Haydn Reeder was born in Melbourne and graduated from the University of Melbourne. He undertook postgraduate studies in piano and composition at the Graz and Vienna Academies of Music, Austria graduating with a Reifepruefung in composition. Later he worked extensively as an editor and proof-reader of contemporary music for Universal Edition in Vienna and London. During this time his music was influenced by his contact with musicians such as Alfred Brendel, Harrison Birtwistle and Gyorgy Ligeti. After his return to Australia in 1983 he lectured in theory and composition at La Trobe University, Melbourne. There he later gained his Master of Arts for his compositions and a thesis.
His awards include one of two equal prizes in the 1976 Premio ‘Città di Trieste’ for an orchestral piece, Attract and Repulse, two composer fellowships from the Australia Council and a similar fellowship from the Victorian Ministry for the Arts in 1989. He has been commissioned by ensembles and soloists in London (the Australian Sinfonia, the Omega Guitar Quartet, the West Square Electronic Music Association) and Australia (Jochen Schubert, the Seymour Group, Flederman, Elision, the Melbourne Windpower, The Song Company). In addition he has written a chamber opera and orchestral, live-electronic, vocal and choral works. In 1992, two of his works, Games of Balance for harp solo and Celebration of the Mandala for seven trombones, reached the final round in the Fukai International Harp Music Competition (Japan) and the International Trombone Association Contest (USA), respectively.
His piano solo Masks has been recorded on the Move label, and in 1996, Vienna Modern Masters issued a CD containing Lark 2 for saxophone and orchestra. His ensemble work After the Cry and Strong Song and Display for two pianos were released on CD by the Melbourne Composers League. Available also is a CD entitled amBivALAeNCE, containing Molto espressivo for violin and piano, Chants at Play with Solid Background played by Het Trio, Glances, Repose for violin, Mandala Rite for clarinet and guitar and Interplay for guitar and electronics.
An APA Scholarship enabled Haydn Reeder to gain his PhD degree in 2005 at the University of Melbourne.
Besides composing, he continues to perform. In 2007 he formed a duo piano partnership with his brother Max. Included in their repertoire are Reeder’s duets, Duet 1 (Hidden melodies) and Duet 2. In addition he teaches piano, theory and composition, examines, and works as a music editor and copyist.