2019 NZ Composer Sessions

Press Release – SOUNZ

Media Release
for immediate release
2019 NZ Composer Sessions
in association with NZSO, RNZ Concert and SOUNZ

SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music is proud to announce the selection for the latest NZ Composer Sessions. Eight New Zealand composers’ works will be rehearsed and performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and recorded by RNZ Concert next July:

Brigid Bisley: Glimmer of Blue
Reuben Jelleyman: Vespro
Lucien Johnson: Axum
Alissa Long: The Corner of the War
Kit Powell: Na Māui te Ahi a te Ao
Tabea Squire: Variations
Kirsten Strom: Ice
Anthony Young: On Hearing the Shining Cuckoo

In addition to the selection, Barry Vercoe’s METAMORPHOSES will be recorded alongside the more recent works.

“We are delighted to announce another strong and diverse selection for the NZ Composer Sessions, which enables us to deliver NZ music to be heard by a wider audience. In addition to presenting a younger generation of composers along with established ones, half of the selected composers this year are women. We’re looking forward to another set of high quality recordings of contemporary NZ music, created with the support of our partners the NZSO and RNZ Concert,” says SOUNZ Executive Director Diana Marsh.

A panel made up of representatives of the NZSO, RNZ Concert and the Composers Association of New Zealand (CANZ) selected the works to be recorded.

Kirsten Strom, from Auckland, whose work was selected to be recorded for the first time said, “It is such an honour to be selected among such awesome composers. What I love about the NZSO is their enthusiasm and expressivity. I am so excited to work with them again, have a beautiful recording that can go places, and to hear ‘Ice’ performed live to new audiences, and hopefully connect with more musicians in future.”

The 2019 recordings will take place in July at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington, including a concert for invited guests to promote the works to a range of orchestras and broadcasters.

NZ Composer Sessions offers an opportunity to have orchestral compositions workshopped and performed by a professional orchestra, to be recorded in a professional setting and promoted to presenters. So far 142 works by 67 NZ composers have been recorded.

Brigid Bisley’s work will be also recorded for the first time: “I feel honoured to have had my work selected. — There are very few opportunities available for composers to get new work performed. So what’s fantastic about the NZ Composer Sessions is that they make it possible for composers to hear their work, and other people’s work too; to get technical and artistic feedback from the players in the orchestra; and to receive audience response. — These processes are essential to artistic development and give composers the necessary encouragement to go on being composers. — This is a valued, appreciated and important resource – long may it continue!”

You can browse composers and listen to past recordings on SOUNZ’s and RNZ Concert’s websites:


Brigid Bisley https://www.sounz.org.nz/contributors/1011

Reuben Jelleyman https://www.sounz.org.nz/contributors/1831

Lucien Johnson https://www.sounz.org.nz/contributors/1878

Alissa Long https://www.sounz.org.nz/contributors/35

Kit Powell https://www.sounz.org.nz/contributors/1079

Tabea Squire https://www.sounz.org.nz/contributors/1701

Kirsten Strom https://www.sounz.org.nz/contributors/1906

Anthony Young https://www.sounz.org.nz/contributors/1245

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