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On the death of Edwin “Ted” Carr, ONZM

27 March 2003 Media Statement

On the death of Edwin “Ted” Carr, ONZM

Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Judith Tizard has paid tribute to distinguished New Zealand composer Edwin “Ted” Carr, who died today.

Born in Auckland on August 10th 1926, Edwin Carr studied under the late Douglas Lilburn in New Zealand and received scholarships to study in at the Guildhall with Benjamin Frankel, under Petrassi in Rome and with Carl Orff in Munich.

During the 1960s, he spent time in both Australia and England, composing, teaching and studying. He was awarded the Mozart Fellowship at the University of Otago in 1973, and from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s he composed and taught in London and Australia. In 1984 he returned to New Zealand, and had been actively composing and conducting since.

In 1999, Edwin James Nairn Carr was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

“Ted was a well-respected and prolific composer both here and overseas,” said Judith Tizard. “He was very much of that time when to be an artist was a major statement of independence in itself. To decide to be a full-time musician was an amazing thing, really, and while he spent some time teaching, he was able to dedicate most of his career to study and composition.

“He was one of the most distinctively original New Zealand voices in music, and he often incorporated other New Zealand voices into his works, such as Katharine Mansfield and Bruce Mason.

“His impressive output, much of which has been recorded, included symphonies and other orchestral works, a wind octet, string quartets, piano concertos and works for ballets and chamber ensembles.

“He was also well-known in New Zealand as a robust debater and a man of strong opinions. A resident of Waiheke Island in my Auckland Central Electorate since 1991, he will be missed by all who knew him and his music.

“My sympathies go to his family, friends and musical acquaintances at this sad time.”


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