- Ashley Heenan
- Born: 1925 Deceased: 2004
- Fully Represented SOUNZ Composer
Ashley David Joseph Heenan was born in Wellington on 11 September 1925. He was educated at Nelson College from 1939-42 and attended Victoria University of Wellington from 1945-7 and 1954-5 graduating DipMus and BMus. He was awarded a Government Bursary in 1948 and attended the Royal College of Music (London) from 1948-50.
He was employed on the permanent staff of the Broadcasting Commission of New Zealand from 1943 until his retirement in 1984 holding the positions of Music Librarian 1944-7, 1951-2; Concert Department touring representative 1953-4; Musical Assistant to the conductors of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra 1954-67; Music Organiser NZ Broadcasting Commission 1964-7; Conductor and Musical Director of the National Youth Orchestra 1965-75; Conductor and Musical Director of the Schola Musica, the NZSO’s training orchestra, 1961-84. He was the recipient of a UNESCO Fellowship 1962-3.
He also held positions as Music Co-ordinator for the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council (now Creative NZ) 1964-5 and Musical Director of the NZ Ballet Company (now the Royal New Zealand Ballet) 1966-8. He was the first NZ Consultant and (from 1956) NZ Writer-Director of APRA. He was chairman of the APRA Music Committee in NZ from 1966-81 and also of the NZ Composers Foundation since its inception in 1983 until it was discontinued in 1992. He was a founding member of the board of the Centre for New Zealand Music and served from 1991-1997.
Ashely Heenan is the author of numerous articles on music, music education, instrumental training and diverse radio scripts. His publications include: The Schola Musica (1974) and The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (1976).
As well as being a composer, broadcaster and conductor, Ashley Heenan had a successful career in croquet. He was the NZ representative in 1961 and winner of NZ Croquet Open Singles five times and the English Doubles in 1950.
Ashley Heenan died on 6 September 2004.Source: Adapted and updated from: Norman, Philip: Bibliography of New Zealand Compositions, Third Edition; Nota Bene Music (1991)