Olveston Suite was composed in 1988 while Anthony Ritchie was Mozart Fellow at the University of Otago. The manager of Olveston House in Dunedin, Mr Dennis Moore, asked Anthony to play a programme of music in Olveston, on the 1904 grand piano. In response to a joking suggestion for a piece about the house, Anthony set about composing the Olveston Suite in quick time.
The pieces reflect qualities of the house; ‘Great Hall’ is expansive and majestic, ‘Kitchen and Scullery’ is busy and bubbling, while ‘Dining room’ suggests an old English style. The fourth piece, ‘Writing Room, Edwardian Bedroom’ is dedicated to Dorothy Theomin, the daughter of the original owners of Olveston and the last member of the family to live in the house. ‘Billiard Room, Persian Room’ is fast and jovial with an exotic middle section. The Suite is rounded off by a repetition of ‘Great Hall’, as the listener exits Olveston.