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Mr Tim White

Senior Lecturer

Contact Information Telephone: +61 8 9370 6117, Mobile: 0478630900, Email:, Campus: Mount Lawley, Room: ML1.116
Staff Member Details
Telephone: +61 8 9370 6117
Mobile: 0478630900
Campus: Mount Lawley  
Room: ML1.116  


Tim White is the Coordinator of Classical Music at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. He is a Senior Lecturer in Music, leads WAAPA’s percussion programme, coordinates all of WAAPA’s classical ensembles, supervises postgraduate students, and directs the award-winning ‘Defying Gravity’ percussion ensemble.


Tim White is the Coordinator of Classical Music at WAAPA, where he has led the percussion programme since 1994, coordinates all of WAAPA’s classical ensembles, and directs the award-winning ‘Defying Gravity’ percussion ensemble.

Tim has played more than 3,000 concerts with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra - where he was Principal Percussionist for 28 years – and has performed with all ten of Australia’s professional symphony and theatre orchestras. He’s also been Principal Percussionist of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and spent a year guesting with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. As a concerto soloist, Tim performed the Australian and German premieres of Per Norgard’s ‘Percussion Concerto’ as well as the WA premieres of percussion concertos by Richard Mills, Paul Creston and Darius Milhaud. He’s also performed as a soloist for the Perth International Arts Festival.

Tim was born in Canberra and grew up on Christmas Island. As a teenager he fell in love with The Beatles, got hooked on classical music and took up percussion, studying in Sydney, Denmark, Germany and the USA. He holds two Masters degrees in music performance, won a Churchill Fellowship in 1999, directed the ‘Rhythms of Life’ percussion festival for the Australian National Academy of Music in 2003, and was Musical Director of the Australian Youth Orchestra’s 2010 National Music Camp. In 2014 Tim won ECU’s ‘Vice- Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching’, and in 2015 the federal Education Minister presented him with the ‘Australian Award for Teaching Excellence’.

Tim has performed with Ray Charles, Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras, Dame Joan Sutherland, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Charles Dutoit, James Galway, Sumi Jo, Midori, Bryn Terfel, Joshua Bell, Nigel Kennedy, John Williams, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Ben Folds, Tim Minchin, Jon Lord, Glen Campbell, Dionne Warwick, John Farnham, Gary Burton and Chick Corea.

  • 2016 - present – Coordinator of Classical Music
  • 1994 - present – Senior Lecturer in Music, Area Head of Percussion and Musical Director of WAAPA’s ‘Defying Gravity’ percussion ensemble
  • 1985 - 2013 – Principal Percussionist of the WA Symphony Orchestra
  • 2010 – Musical Director of Australian Youth Orchestra’s ‘National Music Camp’
  • 2003 – Musical Director of Australian National Academy of Music’s ‘Rhythms of Life’ Festival
  • 1983-84 – Principal Percussionist of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra
  • 1981-83 – freelance performer with Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria

Professional Associations

  • Percussive Arts Society
  • Music Council of Australia
  • Australian Music Centre
  • Musicological Society of Australia

Awards and Recognition

National and International Awards

  • 2010 – Musical Director of Australian Youth Orchestra’s National Music Camp
  • 2003 – Director of Australian National Academy of Music’s ‘Rhythms of Life’ percussion festival
  • 1999 – Churchill Fellowship
  • 1991/92 – German Government DAAD Scholarship

University and National Teaching Awards

  • 2015 – Australian Award for Teaching Excellence
  • 2014 – ECU Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching

Research Areas and Interests

  • Contemporary Percussion
  • Orchestral Music
  • Art of Performance
  • Performance Psychology
  • Music Education


  • Certificate IV in Assessment & Workplace Training, TAFE WA, 2005.
  • Meisterklassendiplom, Germany, 1994.
  • Master of Music, The University of Western Australia, 1992.
  • Bachelor of Music, The University of Sydney, 1987.

Recent Publications (within the last five years)

Creative Arts Research Outputs

  • White, T., (2016), Sound Disintegration: new works at the 2016 Australian Percussion Gathering. Reverberations, Concert 7, Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre, Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.
  • White, T., (2016), Drums are the New Violins: New works and innovative techniques with Defying Gravity. Defying Gravity: Karma and Latin Carnivale, Fremantle Arts Centre and WAAPA, Edith Cowan University, Fremantle Arts Centre and Edith Cowan University.
  • White, T., (2017), Interrogating the Interface between Sound and Light: Eleven World Premiere Performances in Defying Gravity’s Kaboom!. Defying Gravity: 'Kaboom!', WAAPA at Edith Cowan University, ECU.
  • White, T., (2017), Defying Gravity: Steve Reich Under The Stars at Fremantle Arts Centre. Defying Gravity: Steve Reich Under The Stars, Fremantle Arts Centre, 'OffBEAT' percussion festival at Fremantle Arts Centre.
  • White, T., (2019), Striking Innovations – interrogating the role of gesture and theatricality in contemporary percussion performance practice. Tim White and Defying Gravity: 'Striking Innovations' percussive research program in 2019, Fremantle Arts Centre and the WA Academy of Performing Arts, Tim White.
  • White, T., (2018), Percussion as Theatre: reconsidering the percussion ensemble via novel repertoire. 'Starstruck', 'King of Denmark', 'Cirque du Rhythm', 'Matsuri Defying Gravity' and 'Thunderstruck', Fremantle Arts Centre, Perth Concert Hall, ABC TV, WA Academy of Performing Arts, Edith Cowan University, Tim White.
  • White, T., (2017), Hit Parade Festival of Innovation and New Music in Percussion. Hit Parade, WAAPA at Edith Cowan University, and Methodist Ladies College, Edith Cowan University.
  • White, T., (2015), Defying Gravity’s ‘Stereo Action’ - Music Director. Defying Gravity : ‘Stereo Action’, WAAPA Music Auditorium, WAAPA and Tim White.

Research Student Supervision

Associate Supervisor

  • Master of Arts (Performing Arts),  Practicing jazz performance: An investigation into the process that underpins optimal instrumental practice in the jazz idiom.
  • Master of Arts (Performing Arts),  Creating and performing new Australian works on the hungarian concert cimbalom.
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