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  • Ross James Carey

  • Born: 1969
  • Fully Represented SOUNZ Composer


Ross James Carey is a composer and pianist. Born in Lower Hutt in 1969, he studied at Victoria University of Wellington with Jack Body, David Farquhar and Ross Harris, also completing a year’s piano study with Judith Clark, and graduating with a B.Mus. (Hons) in 1992. Ross gained a Masters Degree in composition from Elisabeth University of Music in Hiroshima in 1994, where he studied on a Japanese Government Scholarship under Jo Kondo. Currently Ross is completing a PhD in composition from the University of Melbourne, studying under Elliott Gyger, Julian Yu, Andrian Pertout and Sue Robinson. His exegesis for this degree looks at quotation, homage and composing in short forms. Ross was a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Music, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) in Shah Alam, Malaysia from 2010 to 2015, and is currently teaching at Lim Kok Wing University of Creative Technology, Cyberjaya, Malaysia.

Ross’ works have been performed throughout New Zealand as well as overseas in concerts and festivals such as six Asian Composers’ League Festivals (since 1990), the first Singapore Asian Composers’ Festival (2015), The Portable Concerto Project, Kobe (2012), Ensemble TIMF 10th Anniversary Series, Seoul (2011), the Yogyakarta Contemporary Music Festival (2007 and 2010), 2 Days and 2 Nights of Contemporary Music, Odessa (2006), KammerMusikZyklus, Tokyo (2000), the Yatsugatake Kogen Music Festival, Nagano (1999), BEAT! Festival of Gamelan, Wellington (1999), the 03(09) Festival of Contemporary Music, Auckland (2003), Ensemble Philharmonia concerts, Auckland (1994 and 2006), the Otago Festival of the Arts, Dunedin (2000 and 2012), Green Concerts, Kyoto (1995), CANZ 20th anniversary (1994) etc.

As a composer Ross has collaborated with many artistes such as guitarist Kazuhito Yamashita, harpist Helen Webby, pianists Yuji Takahashi, Natsuki Emura, Ananda Sukarlan, Gao Ping and Dan Poynton, violinists Mark Menzies, Kirtley Leigh and Rieko Suzuki, flutist and taonga puoro performer Alexa Still, mezzo-soprano Ana Goode, dancer and choreographer Newton Moraes and Wellington’s Gamelan Padhang Moncar. Ross has set to music the poems of Janet Frame, Fleur Adcock and Ruth Dallas, and collaborated with Australian writer Merrill Findlay and soprano Sian Prior on the Kate Kelly Song Cycle, first performed at the inaugural Kilari-Lachlan River Arts Festival in Forbes, NSW in 2011. Other performers of Ross’ works include the Australian and Aroha String Quartets, the Black Cedar Trio (San Francisco), the Continuum Ensemble (Toronto), the Kuala Lumpur Childrens’ Choir and the Preston Symphony Orchestra (Melbourne). Ross’ community engagement has seen him collaborate with the Greenhill Orchestra of Nelson and Golden Bay with a concerto written for violinist Kirtley Leigh, and a work for clarinet and orchestra for the Waitakere City Orchestra and clarinettist Donald Nicholls under conductor Brigid Ursula Bisley. Pieces for students have included writing for students from Kapiti College in 2006 and a competition piece for students of the Wellington Registered Music Teachers in 1991. Ross received the 2005 SOUNZ Community Commission to write for students from the New Zealand Institute for the Blind in Manurewa, and was a featured composer in the Aroha String Quartet-RNZ Concert- SOUNZ Recordings project in 2015. A collaborative album of compositions with composer Katia Tiutiunnik, ‘Creative Journeys – when Composers Collaborate’ was published by UiTM Press in 2013. His piano pieces for learners have been included in the ‘Sunrise’ and ‘Take Flight’ albums in New Zealand while other works are available on a variety of commercial publications and recordings.

As a performer Ross performs as a soloist and collaborative pianist in contemporary music from New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region as well as standard repertoire. His recitals have included performances at the Universities of Canterbury (Christchurch) and Victoria (Wellington), the Paradise Concert Series (Cairns), in a live-to-air broadcast on 3MBSFM (Melbourne), at the National University of Singapore and the University of Hong Kong, Theatre Utan Kayu (Jakarta), the Indonesia-America Institute (Medan), the Yogyakarta Contemporary Music Festival, in four editions of the UiTM Composers’ Series, Kuala Lumpur (2011-14) (as both pianist and curator), the Portable Concerto Project (Kobe), the International Alliance of Women in Music Congress (Beijing) and the ‘East meets West’ conference held at the Hong Kong Baptist University. His performance presentation on ‘The influence of gamelan in contemporary repertoire for piano two, four and six hands’ was included in the 2014 IMPAC conference at Sultan Idris Education University (UPSI), Tanjong Malim, Malaysia. Other performances have included as a collaborative artist with violinist Mayya Musaeva in a program of 20th century works for violin and piano by Soviet-era composers, ‘Behind the Crimson Curtain’ presented in Kuala Lumpur and Tanjong Malim, as harpsichord soloist in Gorecki’s Concerto for Harpsichord and Strings with the UiTM Symphony Orchestra, as gambang performer in Krisna Setiawan’s AgMaTa II for instrumental ensemble with the Bridges Ensemble (Melbourne) in Petaling Jaya, organist in Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah and Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna in performances in Tauranga and Petaling Jaya, and keyboardist in Septimus confronts equality by Ron Nagorcka. Ross appears as a pianist alongside Dan Poynton and David Farquhar on the fourth volume of Dan Poynton’s recordings of the complete piano works by Douglas Lilburn, released by Morrison Trust Records.

Source: Ross Carey

Selected Works

A Little Suite for Yuji and Rieko for violin and piano  
A wish for guitar  
A Won for Buddha for piano - four hands  
Elegy (for a known) for chamber sextet  
Nga Hau o Kaiaua (The Winds of Kaiaua) solo for flute and taonga puoro (one player)  
Nine Poems from "Meeting the Comet" song cycle for voice (countertenor) and guitar  
Procession for piano solo and gamelan  
Procession for piano solo and gamelan  
Trio on Hymn Tunes for piccolo, clarinet in B flat/bass clarinet in B flat, and piano  
Two Pieces for Three Gamelan Players for two sarons, and one demung  


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