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Philip Norman


Born: 1953 Website  


Composer, conductor, author, speaker, educator and publisher Philip Norman has been presenting work to New Zealand audiences for forty-five years. His output of over 250 compositions ranges from orchestral, chamber music and opera (A Christmas Carol), through secular and sacred choral and vocal works, to musicals with playwright Roger Hall (including Love Off the Shelf and Footrot Flats – still New Zealand’s best selling musical), and ballets for the Royal New Ballet such as the highly successful Peter Pan. His music has been performed in many countries, by organisations as diverse as The Vienna Boys Choir, The Kemerovo Philharmonic Orchestra (Siberia), The Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough UK directed by playwright Alan Ayckbourn, and The West Australian Ballet, Perth.

Recent compositions include Echoes of an Exhibition commissioned by the Sadler Jones Trust for the 25th anniversary of the Risingholme Orchestra, Christchurch 2017; and It’s Love Isn’t It? for solo classical guitar and reciter(s) commissioned by guitarist Matthew Marshall with funding from Creative New Zealand and the New Zealand Guitar Foundation, setting love poems by Alistair Te Ariki and Meg Campbell.

Philip is a past president of the Composers Association of New Zealand, a founder trustee of Christchurch’s The Piano: Centre for Music and the Arts (opened in August 2016), the immediate past chairman of the Christchurch City Choir, and music director of the Risingholme Orchestra. He holds a PhD in musicology and is the award-winning author of Douglas Lilburn: His Life and Music as well as the compiler and publisher of John Ritchie at Ninety: a festschrift. He was the inaugural Lilburn research fellow at the Alexander Turnbull Library in 2013 and is the 2017-2018 Creative New Zealand-Micahel King Writing Fellow completing writing a history of composition in New Zealand. Philip was a recipient artist of a grant from Adrienne, Lady Stewart as a result of her 2009 Arts Foundation Award for Patronage. He was invested as a Companion in the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) ‘for services to music and music theatre’ in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours list. He was the recipient of the 2017/2018 Creative New Zealand Michael King Writers' Fellowship and is currently writing a history of composition in New Zealand.

For further information visit [his website]( or the Arts Foundation website. For samples of his music visit

Composed (137)

A Christmas Carol

ballet music for orchestra, 1h 40m

A Christmas Carol

three act ballet with music for computer controlled keyboards, 1h 41m

A Christmas Carol

an opera for an ensemble of principals, chorus, dancers and orchestra, 1h 45m

A Factory Opera

a chamber opera for six principals, SATB chorus and two pianos, 30m

A Lion in the Meadow

for narrator and orchestra, 5m

A Man Who is Fifty

for TTBB choir and piano, 5m

A New Sky

for TTBB choir

A Padre's Story

for computer-controlled keyboards

A Short Suite

for saxophone quartet, 10m

A Simpleton's Peace

for piano, 8m

A Stab In The Dark

a comic operetta, 2h

An Imaginary Menagerie

for children's choir and piano, 2m 40s

And soon it will be dawn

for brass and percussion

Another Beatles Medley

for orchestra, 10m

Apple Crumble

for orchestra, 12m

Art is Our Cause

for choir and chamber group, 4m 59s

At the Lighting of the Lamps

for SATB choir and orchestra, 13m

Barbershop Quartet Arrangements

for TTBB vocal quartet, 7m

Baying at the Moon

for SATB choir and piano with tenor solo, 3m 40s


for congregation and organ, 2m

Between the Rivers

for youth orchestra, 9m

Birthday Music

for solo flute, 7m 30s

Bridgewater Quartet

for flute, clarinet, violin and piano, 14m 30s

Canterbury Rhythms

for orchestra, 12m

Carol of the (New Zealand) Birds

for treble voices and piano

Carol of the (New Zealand) Birds

for a capella SATB choir, 1m 30s

Changing Lanes

for piano


for SATB choir, 3m

Collection of Jazz-Like Arrangements for Choir

for various combinations of SSATB voices


for piano, violin and orchestra, 20m

Concerto No. 2 For Twenty Car Horns

for twenty cars and a motorbike, 6m

Deck the Bells (with yuletide folly)

for one piano (eight hands), 6m

Dirty Weekends

a musical, 2h

Does No-One Care?

for SA choir (with soprano and alto solos) and piano, 3m

Dudelsack Medley

for small orchestra with solo dudelsack, 3m 15s

Earthquake: 22.2.11

for narrator and orchestra, 6m

Evening Romance

for piano, 3m

Fanfare on Personent Hodie

for orchestra, 1m 30s

Fanfare on Star-Spangled Banner

for brass and percussion, 1m

Fanfare: And Soon It Will Be Dawn

for orchestral brass, timpani, tam tam and bass drum

Flingamango Tango

for orchestra

Footrot Flats

a musical, 2h

Fresh Revolving Pleasures

a chamber musical, 2h

Friendship Haiku

for orchestra, 10m

House of Awa

music for dance-theatre piece, 15m

Hunger Songs

for SSA choir, 7m

I heard a Thrush

for mixed voices and chamber group, 5m 11s

Inception to Infinity

for solo guitar and string orchestra, 15m

Interface 640

for oboe, clarinet and bassoon, 4m

It’s Love, Isn’t It?

