Jacqui on the cover of a Focolare magazine.

Jacqui Rutten learned music as a child, from her mother, Mary Knights-Rutten. She was busking at 14 years old, then received a BP Award for her post-graduate studies in opera and music theatre. She furthered her musical education in Central Java, at Sekolah Tinggi Seni Indonesia assisted by a government bursary (dharmasiswa) for one year and an Australia Council for the Arts grant.

Highlights have included singing as a soloist for the Victoria State Opera Youth Company, and live-to-air for Radio Republik Indonesia, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Jacqui was also a regular cantor at St. Patrick’s Cathedral for six years, and spoke about vocal composition and improvisation as a music conference delegate at the international conference Composition in the 21st Century in 2014 at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.​

Jacqui’s compositions have been commissioned by Chamber Made Opera, ABC Radio, international festivals, and her vocal works have been performed for many concerts in churches, galleries, festivals, cathedrals, for the Melbourne Composers League, and for charity. In 2017 Jacqui was Composer in Residence at Montsalvat and in 2019 Jacqui returned to The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Ireland, for a third residency. ​ In 2022 Jacqui received sponsorship from the Vaughan Williams Charitable Trust to present a charity concert in his memory. In 2023, Jacqui travelled to the West of Ireland to compose music. She is currently developing compositions for local concerts.

Jacqui Rutten also completed some study of law, an arts degree, social work, a pre-novitiate, social work volunteer experience, two business qualifications, and a running a gallery certificate.

Download more complete CV

Dances with Lyrebirds Exhibition, Burrinja


2021. Grant from the Ralph Vaughan Williams Music Society (UK) for concert in 2022.

2020. Shire of Yarra Ranges Cultural Grant for Recession Charity Concert Series – Song as a Sacred Pathway into Nature

2018. Shire of Yarra Ranges Cultural Small Grant for concert of local women composers.

2017. Shire of Yarra Ranges Cultural Small Grant for concert for a shelter for women and children experiencing homelessness.

2015. Phonographic Performance Company of Australia grant for travel to Ireland for composing residency.

2003. Shire of Yarra Ranges Cultural Grant for Improvisations as Nature performance.

2001. Awarded Certificate of Appreciation for volunteer service to the community for volunteer work at Mission Impossible Drop-In Centre.

1991. Australia Council Study Grant to study vocal music in Central Java, Indonesia.

1991. Indonesian Government dharmasiswa (bursary) to study at Sekolah Tinggi Seni Indonesia (Centre of Higher Cultural Education).

1989. BP Award for post-graduate study of opera and music theatre at the Victorian College of the Arts.

Written Works

List of over 100 Works nearly all performed or recorded

These works include song cycles, operas, songs, and other music.


Article in Local Paper about charity concert.

Article at Australian Music Centre about composing residency.

Article in Tintean magazine abut composing an Irish Blind Poetess.

Jacqui composes outdoors to be part of nature.
Photo by Jesse Graham 2019. Visit facebook:


2019 Recorded by Radio Adelaide, a solo lunchtime concert at Adelaide Baptist Church Adelaide.

2017 Melbourne Composers League 20th Anniversary CD.Birdsong Improvisations with Livia Judge (flute)

2016 Relics to Real Time CD recorded at Move Records Studio with Livia Judge (flute).

2010 ABC Broadcast of Lyrebird Themes 20min radiophonic work commissioned by Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Radio

2010 Broadcast of Jacqui’s arrangement of Puer Natus on Christmas day on ABC Radio

2004 Sacred CD with Cath Connelly (Celtic harp)

2004 Shelter 20 minute radiophonic work commissioned and broadcast by ABC Radio

2004 CD Soul’s Desire with Mary Knights-Rutten (cello and singing bowls)

2003 Singer for ABC AdLib web project by Jon Rose

2001 Singer for David Chesworth’s CD released by ABC Radio “Wicked Voice’

1994 Tresno dance opera commissioned by Chamber Made Opera recorded by ABC Radio

1992 Live to Air Improvisation for John Cage Memorial ABC Radio

1991 Singing for gamelan Live to Air Radio Republik Indonesia

1991 Release of independent cassette Balcony recorded at ABC Radio

1989 Soprano for Sir Jonathan Mills Four Songs recorded by ABC Radio

1989 Soprano for Warren Burt’s Thoreau Fragments recorded by ABC Radio


1985 Marian Song Cycle recorded with Anne Norman (shakuhachi)

1985 Soprano for David Chesworth’s opera Insatiable recorded by ABC Radio

1983 Back up vocalist for Not Drowning Waving’s first album Another Green Pond.

Lunchtime concert at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne.
Oxfam Benefit concert