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Biography

Andrew Perkins was born in Warkworth, New Zealand, 31 December, 1961.

He attended Auckland University from 1980 till 1985, graduating with the degree of Bachelor of Music (1983) then the degree of Master of Music (Hons) 1985 majoring in Composition. His Composition teachers were Dr John Rimmer and Dr Douglas Mews (Senior) and visiting Fellow Lou Harrison. His other Masters papers were Advanced Analysis and Criticism (with Dr Fiona McAlpine), Advanced Orchestration (John Rimmer), and Fugue Writing (Douglas Mews). As a fully trained teacher, Andrew Perkins has taught Music in England (St Bedes School, Eastbourne), and was one of the foundation staff members of ACG Senior College of New Zealand as Director of Music Studies from 1995 till 2004. He was Head of Music at Baradene College of the Sacred Heart, Auckland from 2005-2008. He currently resides in Melbourne, Australia where he completed his PhD in music composition in December 2013 at the Conservatoire of Music, Melbourne University. He is also a sessional lecturer and tutor at the VCA/Conservatorium of Music.

Andrew Perkins has appeared as guest lecturer at Auckland University, at the School of Music, Mathematics Department (on the relationship Music has with Mathematics), and to the School of Architecture (on Proportion in Music and Buildings). During 1986 he was elected as NZIAA’s cultural ambassador, representing New Zealand at the Eleventh General Assembly, Baghdad, Iraq, on the subject of Peace and the Artist. Andrew was Music Director and Cantor of the Auckland Catholic Schola for 13 years; the group specializes in the performance of sacred music from the Medieval, Renaissance and early Baroque periods. All the music is performed within the context of the Roman Catholic Mass. Andrew has written many psalm settings and motets for the Schola.

In July 2012 his major work Christchurch Vespers was performed by Pita Paczian and Bach Musica New Zealand at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell, Auckland. Its musical language – a fusion of the ancient (Greek, Byzantine, Middle Eastern, Hebrew, Indian), the liturgical (Perkins sets seven texts from the Vespers for Pentecost liturgy) and the idiosyncratic (a duel between the harp and the vibraphone in The Announcement of the Eternal Gospel) is both academic and passionate.

During November 2012, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra recorded his Waltz-Fantasia as part of the NZSO-RNZ Concert-SOUNZ Recordings. Under this project they also recorded his The Radish and the Shoe for narrator and orchestra in 2014. It was recorded in three languages: English, French, and Japanese.

Andrew Perkins’ compositions are highly exotic and colourful, focussing on the weaving of melodic strands similar to the concepts behind Renaissance polyphony. He employs non-Western scales and complex rhythmic structures. His recent works have utilised scalar formations that share characteristics with those of ancient cultures.

Source: Andrew Perkins, May 2012. Updated by SOUNZ, April 2017.

Selected Works

Arioso for solo pianoforte (or other keyboard instrument)  
Ave Maris Stella for pipe organ  
Marian Triptych for full orchestra  
Symphony - Der Bote for mezzo soprano and orchestra  
The Flying Gardens for solo cello  
Waltz-Fantasia for symphony orchestra  

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