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  • Leonie Holmes

  • Born: 1962
  • Fully Represented SOUNZ Composer


Leonie Holmes is a lecturer in Composition and Music Studies at the School of Music, University of Auckland. She has written works for orchestra, chamber, choral, vocal and solo instrument, and receives frequent commissions from both professional and community groups. A particular interest is orchestral music, examples being “Aquae Sulis”, “Frond”, “Ancient Rhythms”, “For Young Nick” and “Solstice”, all of which have been recorded by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Many compositions for smaller groups are the result of requests and commissions from colleagues, students and friends, including “is there anybody in there” for bassoonist Ben Hoadley and the New Zealand Music for Woodwind concert series, “through coiled stillness…” for the University of Auckland Chamber Choir tour to England in 2011, “A Tedious Brief Scene: Bottom’s Dance” for the award-winning University of Auckland Emerging Artist chamber group The Estrella Quartet, and “The Fourth Station” for solo cello for an exhibition entitled “Stations of the Cross” at the Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland.

Stemming from her work as Composer-in-Schools in the 1990s, she is 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 regularly invited to speak or direct workshops with Secondary School students and teachers. Recent commissions from community groups include the orchestral works “In the Lair of the Cave Weta” and “Tango Mangle” for orchestra, “The Journey” for orchestra and massed choir, “Silver Whispers” suite for choir and instrumental ensemble, and the choral works “The Estuary” and “The Wanderer”.

Leonie has been Composer-in-Residence at the Nelson School of Music 1986, Composer-in-Schools 1989, Composer-in-Residence with the Auckland Philharmonia 1997, and Composer-in-Residence with the Manukau Symphony Orchestra in 2005. She was awarded the CANZ Trust Fund for Compositional Development in 1991, a Certificate for Contribution to Music in the Auckland Region from the NZSO and Symphony Friends in 1993, and the Philip Neill Memorial Prize in Composition, University of Otago in 2001. Leonie was a member of the Composers Committee, Centre for New Zealand Music (SOUNZ) 1996-1997, co-ordinator of the Nelson
Composers Workshop 2001-2002, and is a committee member of the Composers Association of New Zealand (CANZ).

Source: Leonie Holmes, October 2013

Selected Works

A Tedious Brief Scene: Bottom's Dance for two pianos - eight hands  
Aquae Sulis for orchestra of winds, strings, harp and percussion  
Frond for orchestra  
In the Lair of the Cave Weta for school orchestra  
is there anybody in there? for flute, clarinet/bass clarinet, bassoon and piano  
Silver Whispers for SATB choir, flute, 2 pianists and 3 percussionists  
The Estuary for women's voices (SSA) and piano  
The Fourth Station for solo cello  
Through Coiled Stillness for SATB choir, rainstick, finger cymbals  


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