"Ritchie cleverly writes music that fuses celebration with elements of militaristic drum-taps within a web of cross-hatched rhythms that one quickly realises is very much part of the Ritchie signature style. This is wholly accessible music, flamboyant and exciting, similar in spirit if not musical vocabulary to Morton Gould when he wrote in a more serious vein."
musicweb review of A Bugle Will Do
Anthony Ritchie is without a doubt one of New Zealand's most prolific composers. Today is the premiere of his Violin Concerto, to be performed by Bella Hristova and the Southern Sinfonia, and conducted by Tecwyn Evans! So very exciting.
For more info: www.anthonyritchie.co.nz
As a final salute to NZ composers for the final day of NZ music month ... here is a snippet of the doco 'HARPS MAKE FINE COMPANIONS'
RELEASE, THE MOZART FELLOWSHIP
"The violin/piano duo of Tessa Petersen and John Van Buskirk is well known to New Zealand audiences. They celebrate twenty years together, with performances in the USA, the Caribbean and Europe prior to settling in New Zealand in 2006."
Chamber Music New Zealand
Tessa Petersen studied at the University of Otago and led the NZ Youth Orchestra before continuing her studies in London at the Royal College of Music. Tessa has played widely in Europe and USA and is presently Executant lecturer in violin at the University of Otago.
John van Buskirk graduated in piano from Eastman School of Music and the Juilliard School before completing his post-graduate study at the Liszt Academy in Budapest. He has played widely in Europe and USA and currently lectures and tutors at the University of Otago.
The performances of Tessa Petersen and John van Buskirk are reflective, vibrant, stunning! ... LA BELLE ALLIANCE will definitely stir your emotions AND charm you! The concept behind the album RELEASE is intriguing - each track is composed by a NZ composer that has held The Mozart Fellowship at the University of Otago. It might be noted that Anthony Ritchie's 'Meditation for violin and piano' was specifically written for Tessa and John in 2008, and as a youngster, Tessa was also taught violin by Mozart Fellow Anthony Watson.
"The Mozart Fellowship was established in 1969 to aid and encourage composers of music in the practice and advancement of their art, to associate them with the life of the University, and at the same time to foster an interest in contemporary music within the University and in the community. The fellowship is New Zealand’s premier compositional residency; the list of past fellows includes many of New Zealand’s most notable composers."
SOUNZ: Mozart Fellowship Award
"This CD provides an interesting selection of original works written by 10 of the composers who have held a Mozart Fellowship over the 41 years since it began.
Featuring the work of composers Christopher Adams, John Elmsly, Christopher Marshall, Anthony Watson, Ian McDonald, Edwin Carr, Anthony Ritchie, John Rimmer and Larry Pruden. 100% New Zealand Music."
amplifier.co.nz: La Belle Alliance
For more info:
CHAMBER MUSIC NEW ZEALAND: LA BELLE ALLIANCE on TOUR
"New Zealand composer Gillian Karawe Whitehead has written two quintets for the New Zealand String Quartet and Taonga Puoro (Māori instruments) specialist Richard Nunns. These outstanding works, Puhake ki te rangi (“spouting to the skies”) andHineputehue (“the woman of the sound of the gourd”) have been performed many times in New Zealand, Europe and North America and audiences have found them fascinating, evocative and moving."
NZ composer Dame Gillian Karawe Whitehead, one of New Zealand's most esteemed present day composers, has been the recipient of many awards including the SOUNZ contemporary award in 1999 for her opera 'Outrageous Fortune.' In 2008 Gillian was awarded one of New Zealand's highest honours - Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, and in 2009 given the title ‘Dame’...
Her compositions number far too many to mention in a short piece such as this, however in 2010 she was part of a New Zealand composers collaboration CD with harpist Helen Webby: Pluck. I was lucky enough to have a minor job helping out on the DVD documentary project 'Harps make Fine companions' that mirrored the making of the CD Pluck. The interviews with all the composers were fascinating, where each composer explained some of their compositional styles and techniques. Gillian had a gentle yet vibrant way about her, and I particularly enjoyed the interaction she had with Helen Webby, explaining how she as the composer envisioned her piece 'Cicadas' to be played.
Her works are dynamic and include a variety of genres, instruments and performance techniques. If you would like to discover more about her work, here is a performance of her composition 'Arapatiki', a commissioned piece for Stephen De Pledge.
"Arapatiki translates (from the Maori language) as ‘the way of the flounder’, and is the ancient name of the sand flats in front of my house at Harwood, near Dunedin."
Music from the motion picture: WHITE LIES
"One of NZ's most prominent contemporary composers, Psathas is also internationally acclaimed. His impressive CV includes scoring the Athens Olympics' opening ceremony (and the work which the NZSO performed recently at the Olympic Cultural Festival in Beijing), two Best Classical Album Tui awards and two SOUNZ Contemporary Music Silver Scroll awards".
Lydia Jenkin - NZ Musician Magazine
Between Zero and One