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Red Contributor


Alex Taylor

Composer

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Born: 1988

Biography

Alex Taylor is one of New Zealand’s leading young composers of orchestral and chamber music. His works have been featured in concerts in New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, America and Europe, performed by groups such as the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and 175 East. As well as composing, Alex is a multi-instrumentalist, poet, critic, lecturer, conductor and impresario. He has performed across a range of vocal and instrumental genres, including as lead vocalist for the Blackbird Ensemble, as concertmaster for the Auckland Youth Orchestra on their European tour in 2011, and as the Sorceress in his own recomposition of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with Frances Moore’s Unstuck Opera. After studying English Literature and Music, Alex completed a Masters in Composition with First Class Honours under the Supervision of Eve de Castro-Robinson and John Elmsly in 2011. He has a special interest in the relationship between words and music, having set poetry by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Wallace Stevens, Stephanie Christie and Iain Sharp, among others. His choral work “two years later”, a setting of the great gay poet John Wieners, was performed by the New Zealand National Youth Choir and at the ISCM Musicarama Festival in Hong Kong. He has collaborated across art forms - for example with visual artist Michael Smither, and with theatre-maker and actor Renee Lyons. In 2012 Alex was the youngest recipient to date of the SOUNZ Contemporary Award, New Zealand’s most prestigious composition prize. He has since won a number of significant honours including the 2013 CANZ Trust Fund Award, and representing New Zealand at the 2014 Asian Composers League Festival in Tokyo. Recent projects include a critically acclaimed Bassoon Concerto for Ben Hoadley and the Auckland Chamber Orchestra, and co-convening the 2014 and 2015 Nelson Composers Workshops. In the first half of 2015 he was the Caselberg Trust Creative Connections Artist in Residence in Broad Bay, Dunedin, creating work in response to the life and music of the late New Zealand composer Anthony Watson. Alex’s work burlesques mecaniques is featured on NZTrio’s most recent CD release, Lightbox. He is currently writing an opera based on David Herkt's The Last Delirium of Arthur Rimbaud.


Works (41)

Attention:

for actor and orchestra, 9m


Bassoon Concerto

for bassoon and chamber orchestra


Fray

for orchestra


Horn Concerto: hydraulic fracture

for horn and orchestra, 11m


Noughts and Crosses

for orchestra, 7m 45s


Tiaho Mai

for soprano and string orchestra


Vivid

for solo trumpet, 10m


[f]at[on]ality

for piano, 5m


[inner]

mini viola concerto, 6m


[inner] arr. by Rhian Sheehan

Rhian Sheehan's arrangement for the 2012 Silver Scroll Awards


a coincidence of surfaces

Two movements for String Quartet which can also be performed simultaneously


an autumn cutting

for solo viola


antiphony

brass fanfare, 2m 30s


between

for orchestra, 8m


burlesques mécaniques

ten miniatures for piano trio, 11m


constellations

for solo piano, 10m


deepwalker

work for vocalising clarinetist, 9m 30s


eight miniatures for piano

for solo piano, 7m


eight pieces for wind quartet

for wind quartet, 9m


feel

four movements for orchestra, 18m


fiend lyric

for solo viola, 5m


figments

for mixed chamber sextet, 7m


four abstracts

for mixed chamber quintet, 11m


four landscapes

for string quartet, 11m


ghosts

for solo viola, 9m


half patterns

for E flat clarinet and piano


loose knots

for solo bassoon


mindsets

for bass clarinet, 7m


nine bagatelles

for bass clarinet and cello, 7m


quasi concertino

for bassoon and string trio


refrain

for string quartet, 12m


seven bagatelles

for B flat clarinet, bassoon and piano, 9m


silk / gravel

for string orchestra, 8m


six pieces for orchestra

for orchestra, 7m


small loop

a miniature for Violin, Viola and Bass Clarinet or Contrabass Clarinet, 40s


study of two pears

a song cycle for mezzo-soprano and chamber ensemble, 17m


thirteen ways of looking at a blackbird

a song cycle for countertenor, clarinet in B flat, 2 violins, viola and cello, 20m


three songs of iain sharp

for baritone and piano


two movements

for Bass Clarinet and Viola, 5m


two years later

for 12-part male voice choir, 4m