Leading NZ composers receive awards

16 December 2014 / News

Our sincere congratulations go to two leading New Zealand composers who have recently received significant recognition for their work. Ross Harris (above left) was made an Arts Foundation Laureate in November and John Psathas (above right) has been awarded a Higher Doctorate from Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music during Victoria University of Wellington’s December Graduation ceremonies.

Ross Harris is one of New Zealand's leading contemporary composers with an output of more than two hundred compositions. He has received the SOUNZ Contemporary Award more times than any other New Zealand composer. Now he has been presented with one of this year’s five Arts Foundtion Laureate awards in recognition of his achievements. The awards, issued annually, are seen as an investment in excellence across a range of art forms for an artist with prominence and outstanding potential for future growth.

We were proud to recently play Ross Harris’s Quartet IV (Variation 25) during our UK tour, and after highly acclaimed performances in Wellington and Dunedin, we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to again perform his Requiem for the Fallen in the Auckland Arts Festival. We will also be presenting a series of Composer Connections concerts for Chamber Music New Zealand in 2015 focused on the music of Ross Harris.

Professor of Composition at Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music, John Psathas’s music has achieved international acclaim, with his concert works regularly performed on the international stage by some of the world's leading musicians. His Higher Doctorate from Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music – an award rarely bestowed – is in recognition of his extensive output and contribution as a composer.

John Psathas's musical style brings together the languages of jazz, classical, Eastern European and Middle Eastern, avant-garde, rock, and electronica. We performed his work Manos, Unbridled, breathes life into Kartsigar to UK audiences on our recent tour.

Image: Ross Harris (Gareth Watkins / Lilburn Trust / Wallace Arts Trust) and John Psathas

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