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Robbie Ellis was born on Auckland’s sunny North Shore and studied Composition at the University of Auckland. From 2008 to 2012 he worked as a producer and presenter for Radio New Zealand Concert in Wellington, and in 2012 he held the University of Otago Mozart Fellowship in Dunedin.

His works have been commissioned and performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, 175 East, Saxcess, the Jade String Quartet, Estrella, Auckland Youth Orchestra, the SMP Ensemble, Chamber Vulgarus and more. Aside from successes in the NZSO/Todd Corporation Young Composers and Douglas Lilburn Trust Competitions, he’s also won Best Music in Wellington’s 2009 Two Day Plays competition; Best Original Song in the Wellington section of the 2011 48 Hours Film Competition; and Judges’ Choice in Auckland’s Short+Sweet Song 2013.

As a performing musician Robbie has played piano, bass guitar, double bass, and many more objects besides. He’s performed styles as diverse as ska, funk, metal, salsa, bluegrass and Baroque in orchestras, choirs, jazz groups, and bands; and taken his comedy songs to venues around the country including at Arts Festival Dunedin.

He is a specialist in music for improvised theatre and has worked with improv companies across New Zealand, Australia, the USA and the Netherlands. Robbie also has done scripted theatre as a sound designer, composer, actor and director, is involved in the comedy scene, and founded the spontaneous songwriting night Song Sale in Dunedin and Auckland.

Robbie now lives in Chicago, home of Kanye West, Barack Obama, and pizza that resembles quiche. He finds work as a music director for improv, comedy and sketch.

Source: Robbie Ellis

Selected Works

#llamadrama for solo piano  
Banda Chiflada for saxophone quartet  
Feral for full orchestra  
Ha! for solo violin and shouty chorus  
In meinem letzten Leiden for orchestra  
Maeve for piano and tape  
Relish in Immature Bombast for organ, drum kit & orchestra  
Root Vegetable Opera recitativo ed aria grave for baritone and piano  
Sonatina for violin and piano  
The Lover's Knot for orchestra and actor  


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