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Christopher Blake


Born: 1949


Christopher Blake was born in Christchurch in 1949. He studied engineering and music at the University of Canterbury and composition at the University of Southampton School of Music. His compositions encompass a wide variety of music. Major works include Till Human Voices Wake Us for orchestra and tenor soloist; a piano concerto, The Coming of Tane Mahuta; Clairmont Triptych for piano and wind quintet; Bitter Calm, an opera in 2 Acts, premiered at the 1994 New Zealand International Festival of the Arts; Symphony – The Islands; and, a violin concerto Concerto Aoraki premiered in 2006. A CD of his large work for string orchestra Angel at Ahipara recorded by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra on the Atoll label won the Tui Award for Best Classical Album in 2012. His Symphony – Voices was premiered by the NZSO in its 2016 season.

Christopher Blake has been the Chief Executive of a number of performing arts organisations and government departments in New Zealand, and was Chief Executive of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra from 2012 to 2019.

Composed (34)

A Viola on Skye

for solo viola, 9m

Ancient Journeys

for piano, 19m

Angel at Ahipara

for string orchestra, 11m

Anthem on the Kaipara

for string orchestra, 14m

Aria: A Dawn Song

for flute, 3m


for orchestra, 3m

Bitter Calm

opera in two acts for soloists, chorus and orchestra, 1h 30m

Black on White

for piano, 10m

Bullmore's Accolade

for brass quintet, 11m

Christ at Whangape

for string orchestra, 18m

Clairmont Triptych

for wind quintet and piano, 15m

Concerto Aoraki

for violin and orchestra, 38m

Echelles de Glace

for orchestra, 9m

Four Minutes to Midnight

for string orchestra, string quartet and 1 percussionist, 18m

Leaving the Plains of C

for chamber orchestra, 10m

Little Dancings

for flute and piano, 15m


for brass band, 11m

Night Journey To Pawarenga

for string orchestra, 13m

No. 3. Regions

for wind quintet, 13m

Symphony - The Islands

for orchestra, 43m

Symphony - Voices

for orchestra, 48m

Te Karanga o te Putatara

for orchestra, 4m

The Coming of Tane Mahuta

for piano and orchestra, 28m

The Furnace of Pihanga

for orchestra, 9m

The Lamentations of Motuarohia

for chamber orchestra, 14m

Till Human Voices Wake Us

for tenor voice and orchestra, 17m

Towards Peace

for clarinet, 11m

Tranquilla Sia L'onda

for wind octet, 7m

We all fall down

for full orchestra, 9m