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Eleven New Zealand composers took part in Suite Aotearoa. One of these is an experienced taonga pūoro (Maori instrument) specialist, and the remaining ten are respected classical composers.

Horomona Horo 


Horomona Horo is a New Zealand Maori musician and composer. He is a practitioner of taonga pūoro, the collective term for the traditional musical instruments of the Māori, which include an array of flutes, trumpets and percussive instruments.


Horomona was mentored by the late Hirini Melbourne and Richard Nunns. He has represented New Zealand music in Europe, Asia, South America and Oceania. Performances include engagements with the Weimaraer Staatskapelle Orchestra, with the Canti Māori opera throughout Italy, and as guest artist at the Battle of Passchendaele 90th Commemorations in Belgium. Horomona has been described as the ‘master of his generation’ by Māori cultural magazine, Mana, and has collaborated with New Zealand classical composers for many works, including those with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. He collaborated with UK film and concert composer, Paul Lewis, on the Legends of Rotorua project for chamber ensemble, storyteller and taonga pūoro and contributed to New Zealand's first WW1 commemorative work, Requiem for the Fallen.


Horomona was a researcher and teacher at Wintec, and frequently teaches and performs around New Zealand.

Anthony Ritchie

Anthony Ritchie is a well-known New Zealand composer whose works have been performed by ensembles such as The Takacs Quartet, and soloists such as Bella Hristhova. His many commissioned works include concertos for piano, violin, viola, flute, guitar and euphonium, six symphonies, six operas and chamber music. In 2016 he was joint winner of The NZ Classical Album of the Year. His Gallipoli to the Somme was performed in London and Oxford, 2018, and voted Aotearoa’s most popular classical music recording in RNZ Concert’s ‘Settling the Score’ in 2020. His Symphony No.5 ‘Childhood’ was rated one of the recordings of the year by MusicWeb International, 2022. The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra has regularly played his work, including his overture ‘A Bugle Will Do’ in the Jubilee concert, 2022.


Anthony has collaborated with Sharon Joy Vogan on several piano works, including his Concertino for Piano and Strings (1982) and Piano Preludes (2001). Anthony is currently Professor of Music at The University of Otago in Dunedin, and Head of the School of Performing Arts.

Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal


Te Ahukaramu Charles Royal is a composer and performer of music and story, and a researcher and teacher of indigenous knowledge, including mātauranga Māori and iwi histories and traditions. He also advises and leads projects and people, particularly to do with the ‘creative potential’ of the indigenous Māori dimension of Aotearoa-New Zealand.


He studied music composition with Jack Body, Ross Harris and David Farquhar at the Victoria University Department of Music (during the 1980s.) He now composes for soloists, chamber groups, orchestra and choirs. He has also written popular song/waiata and has experimented with traditional Māori approaches to music making. He performs as well and there is a strong storytelling dimension to his music making.             

In terms of research projects, Charles is currently a member of a research team undertaking a new iwi-led research project concerning the health and wellbeing of the Hauraki Gulf.

Charles is passionate about the creative potential of indigenous knowledge and communities, which he explores through research, teaching and advising, as well as through art. Charles established Ōrotokare: Art, Story, Motion Trust in 2004, and began creating a modern version of the whare tapere (pre-European ‘houses’ of storytelling, music, games, puppetry, dance and other entertainment), which he achieved in 2010-14.

Eve de Castro-Robinson


Award-winning composer Dr Eve de Castro-Robinson is commissioned and performed by a wide variety of orchestras, ensembles, vocalists, and instrumentalists in NZ and internationally. She retired in 2020 as Associate Professor in Composition from the University of Auckland, after 25 years teaching and is now freelance. She has many works on CD including three solo albums with Atoll, and two on the Rattle label. 2018 saw her win Best Classical Artist at the Vodafone NZ Music Awards for her Rattle album The Gristle of Knuckles, and she is twice winner of the SOUNZ Contemporary Award, with Chaos of delight III, and These arms to hold you. Her Len Lye, the Opera had a sellout run over four nights in 2012, and last year she was commissioned as the only NZ composer to write a work for the Dusseldorf Symphony. Eve is often an adjudicator, speaker, writer, reviewer and broadcaster on musical topics, and has held residencies at Brisons Veor, Cornwall, Atlantic Centre for the Arts, Florida, and Banff Centre, Canada. She has directed several new music ensembles including the Karlheinz Company, curated and organised concerts and events in Auckland, and is Co-chair | Toihau Matarua of the Board of SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music

Helen Bowater

Helen Bowater studied composition with Jack Body and electroacoustic music with Ross Harris. 


Helen was given composer residencies at the Nelson School of Music, at Otago University as Mozart Fellow, with the Auckland Philharmonia, at the New Zealand School of Music, and a Wallace artist residency at the Pah Homestead. Many of Helen’s solo, ensemble and orchestral works have been performed in concert here and overseas, broadcast on radio, recorded to CD and published. Some composition highlights have been participating as composer at the New York composition summer school June in Buffalo, at the Asia-Pacific Asian Composer League festivals in Wellington, New Zealand, the festivals of New Zealand music in Scotland and composition festivals in Beijing and Jogja, Indonesia. Recent work includes creating sound components for Sculpture on the Gulf, Waiheke Island, a commission and performance by pianist, Stephen de Pledge for inclusion in his NZ Partita project, setting Psalm 15 for a performance by the Netherlands Chamber Choir, a commissioned performance of Fekete Folyó “Black River” by NZ Chamber Soloists, a performance of Ship of Theseus by Tosiya Suzuki, and a performance of a setting of Katherine Mansfield’s 'Out in the Garden' by Jenny Wollerman and Jian Liu.

