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Jack Body (born in 1944) studied at Auckland University (1963-67). With a QEII Arts Council grant he attended the Ferien Kurse fur Neue Musik, Cologne and Institute of Sonology, Utrecht, Netherlands (1969/70). For two years (1976-77) he was a guest lecturer at the Akademi Musik Indonesia, Yogyakarta and since 1980 he has lectured at the School of Music, Victoria University of Wellington.

His music covers almost all genres, including solo and chamber music, orchestral music, music-theatre, music for dance and film as well as electroacoustic music. A fascination with the music and cultures of Asia, particularly Indonesia, has been a strong influence on his music. His ethnomusicological recordings include Music for Sale: Street Musicians of Yogyakarta (OMCD 006, and TC HLS-91), Music of Madura (CD ODE 1381) and Jemblung: Sung Narrative Traditions (PAN 2048CD).

He has been commissioned by the Auckland Philharmonia, the NZ String Quartet, the NZ Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Scottish Orchestra, and many other groups, and has written three works for the Kronos Quartet. His opera “Alley”, based on the life of Rewi Alley was premiered to wide acclaim at the 1998 NZ International Festival of the Arts. In 2003 he was a featured composer at the Other Minds Festival in San Francisco, and in 2004 he was honoured by a Composer Portrait concert in the NZ International Festival. He has been a featured composer of the Atlas Ensemble (2004 Holland Festival), and the Encuentros International Festival in Buenos Aires (2004), New music Works, Santa Cruz, USA (2005), and the Neue Musik aus Neuseeland, Lubeck (2006).

In 1999 he was awarded an OMNZ for his services to music, to education and to photography, and in 2004 he was honoured by the Arts Foundation of NZ as a laureate, an award that included a cash prize of $50,000.

Jack Body has been a passionate advocate for NZ music, beginning with the early Sonic Circus in Wellington in the 1960s, up to New Music New Zealand at the Ijsbreker in Amsterdam in 2001. In May 2005 he curated two concerts of NZ music in the Aboretum of New Zealand flora at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has organised three Asia Pacific Festivals in New Zealand (1984, 1992, 2007) featuring the contemporary and traditional music of New Zealand and her Asian neighbours. He has been the editor of Waiteata Music Press since 1980, publishing scores of New Zealand music, and has also produced over eighteen CDs of music by New Zealand composers.

[Information about Jack Body and his music for film and television can also be found on the NZ Onscreen website.]

[As a recipient of a 2004 Arts Foundation Laureate Award more information about Jack Body can be found on the Arts Foundation website.]

Source: Jack Body, June 2007

Selected Works

14 Stations for amplified pianist  
Arum Manis for string quartet and tape  
Campur Sari for string quartet with Javanese musician  
Carol to St. Stephen for soprano, alto and tenor soloists and SATB choir  
Five Lullabies for SATB choir or vocal ensemble  
Five Melodies for piano  
Little Elegies for orchestra  
Love Sonnets of Michelangelo for soprano, mezzo-soprano, voice, and a dancer  
Melodies for Orchestra  
Musik Dari Jalan (Music from the Street) for tape  


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