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Red Contributor

Simon Eastwood


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Born: 1985


Simon Eastwood is a composer and bass player from Wellington. Having only picked up double bass in his last year of high school, he began having lessons from New Zealand Symphony Orchestra sub-principal Vicki Jones and after three months he successfully auditioned to study performance at the Victoria University School of Music. After a year of further study with Vicki he also began studies in composition with Jack Body, John Psathas, Dugal McKinnon and later Michael Norris. In 2005 he won first place in the NZSM composers' competition with Tempest for amplified clarinet, double bass, and piano. Encouraged by this success, he went on to complete a Bmus in Performance Double Bass and Composition, and then a Bmus with first class honours in Composition. He is currently studying towards a Masters degree from the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Simon cites a wide range of influences on his works from popular culture to the avant-garde has had compositions performed by a range of well known performers, including Dutch percussionist Arnold Marinissen. In 2007 former NZSO principal Carol Hohauser performed his solo flute piece Wind Chimes as part of a series of lecture recitals on New Zealand music in New York. Simon was given the Jenny McLeod Orchestral Composition Award in 2007, and as a prize was commissioned to write Aurum, which was performed by the NZSO as part of the NZSO-SOUNZ readings in May 2008. Reviewer Peter Mechen was present at the SOUNZ readings and wrote: “...Aurum was a study in light-perspectives, with changes wrought by the composer’s skilful manipulation of orchestral colour – very “patient” music, encouraging the listener to take large breaths and exhale slowly and deeply...”. In 2009, Simon’s work the Spindle of Necessity was chosen to represent New Zealand at the Asian Composer’s League Festival in Korea.

Composed (13)


for alto flute/piccolo, cello and percussion (2 woodblocks and a cowbell), 9m


for flute/alto flute, Bb clarinet/bass clarinet, violin, and piano, 8m 30s


for orchestra, 9m


for solo piano and assistant, 7m

Confiteor Tibi

for a capella choir, 6m

Horror Vacui

for solo accordion, 3m


for piano and player inside the piano, 8m

Jericho (Walls)

for brass trio, 5m


for string quartet, 5m


for sinfonietta, 9m


for amplified B flat clarinet, double bass, piano and gong, 7m

The Spindle of Necessity

for string quartet, 5m

Wind Chimes

for solo flute, 3m