Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Sarah Ballard wins prestigious NZSO Young Composers Awards

28 November 2012

Young composer Sarah Ballard wins prestigious NZSO Todd Corporation Young Composers Awards

Auckland-based music student Sarah Ballard is this year’s NZSO Todd Corporation Young Composers Awards winner.

It is the second time Sarah has been a participant in the prestigious national composers’ programme, but she didn’t expect to take home the grand prize at yesterday’s award ceremony in Wellington.

“I’m surprised and overwhelmed,” she said following the announcement. “This programme is a melting pot of compositional styles and I love absorbing all of them.”

Sarah plans to keep composing and complete her Masters in composition at the University of Auckland under the tutelage of John Elmsly and Leonie Holmes.

“I always love being part of this programme because each composer’s musical style feeds into my subconscious. It enhances my experience as a composer and may even lead to what I produce next.”

Sarah’s piece Bitter Hill is based on the landscape around the Waikato River, where she grew up.

“When you look into the river, you can almost hear the steamer boats that used to make their trade there. The farming community across the bridge is Pukekawa, which means ‘hill of bitter memories’. The land and atmosphere, accompanied by the senses, is very much a part of my being. Mercer, where I grew up, was a great place to explore my imagination.”

This year’s NZSO Todd Corporation Young Composers Awards, now in its eighth year, featured compositions by eight aspiring composers from Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin and Blenheim. Each composer was selected after submitting their scores to a panel of industry professionals.

Dunedin-based composer Anthony Ritchie was this year’s programme mentor and judge. He worked closely with each composer throughout the three days, offering compositional tips of the trade.

Ritchie said Sarah’s piece Bitter Hill was very “moving”.

“Sarah is a composer who has been working on developing her voice further and you can hear it in Bitter Hill. It is a bold work and very professionally produced.”

Composer Wesley Webb received the Orchestra’s Choice Award for his programmatic work The Last Moa, written from the perspective of the last remaining moa. This award is decided by vote by the players of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

“Wesley’s composition is very well-created and he has great skill in the way he puts forward his ideas,” said Anthony Ritchie.

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, led by Kiwi conductor Tecwyn Evans, performed each work during the three-day programme. NZSO players from the Percussion, Woodwind and Strings sections offered in-depth master classes for the young composers. Radio New Zealand Concert recorded each piece to be broadcast next year.

Sarah received a gift and cash prize from Sir John Todd at the ceremony.

“These young composers are making New Zealand a better place because they’re contributing to our culture,” said Sir John Todd following the announcement.

For more about the NZSO Todd Corporation Young Composers Awards click here >


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


13/10: 40 Years Since The Māori Land March Arrived At Parliament

Traffic into Wellington came to a standstill as thousands of Māori and Pākehā streamed along the motorway into the capital on 13 October 1975, concluding the Māori land march to parliament. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Before The Quakes

Remembering Christchurch: Voices from decades past: The Christchurch I lived in for my first 23 years was where four-year-olds walked alone to kindergarten, crossing roads empty of all but a couple of cars per hour. My primary school, Ilam, was newly built on a grassy paddock surrounded by rural land... More>>

6-11 October: New Zealand Improvisation Festival Hits Wellington

Wellingtonians will have a wide selection of improv to feast on with a jam packed programme containing 22 shows, three companies from Australia, two companies from Auckland, one from Nelson, one from Christchurch and seven from Wellington. More>>


Bird Of The Year: New Zealanders Asked To Vote For Their Favourite Native Bird

Te Radar, David Farrier, Heather du-Plessis Allan and Duncan Garner are just some of the New Zealanders championing their favourite native bird in Forest & Bird’s annual Bird of the Year competition, which kicks off today.. More>>


Werewolf Film: It Follows - Panic In Detroit

Philip Matthews: When you heard last month that Wes Craven had died and you wanted to pay homage, you could have sat down with any one of five of his films that helped reinvent American horror at least three times over three decades... Or you could just have watched one of the greatest recent horror films that would probably not exist without Craven. More>>


Werewolf Music: Searching For The White Wail - On Art Pepper, etc

If the word ‘hipster’ means anything – which it arguably doesn’t – it seems to be more of an impulse than a condition. One always headed for the margins, and away from the white-bred, white-bread mainstream... More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news