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NZ Music Takes To The Stage

NZ Music Takes To The Stage

Festival goers with tickets booked to the ballet or the theatre and even those wandering through a museum are likely to come across music by NZ composers.

More than 15 composers from all over NZ have works in the 2004 New Zealand International Arts Festival, allowing audiences to discover the diversity of musical styles and range of projects composers can be involved in.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet will dance to Wellington composer John Psathas¹ string quartet ŒAbhisheka¹, in a work choreographed by NZ born Adrian Burnett.

At the museum of Wellington City and Sea an instillation of ships bells is made complete with a soundtrack of bell samples arranged by Auckland composer Jonathan Besser.

Music by NZ composers can also be found in the more usual concert arenas.

ŒVelocities II¹ places Wellington based composers David Long and David Downes alongside international names in contemporary music, John Adams and Gavin Bryars. Downes with a music video and Long, who is best known for kick-starting kiwi band the Mutton Birds with a work for electric guitar and ensemble.

³The International Festival has, for 20 years, offered an important opportunity to local creative artists to present their work in an international arena. Each Festival has included major works by NZ composers and the 2004 Festival promises a bumper crop. It is a great opportunity for a wider audience to experience some great local music² says Scilla Askew, Executive Director of SOUNZ.

Following the success of Composer Portraits in previous festivals, two portrait concerts will feature music by two of New Zealand¹s leading composers, Eve de Castro-Robinson of Auckland and Jack Body of Wellington. The portraits offer audiences a rare opportunity to Œget inside¹ the music of each composer.

Opera and children¹s theatre also feature music by New Zealand composers.

Well known Wellington composer Gareth Farr is for the second time collaborating with Capital E¹s National Theatre for Children composing music for the Festival show ŒMonkey¹.

ŒQuartet¹, a comic chamber opera commissioned by the Festival with music by Dunedin based composer Anthony Ritchie relays the trials and tribulations of a string quartet as they tour New Zealand.

³As NZ¹s major International Festival, we have a strong commitment to commissioning and programming the best of local music played by outstanding performers. From the intimacy of chamber music recitals to the exciting multi-media collaboration of Velocities II, the 2004 Festival offers a great range of NZ music which we are sure will prove a revelation and inspiration for our audiences² says the Festival¹s artistic director Carla van Zon.

For further information about New Zealand¹s composers visit or for festival events visit

© Scoop Media

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