Born in Newcastle, NSW, Australia on 2 March 1939, Anthony William (Tony) Baker was educated at Auckland's Monte Cecilia (1946-51) and Sacred Heart (1952-57) Colleges. He studied clarinet and flute with James Fawcett and George Poore and piano and theory with Ashley Lawrence and Errol White. In the early 60s he moved to the USA, first studying and working as a professional musician in and around California and then studying in Boston with emphasis on arranging, classical and contemporary composition and film and television scoring, all with Herb Pomeroy, Jack Weaver and Jimmy Progriss. Baker studied the Schillinger system of composition with William Maloof and undertook private study in jazz composition and scoring with Herb Pomeroy, television and film music with Robert Share and advanced saxophone studies with Joseph Viola.
Upon completion of a diploma course at the Berklee College of Music in 1963, Baker studied saxophone with Lee Konitz in New York. In 1965 he returned to New Zealand and attended the Auckland Teachers Training College, gaining a teacher's certificate in 1967 and becoming a school music specialist and tutor for numerous school and university orchestral courses. Baker then spent several decades working as a full time professional musician in Auckland, performing, composing and conducting for radio, television and film. Notably, he served as Musical Director, arranger and composer for over 50 television series and specials.
Baker was adjudicator for various competitions and television talent quests including Sing a New Song (1974), The Entertainers (1976) and Pacific Song Contest (1979/80). He served as Head of Music for Television New Zealand Ltd, executive member of the NZ Musicians Union (1966-8), Chairman of the Auckland Festival Society Music Committee (1973-5), Executive Committee member of the Auckland Neophonic Society (1968-82) and member of the Board of Directors of the New Zealand Composers Foundation and New Zealand Music Centre.
Tony Baker passed away in 1993.
for solo tenor sax and other instruments, 30m