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Red Contributor


John Elmsly

Composer

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Born: 1952

Biography

John Elmsly was born in Auckland on 1 July 1952. His early musical experiences included piano training from James Noice and encouragement in composition at secondary school from Laughton Pattrick. A graduate in mathematics and music from Victoria University of Wellington, he studied piano with Barry Margan composition with David Farquhar, and began electronic music with Douglas Lilburn.

From 1975 to 1978 he held a post-graduate scholarship from the Belgian Ministry of Culture. In 1977 he was awarded a First Prize in Composition by the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, where he studied with Victor Legley, and in 1978 continued study in Liège with Henri Pousseur, Philippe Boesmans and Frederic Rzewski. Also in Belgium he worked regularly in the electronic music studios at IPEM in Gent with Lucien Goethals, and several pieces produced there were broadcast by BRT3.

In 1981 he was awarded the Mozart Fellowship at University of Otago in Dunedin, and in 1984 he was appointed lecturer in composition at the School of Music, University of Auckland where he is currently Associate-Professor and head of composition, director of the Karlheinz Company contemporary music ensemble (which he has conducted in many broadcast recitals as well as performing on piano, synthesiser and flute) and director of the electronic music studios. He was the Acting-Dean of Faculty of Music 1997; Assistant-Dean, Faculty of Arts 1999; and Acting Head of School of Music, 2000. John was the 2015-16 Creative New Zealand/Jack C. Richards Composer-in-Residence at Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music.

Some of John’s major commissions include Response for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (2004), Ritual Triptych for NZ Trio (2014), Triple Concerto (or Ritual Echoes) for Wellington Regional Orchestra (1994), Intoit (1990) and Pacific Hockets (1991) for the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, as well as various commissions for the Karlheinz Company. Recent premieres include works for flautist Abigail Sperling, the Jade String Quartet, Magic Flute ensemble, and recorder player Kevin Kim.

Gestauqua (for brass quintet and tape) represented NZ at the 1990 Paris Rostrum, and in 1992 Elmsly won the Philip Neill Memorial Prize from the University of Otago. He was President of Composers’ Association of New Zealand from 1996 to 1999; Committee member from 1995 to present; and elected to the Executive Committee of Asian Composers’ League from 1997 to 2002.


Works (122)

...formettel...

