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Michael Norris is a Wellington-based composer, software programmer and music theorist. He holds composition degrees from Victoria University of Wellington and City University, London, and is currently Senior Lecturer in Composition at Te Kōkī, New Zealand School of Music. He is recipient of the 2001 Mozart Fellowship and the 2003 Douglas Lilburn Prize, a nationwide competition for orchestral composers. He has participated in composition courses featuring leading composers such as Peter Eötvös, Alvin Lucier, Christian Wolff and Kaija Saariaho.

Performers of Michael’s work include the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Roberto Fabbriciani, Michael Houstoun, the New Zealand String Quartet, NZTrio, Richard Haynes, the Viennese Saxophonic Orchestra, Ensemble Offspring, Stroma, the Israel Contemporary Players and the Ensemble Pierrot Lunaire Wien.

In 2010, he was commissioned by the SWR (Sudwestdeutsche Rundfunk) to write a new chamber orchestra work, Sgraffito, which was premiered at the Donaueschinger Musiktage 2010 by the Radio Chamber Orchestra Hilversum, conducted by Peter Eötvös. Die Zeit reviewed Sgraffito as one of the highlights of the festival.

Michael is also co-founder and co-director of Stroma New Music Ensemble, and has collaborated with a number of other artists including Daniel Belton and Ashley Brown. He is coordinator of the Creative New Zealand/Jack C. Richards Composer-in-Residence at the NZSM, and serves on the boards of the Lilburn Residence Trust and Stroma New Music Trust. He is currently an Executive Committee Member of the Asian Composers League, and is the Editor of Wai-te-ata Music Press.

Michael’s programming work is also renowned. His ‘SoundMagic Spectral’ suite of real-time FFT-based audio effects have been used extensively in both industry and academia worldwide, including by artists such as Aphex Twin and Brian Eno.

Source: Michael Norris, September 2014

Selected Works

dirty pixels for piano trio  
Heavy Traffic for contrabassoon and orchestra  
Icons and Artifice for bass clarinet duo, ensemble and electronics  
Machine Noises a "landscape prelude" for piano  
Rays of the Sun, Shards of the Moon for orchestra  
Save Yourself for chamber ensemble  
tesserae...interstices for mixed sextet  
TIMEDANCE a live score for dance, in collaboration with choreographer/filmmaker Daniel Belton.  
Volti for piano and orchestra  


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