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  • Writer's pictureJoe Gehrke

Clifford Bradley: A Composer Within the Orchestra

Updated: Jun 22, 2022

The SCSO is lucky to have a composer in its ranks. Clifford Bradley plays 2nd violin for the orchestra, and happens to be one of the leading arrangers and film music composers in Australia.

Clifford holds a Bachelor of Music (honors) from University of Queensland, studying classical guitar with Isolde Shaupp, and composition and orchestration with composer Philip Bracanin.

Composition was always Clifford’s main interest, and everything else was a vehicle to get there. While studying, Cliff fell in love with writing for orchestra and the endless possibilities it provides.

After his degree, Clifford wrote the music for many short films made by film students in Brisbane, and, in 2001, Clifford studied screen composition at AFTRS in Sydney, under Nigel Westlake, who is widely known for the soundtrack to the film Babe.

Living back in Brisbane, Clifford wrote the music for the first Spierig brothers film, a low-budget horror film called Undead. The film had success and played all over the world, which launched the brothers and other people who worked on the film. This got Clifford’s career off the ground, gave him profile in the industry, and a LA record company released the soundtrack to Undead, so Cliff officially got his first record deal.

His next significant composition project was a Brisbane-based TV series called FarmKids, which ran for several seasons on ABC Kids.

Moving to the UK, living in London and supporting a family, composition work was not steady enough. Clifford moved into orchestration, helping film music be orchestrated in order to turn it into soundtracks. Clifford is now established as one of the top film music orchestrators in Australia, and works with Jessica Wells as a senior orchestrator at her company Jigsaw Music.

Being an orchestrator has meant that Clifford has had the opportunity to work with fantastic composers, including his mentor Nigel Westlake. Clifford now orchestrates most of Nigel’s scores.

In 2021 Clifford wrote the music for Perfect Messy Love, filmed on the Sunshine Coast. Launched on YouTube as 10 minute episodes, it is now being extended and prepared for release as a full feature film.

Clifford loves both composing and orchestrating, and hopes to continue both.

Clifford arranges music for the SCSO, and is the arranger of the Corvus Overture by Kyan Pennell, which is being performed for the first time at The Power of Two concert on 24 July 2022.

Click here for Clifford’s IMDb profile.

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