate of Specialist Music Educators (Australia).

Rosalind Carlson, as an Australian Composer, is gaining international recognition.  She enjoys considerable success as a teacher, guest lecturer and assessor (Australian International Conservatorium of Music, Sydney Australia, in teacher professional development courses), conductor (of the internationally acclaimed Carlson Chorale), composer, performer, singer, examiner and adjudicator.

Currently, Rosalind has her publications of instrumental and choral works (and their CDs), as well as the CD of her piano works "Australian Compositions for Piano" (1990-95) on the market.  Her series of graphic graded exercises for beginner pianists, "Flexi-Fingers", has enjoyed enormous success since its publication in 1992.

Published books / works:

Unpublished works:

This Sydney born Australian composer's musical works reveal a natural absorption of the Australian environment that surrounds her in a country of vast contrasts.

Rosalind Carlson has been awarded many honours, viz:

To find out more about Rosalind Carlson, including a detailed description of all of her works, along with order information, please visit the main page of this site.


Home > About Rosalind Carlson