CANZ Trust Fund Award and KBB/CANZ Citation to be presented at International Festival

Ross Harris (born 1945, Christchurch), one of New Zealand’s most recognised and celebrated composers, will receive the CANZ Trust Fund Award during the New Zealand Festival in Wellington next month. In the same ceremony, the KBB/CANZ Citation for Services to New Zealand Music will also be presented to the Wellington-based new music ensemble Stroma.

The Composers Association of New Zealand (CANZ) presents its Trust Fund Award each year to a composer whose current compositional activities are considered outstanding. New Zealand’s network of composers, CANZ supports and advocates for emerging and established New Zealand composers and their work. The Trust Fund winner is decided each year by the CANZ committee, elected members who donate their time to support the network and its various activities.

Harris’s music is widely hailed as strong and skilful, often tackling deep themes from history. He has set notable texts by leading NZ poets and writers, and his collaborations with poet Vincent O’Sullivan in particular have produced two remarkable operas, a symphony, three song cycles and a requiem. Harris’ output of over two hundred works is notable for its many large-scale compositions including five symphonies and two concerti. His work has been played in many countries, and he has won many awards including a QSM in in 1985, and made an Arts Laureate in 2014. Harris has won the SOUNZ Contemporary Award more times than any other New Zealand composer. Each new work shows a mature voice characterised by musical richness and security of purpose.

KBB Music has for many years sponsored and supported the KBB/CANZ Citation for Services to New Zealand Music, an annual award presented to an individual or organisation in recognition of their outstanding contribution and commitment to New Zealand composition.

Established in 1999 by composers Mike Norris and Phil Brownlee, and performers Bridget Douglas and Hamish McKeich, Stroma has brought much new music to Wellington and beyond. Comprising mostly NZSO members who have a desire to play challenging new music, the ensemble has commissioned and premiered over 40 works by such NZ composers as David Downes, James Gardner, Ross Harris, Alexandra Hay, Samuel Holloway, Dorothy Ker, Dugal McKinnon and Jeroen Speak, and presented it alongside new music from leading international composers.

Stroma will join a long list of recipients of the KBB/CANZ Citation which includes Jack Body, David Farquhar, Dame Gillian Whitehead, Karen Grylls, Douglas Lilburn, Margaret Neilsen, Philip Norman, John Rimmer, John Ritchie, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, 175 East, the NZTrio, Waiteata Music Press and many more.

The two awards will be presented at the conclusion of the second performance of Harris’s work Brass Poppies at Shed 6 on Friday 4th March. With a libretto by Vincent O’Sullivan and a score performed by Stroma and NZ Opera, the chamber opera powerfully depicts the Gallipoli story and its impact on New Zealanders.

Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra Composer Workshops 2016

Deadline for applications: Friday 26 February 2016

Media release from the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra:
(Download as a PDF)

APO has an extensive programme which fosters young and aspiring composers, in addition to providing opportunities in which they can test their orchestral voice.

As part of the 2016/2017 programme the APO is collaborating with the Auckland Art Gallery in order to offer composers in the early stages of their career with the opportunity to write works inspired by New Zealand visual art. What do you feel when you immerse yourself in the visual work of some of this country’s finest artists? How can we quantify those feelings and reactions? What is the inspiration behind these works, and how can we express that through sound?

Through two workshops your compositional ideas will be performed and worked on with guidance and mentoring from APO’s Composer-in-Residence Karlo Margetić, culminating in a performance of these works at the Auckland Town Hall in 2017.

Dates for Composer Workshops 2016
Workshop 1 – Monday 17 October, 10am – 12:30pm
Workshop 2 – Monday 5 December, 10am – 12:30pm

Both workshops will be held at Philharmonia Hall in Mt Eden, Auckland.

Eligibility: Composers in the early stages of their careers who are New Zealand citizens or current residents. (Please note that composers are responsible for covering their own travel and accommodation expenses to and from the workshops).

How to apply:

  • Visit the Auckland Art Gallery, or explore their collection online using the ‘advanced collection search’ on their website.
  • Identify a New Zealand work that inspires you.
  • Briefly outline how you would approach writing an orchestral piece (c.10-15 minutes long) taking that work of art as a point of departure. It is understood that these are initial ideas, and are subject to change during the composing process.(Please no more than 400 words).
  • Send this outline to by Friday 26 February 2016 along with the following:
    — 1 to 2 PDFs of your scores. These need not necessarily be for orchestra.
    — If available, recordings of the above (links to soundcloud, youtube etc. are greatly preferred. MIDI is acceptable. Please use a service like dropbox for files larger than 5MB)
    — contact details: Name, address, phone number and preferred email.
    — Short biography.