John Psathas

Ioannis (John) Psathas was born in Wellington, New Zealand, to Greek immigrants.

From genre-crossing projects with jazz legends Michael Brecker and Joshua Redman to an e-book scoring collaboration with Salman Rushdie, and from a recording session with the Grand Mufti in Paris's Grand Mosque to a chart-topping album with Serj Tankian, Psathas's musical journey weaves through a myriad of genres, and has moved concert audiences internationally. His music emerges from a 21st century backdrop, where collaborations with other artists result in novel outcomes. 

Early collaborations included working with luminaries such as the Takacs Quartet, the Halle Orchestra, The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra, and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Then followed a period of intense creative exploration in the worlds of electronica and jazz, and a series of mega-projects (such as scoring much of the opening ceremony of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games). All of this has led to cooperations with artists from various musical traditions internationally.

John is now developing projects that integrate many strands of his creative journey. His recent work has social and historical commentary at its core. The ‘No Man’s Land’ project involved 150 musicians from more than 25 different countries, including, India, France, Hungary, Greece, and Turkey.

Kenneth Young

As one of New Zealand’s foremost composers, Kenneth Young’s works are performed regularly throughout Australasia, Europe, and America. They include three symphonies, two operas, various concertos, chamber, vocal and piano music. For over twenty years until 2019 he was a lecturer in composition and conducting at the New Zealand School of Music at Victoria University Wellington, before moving to Dunedin to take up the Mozart Fellowship at the University of Otago.


Young is also one of New Zealand’s leading conductors. He has worked with all the major orchestras in New Zealand and Australia while also making appearances in the United Kingdom and Japan. His numerous recordings of New Zealand and Australian orchestral music have been recognised internationally.


In 2004 Young was awarded the Lilburn Trust Citation in Recognition of Outstanding Services to New Zealand Music.

Leonie Holmes

Leonie Holmes is a New Zealand composer who receives frequent commissions from both professional and community groups in the fields of orchestral, chamber, choral, vocal and solo instrumental music.   Recent works have been commissioned and/or performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, BBC singers, Kings Singers, Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir, Auckland Philharmonia, Zephyr Wind Quintet, NZ Trio, Toronto Children’s Choir, Auckland Chamber Orchestra, Estrella Quartet and Jade String Quartet. Her orchestral music has been released on the Atoll CD Solstice with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and a CD of chamber music titled when expectation ends featuring NZTrio, Estrella, Strata Quartet, Zephyr, and other solo artists was released in 2017.  Her work also features on recordings including the Rattle CDs Moonstone (Sarah Watkins/Robert Ashworth), 11 Frames (Sarah Watkins/Andrew Beer), Parlour Games (Jade String Quartet), and Atoll CDs Tui (Estrella), Passing (NZSO) and Viola Aotearoa (Timothy Deighton). Stemming from her work as Composer-in-Schools in the 1990s, she is also interested in music education and in developing a musical language that will engage and challenge non-professional players. She has written many works for school and community groups and is active as a speaker, adjudicator and teacher at all levels and age groups within the New Zealand music community.  She lectures in composition and music studies at the School of Music, University of Auckland.

Salina Fisher

Salina Fisher (b.1993) is an award-winning New Zealand composer gaining global recognition for her distinctive musical voice. Drawing from her background as a multi-instrumentalist of mixed Japanese heritage, her highly evocative music often involves collaborations, notably with taonga pūoro practitioners. Her works have been featured on concerts by New York Philharmonic, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, A Far Cry, Helsinki Philharmonic, Brodsky Quartet, Auckland Philharmonia, Dallas Symphony, and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, including with conductors Gemma New and Tianyi Lu. She became the youngest-ever recipient of the SOUNZ Contemporary Award in 2016 and 2017, and has received awards from Fulbright, The Arts Foundation, Creative NZ, and CANZ. She is a graduate of Manhattan School of Music, New York, and New Zealand School of Music – Te Kōkī, Victoria University of Wellington, where she was appointed Composer-in-Residence (2019-2020) and Teaching Fellow in Composition.

Yvette Audain

Yvette Audain was born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand, and has also lived and worked as a composing musician in Wellington, Whitianga and Melbourne. Her work has been performed throughout New Zealand as well as in Australia, Japan, Germany and the USA.


Yvette, whose instruments are clarinet, saxophone, flute, piano, recorders and Irish whistles, is also a vocalist and has worked as a professional musician in a variety of genres: classical, military band, folk, gypsy, salsa, and particularly, early jazz. 


Yvette Audain is equally happy composing and arranging for various combinations of instruments as she is simply improvising in the moment. She is an experienced orchestrator who has also written plenty for herself to perform as a woodwind player such as in her 2014 album release Grooves Unspoken. A recent development in her compositional process is to improvise and record at the instrument, later transcribing into a written piece, as was the process for Wera.

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