for guitar and spoken voice

Jazz Bites

for flute, violin, piano and optional double bass, 10m

Jazz Nibbles (son of 'Jazz Bites')

for flute, alto saxophone (or viola or clarinet), piano and double bass, 12m


a musical for three actor-singers and piano, 2h

Joy to the World

for orchestra

Little Jack Horner

for SSA choir and piano, 1m 30s

Love is Commercial

for SATB choir and piano

Love off the Shelf

a musical, 55m

Love Song

for TTBB choir

Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis

for SATB choir and organ, 5m 30s

Making It Big

a musical, 2h

Measured Mass

for TTBB choir and organ, 10m

Missa Brevis – Lochmaben

for a cappella TTBB, 10m


for orchestra, 2m

Morton's Fork

for violin and piano, 2m

Mr Fezziwig's Dance Party

for solo violin or flute and string orchestra, 5m

Murphy's Law

for clarinet and piano

Murphy's Law

for soprano saxophone and piano, 11m

New Chums and the Old Identity

for SAB choir, soloists, speakers and orchestra, 1h 10m

New Zealand Made

music for dance, 16m

O Holy Night

for solo soprano, choir and orchestra, 6m

Old New Zealand Songs Nos. 1-3

for SATB choir and piano, 8m

On Entering the Temple of Hymen

for trumpet and organ, 4m

One In Five

a road safety musical, 20m


for viola and bassoon, 9m

Our Christmas

for two or three-part voices with string orchestra, 2m


for orchestra, 6m

Parliament of Women

for piano duet, 19m


for orchestra and singer, 2m

Peter Pan

for orchestra, 1h 27m

Plato's Cave

for saxophone, viola and piano, 14m


for SATB choir, 12m

Pro Patria

for SATB choir and piano, 14m

Prospering Fields

for solo piano, 12m

Proud to call New Zealand Home

for barbershop quartet (TTBB), 2m

Psalm 150

for SA choir, organ and optional cymbals, 3m

Psalm 150

for SATB choir, organ and optional cymbals, 3m

Psalm CL

for SATB choir and organ, 4m

Ravenous Uncles (and Many Thin Greedy Aunts)

for children's choir and piano, 10m


for TTBB choir and piano, 12m


for SATB choir, brass, piano and percussion, 12m


for SATB choir and orchestra, 12m


for SATB choir and piano, 11m 45s

Sleep in Heavenly Peace

for SATB choir and piano, 3m 15s


for piano, 10m

Songs of the Wild

for massed choir

Stiff Luck For The Undertaker

a comic operetta, 2h

Suite for Solo Cello

for cello, 10m

Suite from 'Peter Pan'

for orchestra, 19m

Suite from A Christmas Carol

for orchestra, 18m

Surrealist Landscape

for SATB choir, piano and optional woodblock, 4m

Tarragon Vinegar

for SATB choir and piano, 3m 30s

Te Maia and the Sea-Devil

music for a ballet, 1h

Tense Melodies

for flute and guitar, 6m

Terrible Tom

music for a ballet, 55m

The 'I Am Show'

a health musical, 14m

The Ballad of Settler McGee

for choir, orchestra, jazz orchestra, rock group, Maori ensemble and audience, 18m

The Ballad of Settler McGee

for symphonic band, 16m

The Battle Hymn of the Republic

for solo soprano, SATB choir and orchestra, 4m

The Castaway Sailor

for narrator and orchestra, 25m

The Cat Who Became a Poet

for narrator and orchestra

The Dress-Up Box

songs for a children's television series, 2h 40m

The Earth We Share

for SATB choir and piano, 2m

The Earth We Share

for unison voice(s) and piano, 3m

The Juggler

for orchestra, 5m

The Park

for orchestra, 20m

The Pleasure Garden

a chamber opera, 20m

The Song of the Pioneer

for TTBB choir and piano, 2m

Thog Thaga

a musical for children, 25m

Transports of Delight

for piano and massed choir with SA harmony, 3m 15s

Tui Trio

for tenor saxophone, viola and piano, 7m

Two Anthems

for orchestra

Two Brunnei Folksongs

for SSA choir and piano, 6m

Waiting for Caroline

for viola and piano

Waiting for Caroline

for horn and piano, 15m

We Are Not Here

for SATB choir and piano, 2m 15s


for orchestra and SA choir with optional TB parts


for unison treble choir and orchestra, 13m

When Gravity Fails

for viola and piano, 14m

When Gravity Fails

for viola and orchestra

Where would a songwriter be without love?

a compilation musical, 2h

Witches, Clowns, Promises

for children's voices and orchestra, 10m

Witches, Clowns, Promises

for voice (or unison voices) and piano, 10m

Wonderful Me

for voice(s) and piano with optional harmony

‘The Great Art War’, Three Songs From

for SATB choir, violin and piano, 8m 30s

Arranged (3)

Joy to the World

for orchestra


for orchestra and singer, 2m

Te Harinui

for orchestra

Publications (1)

Performances (4)

Swingers! – hot choral jazz from cool classical dudes

The Jubilate Singers, conducted by __Philip Norman__, with Mike Kime acoustic bass, Ted Meager br...

Dido and Aeneas and The Pleasure Garden

Jubilate Singers present 'Dido and The Pleasure Garden' A concert of Purcell’s evergreen opera...

Echoes of Yesteryear

Come and join the __Jubilate Singers__ on a magical mystery tour of some of The Arts Centre's noo...

Christchurch Symphony Orchestra | Tūrangawaewae

__Michael Endres__ | piano __Kenneth Young__ | conductor ___ __Programme:__ __Phi...