2016 SOUNZ Contemporary Award Finalists

08 Sep 2016 08:30

PictureSOUNZ, with APRA AMCOS, is proud to announce the finalists for the 2016 SOUNZ Contemporary Award, celebrating excellence in contemporary composition.

This year’s selection represents both established and upcoming New Zealand composers:

Chris Cree Brown (Christchurch) for Viola Concerto
Salina Fisher (Wellington) for Rainphase for orchestra
Kenneth Young (Raumati) for Piano Trio for violin, cello and piano

This year, for the first time, the judges for the Award are revealed. The following judging panel of independent industry representatives was convened by SOUNZ and included an international composer representative Nicola LeFanu (UK) and New Zealanders Kate Mead, Anthony Ritchie, Marc Taddei and Sarah Watkins.

The judging panel chose the three finalists from over thirty entries, displaying a “breadth of styles and liveliness of imagination”. The panel commended that, “The creativity, vision and craft was outstanding, not to mention the distinctive compositional voices on display. That no two works sounded alike is something the NZ composing community can continue to take enormous pride in.”

International judge Nicola LeFanu thought the entries showed that NZ composers are writing at high international standards and they “-- demonstrated that New Zealand can be very proud of its composers.”

The winner of the 2016 SOUNZ Contemporary Award will be announced at the APRA Silver Scroll Awards held at Vector Arena in Auckland on Thursday 29 September. Radio New Zealand will broadcast and live video stream the Awards ceremony on RNZ National, Freeview Ch 50 and online at www.rnz.co.nz/music.


Chris Cree Brown is an Associate Professor at the School of Music, University of Canterbury and this is the fifth time a work by Chris Cree Brown has been nominated for the SOUNZ Contemporary Award, which he won in 2010 with Inner Bellow. “I am elated that the Viola Concerto has been nominated for the 2016 SOUNZ Contemporary Award, and delighted that I am in the company of such talent as Ken and Salina,” said Chris, who has been twice the Mozart Fellow at the University of Otago and in 2010 he was awarded the KBB/CANZ citation for services to New Zealand Music.

Wellington based composer and first time finalist, Salina Fisher, is one of the youngest, and the youngest woman, to be nominated for the Award. She said, “I have huge admiration for all the composers and works selected in previous years, so to be named a finalist this year is such a thrill. I'm particularly excited to be selected alongside two composers who have had a huge impact on my musical life – Chris Cree Brown was my wonderful first year composition teacher at Canterbury and Ken Young has been an incredible mentor to me ever since he conducted my very first composition.” Salina was the 2015 NZSO National Youth Orchestra Composer-in-Residence, and the Overall Winner of the NZSO/TODD Young Composer Award in 2013 and 2014. Rainphase was also selected for the 2016 NZSO-RNZ Concert-SOUNZ Recordings.

“I am both delighted and grateful to be nominated for the SOUNZ Contemporary Award. It is always good to know that something you’ve written has been truly listened to,” said Kenneth Young, who is nominated for the Award for the third time. Young regularly conducts the NZSO, APO and other regional orchestras, and lectures in conducting and composition at Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music at Victoria University of Wellington. In 2004 he was awarded the Lilburn Trust Citation in Recognition of Outstanding Services to New Zealand Music.

APRA AMCOS NZ has also announced the finalists for the annual APRA Silver Scroll Award, the Maioha Award and the awards for the Best Original Music in a Feature Film and in a Series. In addition APRA AMCOS inducts significant creators to the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame.

Read the full media release here.

Read more about SOUNZ Contemporary Award and the past finalists and winners.




Shopping Cart