Donald Oscar Banks (25 October 1923 – 5 September 1980) was an Australian composer of concert, jazz, and commercial music.
Banks was born in South Melbourne, and initially studied at the University of Melbourne under Waldemar Seidel, then moved to London where he studied with Mátyás Seiber. Further studies with Milton Babbitt, Luigi Dallapiccola, and Luigi Nono convinced him of the merits of serialism, which he incorporated into his compositional technique. Through Seiber, he gained contacts in the film industry, where he became a frequent composer of music, mainly for cartoons, and the horror movies produced by Hammer Films. Beginning in the mid-1960s, he composed a number of works in the Third Stream style espoused by Gunther Schuller, mixing jazz and concert-music idioms, and began a series of works using electronic music materials.
He died in McMahons Point, Sydney, in 1980.
Banks's best-known works include the Sonata da Camera for flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, piano, percussion, violin, viola, and cello (1961), a Horn Concerto (1965), and Violin Concerto (1968).
- AMCOZ Web Profile
- Don Banks Music Award
- Music Australia: source the National Library
- History of British and Australian innovation, includes Don Banks ideas and equipment
- Biography of Don Banks