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Red Contributor


Jack Speirs

Composer

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Born: 1939 Died: 2000

Biography

Jack William Malcolm Speirs was born in Harrogate, Yorkshire in 1939. He was educated at Edinburgh University from 1959 to 1963 where he studied composition with Kenneth Leighton and history and theory with Hans Gal and Hans Redlich. He graduated BMus (first class hons in composition). From 1963 to 1964 he studied at the Hochschule fur Musik in Berlin. There he was taught composition by Boris Blacher, viola by Emil Seiler and theory by Josef Rufer.

Speirs was Director of Music at Harrogate High School in England from 1964 to 1965. In 1965 he was appointed as Lecturer in Music at the University of Otago where he was Associate Professor until his death in 2000. His specialties in teaching were composition, instrumentation, analysis and 20th century music studies. Other musical activities have included being musical director of Schola Cantorum, Dunedin 1966-1973, principal conductor of Dunedin Sinfonia 1976-89 and musical director of the Southern Consort of Voices for about 20 years.

Speirs has been a guest conductor of New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Wellington Sinfonia. He received the merit award of the Composers' Association of New Zealand (CANZ) in 1989 and the KBB Citation for Services to New Zealand Music in 1998. Speirs broadcast regularly for Radio New Zealand.


Composed (14)

Birthday Music for Sheila

for bassoon, 5m


Cantico del Sole

for soprano soloist, mixed choir and chamber orchestra, 15m


Cantico del Sole

for soprano soloist, mixed choir, chamber ensemble and organ, 15m


Fanfare

for orchestra, 3m


Fioriture

for large orchestra


Metamorphoses

for piano, 5m


Mini-Suite for Piano

an arrangement for piano of 'Birthday Music for Sheila'


Music for Strings

for string orchestra


Night Music

for chamber orchestra, 9m


Symphony: The Islands

for baritone and orchestra


Three Poems of Janet Frame

for high voice and 12 players, 13m