for flute, piccolo and electronic sounds


After Death and the Maiden

for chamber orchestra, 5m


Afterthoughts

for clarinet, trumpet, cello and percussion, 8m


As Time Goes By

for flute, 2 clarinets and 2 bassoons, 5m


Ascend

for chamber septet and electronic sounds, 11m


Beyond Ten Octaves

for daegum, kayagum, and percussion, 5m


Blue Swing

for piano, 1m


Calls from the Ark

for two bass clarinets, 3m


Cantilena

for clarinet, oboe and small orchestra, 8m


Capriccio

for solo violin, 8m


Cello Symphony

Arranged for Cello and Piano, 24m


Cello Symphony

for solo cello and orchestra, 22m


Champs de Cloches

for orchestra, 8m


Danses

for tape, 10m


Dialogue 1

for flute/alto flute and piano, 10m


Dialogue II

for clarinet and piano, 14m


Dialogue III

for cello and piano, 18m


Dialogue V

for violin and piano, 12m


Diamant

for tape, 10m


Dream Fragments

for soprano and 3 clarinets, 10m


Drift

for viola and tape, 16m


East Wind

for alto flute and electronics, 11m


Echoes and Chorus

for clarinet and tape, 14m


Elegy

for timpani and tape, 11m


Fantasia

for brass octet, 5m


Fantasia: Wild Rhymes of Spring

for orchestra, 13m


Five Miniatures

for solo piano, 8m


Four Echoes

for solo viola


Four Echoes

for solo cello


From Dancing Light

for orchestra, 9m


From Shoriken

For Baritone and Clarinet, 4m


Gaudeamus Fanfare 2000

for brass and percussion


Gestauqua

for brass quintet and tape, 9m


Gnomic Lyrics

for baritone, flute, two horns and percussion, 10m


Go Gently into the Good Night

for flute and piano, 3m


Hall of Mirrors

for basson and live electronics


Hexacycle

for clarinet, violin, 2 violas, double bass and accordion, 8m


In October Light

for ensemble of twelve players


Intoit

fanfare for orchestra, 6m


Jack Jumps Back in Years

for variable ensemble, 4m


La Mort De Roland

for tape, 8m


Lanternes

for orchestra, 11m


Leithscape

for tape, 5m


Little Preludes

for piano, 6m


Lysistrata

incidental music, 15m


Masked Rituals

for tape, 16m


May's Mantle

for tape, 11m


Mayaowa

for tape, 15m


Memorial

for horn and piano, 6m


Metamorphosis

for orchestra, 6m


Moto Perpetuo

for four violins, 5m


Movement

for flute and percussion, 8m


Neither from nor Towards

for string orchestra, 13m


Noah and the Weather Office

for SATB choir unaccompanied, 4m


Nocturne

for bass clarinet, gentle percussion and soundscape, 13m


Of Secrets, Echoes...

for orchestra, 10m


Old Songs

for solo oboe/ cor anglais, 6m


Old Songs

for solo soprano


On Home Ground

a song cycle for soprano and piano, 13m


One Mouth, Two Voices

for saxophone (soprano and alto played simultaneously by one player)


One Too Exciting Night

for clarinet, viola, trombone, harp, 6m


Pacific Hockets

for orchestra, 20m


Pacific Hockets

arranged for symphonic wind band, 20m


Partita

for solo flute, 10m


Passacaglia

for clarinet, violin, cello and piano, 12m


Paysage

for tape, 2 flutes, violin, cello, and piano, 6m


Pieces of Eight

for horn, FB01, sequencer, 15m


Prelude

for brass ensemble and percussion, 5m


Prelude

for melody instrument and piano


Quartet

for flute, oboe, clarinet, and bassoon, 14m


Refrains Below

for chamber quintet


Rekottos

for trombone and electronic sounds


Resound!

fanfare for orchestra, 5m


Response

for flute and orchestra, 11m


Ritual Auras

for flute, horn, percussion, piano, violin and cello, 15m


Ritual Echoes II

for solo clarinet, cello and piano with ensemble


Ritual Triptych

for piano trio


Rondo Sur-La-Fontaine

for orchestra, 8m


said the neigbours

for choir and chamber orchestra, 5m


Scherzo 122

for clarinet, violin, cello and piano, 6m


Schlaflied

for flute and guitar, 2m


Septet

for oboe, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and 2 percussionists, 16m


Seven Postcards

for piano trio, 19m


Shoriken

a song cycle for mezzo-soprano and trombone, 18m


Sinfonia

for orchestra, 20m


Sinfonietta

for orchestra, 9m


Soft dawn over whispering island

electroacoustic, 11m


Soft Drop II

for two flutes, 8m


Sonata

For solo piano, 14m


Sonata

for alto saxophone and piano, 10m


Sonatina

for flute and piano, 6m


Song of Autumn

for soprano, flute, cello and tape, 10m


Songs from "The Treehouse"

for unaccompanied mixed (SATB) choir, 15m


Stay radiant: the singing will never be done

for three trumpets and gongs


Stilldream K...

for baroque flute and tape, 14m


Stillness

for piano and whistle


Stillscape

for solo viola, 5m


Suite

for guitar solo, 13m


The Divine Image

for SATB choir and organ, 6m


The Lost Voice

for contralto, flute, 2 violins, cello, piano and spinet, 8m


The Voice of Experience

for piano and soundscape, 3m


Three Doubles

for solo flute, 8m


Three Pieces

for piano, 10m


Three Pieces

for solo cello, 9m


Three Short Studies

for piano solo, 9m


Three Winesongs

for unaccompanied SATB choir, 5m


Toccata For Two Mallets

for solo percussion, 4m


Topintale

for 3 flutes, 2 oboes and 3 clarinets, 4m


Tree for Two

microscore for bass clarinet and bass trombone, 1m


Triple Concerto (or Ritual Echoes)

for orchestra with concertino of clarinet, cello and piano


Triptych

for trumpet and tape, 10m


Tui

for piano, 1m 45s


Two Songs

for soprano and piano, 5m 30s


Vox Vulgaris

for tape, 15m


Weep not for me

for baroque flute and electronic sounds


Whispering Island

for electronic tape using computer generated sound, 10m


White Feathers

for spoken voice and orchestra


Wind Quartet

for flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon