Sub Navigation


Main picture for

“What is not in any doubt is just how engaging and of real worth Ritchie’s music is. Certainly it deserves to be far more widely known than it currently is outside of his native country. By now it should be clear that this is music that appeals to both the head and the heart and speaks using a voice that will touch those who do not normally respond to the traditional Classical Music idiom.”
(Nick Barnard, Music Web International, 2013)


Anthony has composed over 180 compositions during a career that includes a decade of freelance composing, several composer residencies, and 13 years teaching composition at Otago University. Many of his works have been published and recorded, and he has had works performed in many countries abroad, including the UK, Europe, Asia and the US. In 2014, his choral work Salaam was commissioned and premiered by Aquarius in Belgium, and The BBC Symphony Orchestra recorded his A Bugle Will Do for broadcast. His French Overture was performed by The Swedish Chamber Orchestra in 2012. His recent CD A Bugle Will Do (Atoll, 2011) was named one of the “CDs of the year” by British reviewer Nick Barnard, on the Music Web International site. He has regularly had works performed overseas at ISCM and ACL fesivals.

Anthony Ritchie completed a Ph.D. on the music of Bartok in 1987, studying at the Bartok Archives in Budapest. He also studied composition with Attila Bozay at the Liszt Academy, and completed his Mus.B (Honours) at the University of Canterbury. During this time his Concertino for Piano and Strings was recorded onto LP by Kiwi Pacific. In 1987 he was Composer-in-Schools in Christchurch, before moving to Dunedin as Mozart Fellow (1988-9) at the University of Otago. Anthony was Composer-in-Residence with the Dunedin Sinfonia in 1993-4, completing his Symphony No. 1 “Boum”. He free-lanced until 2002, writing commissioned works for performers as diverse as the NZSO, Class Act Opera, and Daniel Belton and Good Company. In 2000 his Symphony No.2 was premiered by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra at the International Festival of the Arts, and was followed up by the comic opera Quartet at the 2004 Festival. Other operas include The God Boy (2004) and This Other Eden (2014), both premiered at Arts Festival Dunedin. Anthony has also composed film music in collaboration with Natural History NZ, including Southern Journeys (2000) and Timeless Land (2003).

Since 2005 he has had ten CDs of his composition released, including the critically acclaimed Piano Preludes (Atoll, 2005), NZ Poets in Song featuring Anna Leese (Ode/Manu 2008), and the CD Remember Parihaka (Atoll, 2009) which includes his widely performed Flute Concerto, written for Alexa Still. His two CDs of chamber music include Octopus featuring his String Quartet No.2. An album of his piano music, Expressions, was released by Ode/Manu in 2010, performed by Tom McGrath. Atoll and the NZ Symphony Orchestra released his CD A Bugle Will Do in 2012, which included his Symphony No.3. It was awarded classical album of the year by The Listener, and was a finalist at the NZ Music Awards. Atoll released his Stations CD in 2014 (Symphony No.4 performed by The Christchurch Symphony Orchestra), and it was declared a ‘Recording of the Month’ by Web Music International. Reviewer Nick Barnard wrote: “I have been listening to this music over the last month during which time I have found myself increasingly drawn into its profoundly moving sound-world. . . The structure of the work is hugely impressive – the listener is drawn forward inexorably with each station clearly defined yet clearly part of a greater scheme. . . Ritchie’s music speaks with a very individual yet accessible voice and his work – and certainly this symphony – deserves a wide audience.” Fjarren: In the Distance with Anthony’s Clarinet Quintet and Purakaunui at Dawn won ‘Best Classical Album’ in the 2016 NZ Music Awards.

Anthony is currently Associate Professor of composition at Otago University, and combines his interest in composition with a passion for teaching and mentoring young composers. In 2012-13 he was the Composer Mentor for the Todd Young Composer Awards. He also engages with the community through his role as a conductor (Dunedin Youth Orchestra), pre-concert speaker and arranger. In 2011 he was chosen to arrange the music for the 20 national anthems at the Rugby World Cup. Anthony combines his interest in music with an interest in sport, and has represented New Zealand at two croquet world championships

Recent commissions include an oratorio Gallipoli to the Somme (2016) commemorating World War I for The Dunedin Symphony Orchestra and City Choir Dunedin, Ants: Sextet for Strings (2015) for the group Amici, and Concerto for Euphonium and Brass Band (2014) for Byron Newton.

For further information:

Source: Anthony Ritchie. Updated by SOUNZ, April 2017.

Selected Works

A Bugle will Do for full orchestra  
Albatross, Flying So High for voice and piano  
as long as time for unaccompanied SSAATBB  
Beginnings for orchestra  
Berlin Fragments a cycle for mezzo-soprano and piano  
Concertino for Piano and Strings  
Flute Concerto arranged for flute and piano  
Music for Tristan for piano  
Quartet comic chamber opera for soprano, mezzo soprano, tenor, bass, and string quartet  
Star Fire an opera  


Shopping Cart