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Ross Harris new Composer-in-Residence

Ross Harris new Composer-in-Residence

The Auckland Philharmonia has engaged Ross Harris as its 2005 Composer-in-Residence.

Regarded as one of New Zealand’s leading composers, Ross Harris has written over 100 works including operas, songs, chamber music, electronic music, symphonic music and jazz. In 1985 he was awarded a QSM for Public Service following the première of his opera Waituhi with libretto by Witi Ihimaera. In 1990 he was awarded the CANZ Citation for Services to New Zealand Music. In 2000 he won the SOUNZ Contemporary Award for his chamber work, To the Memory of I.S. Totzka, and his recent composition, At the Edge of Silence, is one of the finalists in the 2004 SOUNZ Contemporary Awards.

Ross Harris is also a musician of some note. He played French horn in the NZSO, went on to play jazz saxophone, and now concentrates on jazz trumpet and accordion. He was appointed a Lecturer in Music at Victoria University in 1971 and has recently taken early retirement to pursue a career as a freelance composer.

John Ure, Auckland Philharmonia Director of Operations, was co-instrumental in initiating the orchestra’s Composer-in-Residence scheme in 1990. He says the Auckland Philharmonia has always been a major supporter of New Zealand music and musicians, and having a resident composer is something the orchestra is proud of. “We are particularly thrilled to have Ross as our 2005 resident. He is an outstanding composer and we will all benefit from having him at the orchestra.” Ross Harris’s major commission for the Auckland Philharmonia will be a 20 minute piece entitled Symphony, to be premièred on Thursday 25 August in the Auckland Town Hall, during the orchestra’s Vero Premier Series.

Of his appointment, Ross Harris says “It is a wonderful opportunity to write a number of pieces for one of the country’s finest orchestras. The Auckland Philharmonia has an excellent tradition of support for New Zealand composers, and in becoming the Composer-in-Residence in 2005 I will be joining a prestigious group of composers who have, through the Residency, made significant contributions to the orchestral repertoire in this country.”

Auckland Philharmonia Composers-in-Residence, to date:

Ivan Zagni – 1990

Eve de Castro-Robinson – 1991

Andrew Perkins – 1992

Martin Lodge – 1993

Helen Bowater – 1994

Nigel Keay – 1995

Jas Coleman – 1996

Leonie Holmes – 1997

Jonathan Besser – 1998

David Hamilton – 1999

Gillian Whitehead – 2000, 2001

John Rimmer – 2002, 2003

Dyan Lardelli and Anthony Young – 2004

The Auckland Philharmonia receives major funding from Creative New Zealand and a major grant from Auckland City.

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