2020 NZ Composer Sessions
in association with the NZSO, RNZ Concert and SOUNZ

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

Rosa Elliott: What Have You Done to Your Rivers?
John Elmsly: Champs de Cloches
Ben Hoadley: Turakirae
David Mason: Ekimmaras
Xu Tang: Zhong
Michael Vinten: Six Korean Love Poems
Ryan Youens: Munro

For the fourth time, another orchestral work is added to the Resound Studio collection:
Eve de Castro Robinsons Cyprian’s Dance will be recorded alongside the selection of new works.

“We are delighted to announce another strong and diverse selection for the NZ Composer Sessions, which enables us to bring NZ music to a larger audience.  However, although there was a wide and exciting range of works offered for selection from the younger generation of composers, along with established ones, there was a disappointing lack of entries from women composers. In response to this, SOUNZ is working with the NZSO, RNZ Concert and the composing community to consider ways in which we can ensure that women composers are better represented in projects and opportunities” says SOUNZ Executive Director Diana Marsh.

“In a year that has been so disrupted for our music sector, we’re looking forward to the opportunity to have another set of high-quality recordings and films of contemporary NZ music, created with the support and generosity of our partners NZSO and RNZ Concert.” 

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.

David Mason (Te Rarawa, Rangitane, Ngati Kuia), from Auckland, whose work was selected to be recorded said, Being selected for this year’s NZ Composer Sessions is a massive honour. The event is a fantastic goal for young composers like myself and provides a strong motivation to compose for orchestra. I’m excited to be able to work closely with the NZSO to capture the blending of colours I strove to achieve in my work, Ekimmaras. As well as this, working with SOUNZ and RNZ Concert to professionally produce an orchestral work of mine is a rare and invaluable opportunity.”

SOUNZ, NZSO and RNZ Concert are committed to following Ministry of Health guidelines if New Zealand is still under a COVID-19 Alert Level. If the Alert level allows for it, the 2020 recordings will take place in September/October 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 150 works by 71 NZ composers have been recorded.

Xu Tang’s work will be also recorded: “It is a great pleasure and such an honour for me that my work has been selected. My heartfelt thanks for the support of NZSO, RNZ Concert, SOUNZ, CANZ. I am very grateful to be selected for this wonderful opportunity working with NZSO. This opportunity enables me to continue to develop as a composer. I am very much looking forward to the recording and concert, and being part of this exciting session.”

You can browse composers and listen to past recordings on the SOUNZ and RNZ Concert websites.