2021 SOUNZ Commission for Orchestra and Sistema Youth Orchestra | Te Tono Mahinga a SOUNZ mā te Rāngi Puoro me te Rāngi Puoro Taiohi a Sistema – winner announced.

SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music, Orchestra Wellington and Arohanui Strings – Sistema Hutt Valley are delighted to announce that composer Sarah Ballard has been selected for the 2021 SOUNZ Commission for Orchestra and Sistema Youth Orchestra. Sarah will be working with Orchestra Wellington and Arohanui Strings – Sistema Hutt Valley on a new work and is looking forward to writing a ‘children-led’ piece, enhanced by the Orchestra Wellington musicians.

Diana Marsh, SOUNZ’s Executive Director, said, “We are delighted to be able to work with Orchestra Wellington and Arohanui Strings on this highly collaborative project. At SOUNZ we want to offer the opportunity for everyone to enjoy New Zealand music and what better way to do this than by engaging one of our composers to write for the combined forces of an orchestra with these young musicians. We are looking forward to working with Sarah on the 2021 commission.”

Sarah said, “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Arohanui Strings and Orchestra Wellington on an exciting new project, which I hope will be fun for the performers and audience members alike. I look forward to taking everyone on an adventure to the river Yamuna, where the two orchestras will help the most wonderful scenes come to life. I am especially excited to be able to share a most enchanting story with the children of Arohanui Strings and I hope that we can work together to create a rewarding and fulfilling experience for them. I am very grateful to SOUNZ and the orchestras for this opportunity.”

The project, which is now in its fourth year, is a collaboration between SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music, Orchestra Wellington and Arohanui Strings – Sistema Hutt Valley. Orchestra Wellington and Arohanui Strings will perform the new commission as part of a concert at the Michael Fowler Centre in October 2021.

Last year, the commission was awarded to Christchurch composer Alissa Long for her work Domino Effect. The piece, inspired by musical chain-reactions, was performed twice by Orchestra Wellington and Arohanui Strings during the 2020 season (after the original performance at the Walter Nash Centre in Lower Hutt , the work was performed in a subscription concert at Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre).