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Three out of four ain’t bad!

Three out of four ain’t bad!

Alison Grant has continued a remarkably successful run of results for New Zealand composers in the Young Composers Competition at the annual Asian Composer’s League Festival in Thailand.

She has become the third Kiwi to win the event in the last four years following on from Chris Watson in 2002 and Dylan Lardelli in 2003. In last year’s competition Wellington-based composer Chris Gendall was placed third. “I did feel a little pressure,” Alison admitted. “After such good results I was a little worried that I might let the side down!”

She need not have worried. Dr. Anthony Ritchie, composer and President of CANZ, the Composer’s Association of NZ, was also in Bangkok for the festival. “Alison's piece, Fission, is a colourful, well-scored and imaginative work”, he reports. “To be honest, in Bangkok it received a mediocre performance by an under-prepared ensemble, but the judges' opinions were not coloured by the playing and they recognized the merit of the work from the score.”

Fission, is scored for eight players including flute and piccolo, clarinets, trombone, double bass, piano and two percussionists. “I wanted to investigate less orthodox combinations of instruments,” Alison explained, “and experiment with the use of microtonality and techniques such as breath tones and playing inside the piano. The name of the work is drawn from the actions and reactions that characterise the way in which the instruments react together. It is based on the concept of organised chaos ‘resolving’ to a chaotic organisation!”

Travelling to Thailand was Alison’s first experience outside of Australia and New Zealand. “It was fairly full-on. Bangkok is a city full of sound and noise and new experiences of food and sights – sometimes quite surreal! I was very glad to get back to horizons again.”

Alison received her Bachelor’s degree with Honours in composition from Auckland University studying with John Elmsly and Eve de Castro Robinson. She is currently working towards her Master’s degree with Ross Harris at Victoria University. The NZ School of Music orchestra will premiere another of Alison’s works at their September 20 concert in Wellington Town Hall.


THE ASIAN COMPOSER’S LEAGUE is an umbrella group made up of the Composer’s organizations of 12 member countries from the Asia-Pacific region, including China, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Israel.

Each year CANZ calls for submissions for the ACL’s Young Composer’s competition and chooses one work to enter as a New Zealand ‘delegate’. As well as the competition the week long annual Festival incorporates concerts and seminars in which member country’s composers also take part. This year, other New Zealand composers whose works were played in the Festival concerts were John Elmsly (Resound for orchestra), Philip Dadson (Sisters Dance for piano), Anthony Ritchie (Preludes for piano), David Hamilton (The Moon Shines Everywhere and Rain in the Night for choir), Phillip Brownlee (Water Sketch with Tui for violin and piano) and Dylan Lardelli (Penumbra for Clarinet, Trombone, and Guitar).

The 2007 Asian Composer’s League Festival is due to be held in New Zealand.

About sounz : The Centre for New Zealand Music
Created in New Zealand, heard around the world!
Toi Te Arapuoru – tipua i Aotearoa, rangona e te ao!

Statement of Purpose

To provide, foster and promote music by New Zealand composers to enhance the mana of all New Zealanders and our sense of turangawaewae.

This is achieved through services and projects which:

- encourage the creation, performance, publication, recording and broadcast of music by New Zealand

- ensure a comprehensive collection of information and music resources are developed and maintained and made available for loan, perusal and purchase

- embrace the roles of advocate, facilitator and partner in national and international contexts.

The Centre is a not-for-profit organization which is registered as a charitable trust.

SOUNZ maintains an on-line searchable database of composers and their works [], a library as well as retail and information services representing the largest accessible collection of music by New Zealand composers in the world.

SOUNZ acknowledges operational funding from Creative New Zealand, APRA [Australasian Performing Right Association] and PPNZ [Phonographic Performances NZ Ltd.]

The Centre is a member of the International Association of Music Information Centres (IAMIC) which is a member of the International Music Council under the umbrella of UNESCO.


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