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Robert Burch


Born: 1929 Died: 2007


Robert William (Bob) Burch was born in Lyttelton, New Zealand, 28 Jan 1929. His family Family moved to Timaru and he was a Chorister St. Mary's Anglican Church, and played cornet at the Municipal Band.

He moved to Wellington in the mid 1940s where he completed Secondary education. He studied under Frederick Page and Douglas Lilburn at Victoria University and Graduated with a Mus.B in 1950. He travelled to London in 1951 with Government Bursary. At the Guidhall school Burch studied composition with Benjamin Frankel and also Horn with Raymond Bryant of the BBC Symphony.

Burch returned to New Zealand in 1953, where he joined the NZ Symphony Orchestra as second horn. He held the same chair (more or less) for 34 years. Burch married Leah Tozer and has two children - Susan (distinguished ballet career) - Geoffrey (computer wiz). He has retired to the Marlborough Sounds, with views of beloved sea. He is still composing, mostly chamber music, on request or under threat from former friends and colleagues.

Robert Burch died on 11 January 2007 in Wellington.

Composed (7)

Capriccio for Four Saxophones

for saxophone quartet, 6m


for horn, string orchestra and piano, 20m

Four Bagatelles

for piano, 6m

Light Airs

for cello and organ, 9m

Little Suite

for four clarinets, 23m


for wind quintet, 17m

Arranged (1)


for string orchestra

Recordings (1)