William Barton is Australia’s leading didgeridoo player as well as a highly esteemed composer, instrumentalist and vocalist.

William first learnt the instrument from his uncle, Arthur Peterson, an Elder of the Wannyi, Lardil and Kalkadunga people and was working from an early age with traditional dance groups, fusion/rock/jazz bands, orchestras, string quartets and mixed ensembles.

Throughout his diverse career he has forged a path in the classical musical world from the London, Berlin and Bremer Philharmonic Orchestras to historic events at Westminster Abbey for Commonwealth Day 2019, at Anzac Cove in Gallipoli and the Beijing Olympics.

William holds honorary doctorates from both Griffith University and the University of Sydney. He has released 5 albums on the ABC Classics label including Heartland 2022 with Veronique Serret and the words of William’s mother, Aunty Delmae Barton. William has been developing a new musical language, which is epitomised in this record.

William was named Queensland Australian of the Year for 2023 and was an Australian of the Year Nominee. In 2023 he also received the Richard Gill Award for Distinguished Services to Australian Music.

In 2022 he was recognised for his work with the Australian Chamber Orchestra for the Soundtrack of the film “River”. River won Best Soundtrack Album and Best Original Song Composed for the Screen at the APRA AMCOS Screen Awards, Best Original Score in a Documentary at the AACTA Awards and Best Original Soundtrack at the ARIA Awards.

His other awards include the prestigious Don Banks Music Award from the Australian Council in 2021, winner of Best Original Score for a Mainstage Production at the 2018 Sydney Theatre Awards and Winner of Best Classical Album at the ARIA Awards for Birdsong At Dusk in 2012.