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NZ Composers NZ performers NZ Music Month


NZ Composers NZ performers NZ Music Month

Five NZ composers will have their orchestral works read by the NZSO on 3 & 4 May to mark the beginning of NZ music month.

The NZSO-SOUNZ Readings is a joint project of the two organisations, which offers composers the opportunity to have either new or existing works read by our own world-class orchestra.

Five composers have works included this time; from Wellington, Christopher Blake, Ross Harris and Chris Gendall and from Auckland, Leonie Holmes and Christopher Marshall.

As well as being for the composers' benefit, the purpose of the Readings is to assist those involved in selecting repertoire for concert performances, recordings and broadcasts. Hundreds of invitations have been sent to people all around the country including festival directors and orchestra managers.

"NZ composers are extremely grateful for the opportunity to have their music played by the NZSO. It's common for new works to get a premiere performance, and then they're never heard again. This project brings many of those Œforgotten' works to the attention of other performing organisations and it's been a great success so far." says Executive Director of SOUNZ, Scilla Askew.

Composer Ross Harris has already experienced the benefits of the Readings. His work ŒMusic for Jonny' which was in the Readings three years ago, has since been programmed by the NZSO, was released on the Orchestra's Beauty Spot II CD and has had further performances as far afield as Scotland.

The Readings project has taken place six times and already 8 composers have had their music programmed in concerts.

"It's very exciting that we are now hosting the seventh sessions of these Readings and it's very gratifying that so many works have been heard by a wider audience as a result ­ including NZSO audiences," says Peter Walls, Chief Executive of the NZSO.

A jury of top performers and composers appointed by SOUNZ chooses the works to be performed and NZ composers from all over the country as well as those living overseas have the opportunity to submit either existing or newly written works. There are usually 30 or so entries received by the Centre every time there is a call for scores.

Conductor for the event Hamish McKeich who was also on the selection committee says, "It's always a fascinating process choosing the works. Styles and inspiration amongst NZ composers vary greatly, so we're always able to choose a mixture of works that could be programmed in a variety of contexts. It's been great to see quite a number of new works coming through too."

The event allows rehearsal time throughout the day and then a complete play- through of the works, which is kindly recorded by Concert Fm for the composers' reference and will be followed with opportunity for discussion about the five works included, where the composers, performers and conductor will be present.

The NZSO-SOUNZ Readings take place in the Wellington Town Hall on 3 and 4 May. It is free and open to the public, however numbers are limited. Please contact SOUNZ for further information. Email:



For Bios of composers with works in the Readings visit Or

click on links below...

Christopher Blake LINK

Ross Harris LINK

Leonie Holmes LINK

Chris Gendall LINK

Chris Marshall LINK

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