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Andrew Perkins


Born: 1961


Dr Andrew Perkins was born in Warkworth, New Zealand. He attended Auckland University from 1980 till 1985, graduating with the degree of Bachelor of Music (1983) then the degree of Master of Music (Hons) 1985 majoring in Composition. His Composition teachers were Dr John Rimmer and Dr Douglas Mews (Senior) and visiting Fellow Lou Harrison.

As a fully qualified teacher, Andrew Perkins has taught Music in England (St Bedes School, Eastbourne), and was one of the foundation staff members of ACG Senior College of New Zealand as Director of Music Studies from 1995 till 2004. He was Head of Music at Baradene College of the Sacred Heart, Auckland from 2005-2008.

During 2008 – 2016 Andrew lived in Melbourne, Australia where he completed his PhD in Music Composition (graduating in December 2013) at the Conservatoire of Music, Melbourne University where he was also employed as a sessional lecturer and tutor at the VCA/Conservatorium of Music. Andrew Perkins now resides in St Leonards, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Andrew Perkins has appeared as guest lecturer at Auckland University, at the School of Music, Mathematics Department (“Music and Mathematics”), and to the School of Architecture (“Proportion in Music and Buildings”), University of Melbourne Conservatory of Music (seminar on The Radish and the Shoe, 2016), and Dunedin University Music Department (seminar entitled “Beyond Postmodernism”, 2018).

During 1986 he was elected as NZIAA’s cultural ambassador, representing New Zealand at the Eleventh General Assembly, Baghdad, Iraq, speaking on the subject of “Peace and the Artist”. Andrew was Music Director and Cantor of the Auckland Catholic Schola for 13 years; the group specialized in the performance of sacred music from the Medieval, Renaissance and early Baroque periods; all music was performed within the context of the Roman Catholic Mass. Andrew has written many psalm settings and motets for the Schola.

In July 2012 his major work Christchurch Vespers was performed by Pita Paczian and Bach Musica New Zealand at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell, Auckland. Its musical language – a fusion of the ancient (Greek, Byzantine, Middle Eastern, Hebrew, Indian), the liturgical (Perkins sets seven texts from the Vespers for Pentecost liturgy) and the idiosyncratic (a duel between the harp and the vibraphone in The Announcement of the Eternal Gospel) is both academic and passionate: the performance was recorded by Franco Viganoni, and received a standing ovation from an enthusiastic audience.

During November 2012, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra recorded his Waltz-Fantasia as part of the NZSO-RNZ Concert-SOUNZ Recordings. Under this project they also recorded his The Radish and the Shoe for narrator and orchestra in 2014. It was recorded in two languages: English, and French.

Andrew Perkins’ Concerto Grosso for flute, harpsichord and strings was premiered in July 2016 at the Raye Freedman Arts Centre, Auckland by Adrianna Lis (flute) and Rosemary Barnes (harpsichord) with the Auckland Chamber Orchestra conducted by Peter Scholes: the performance, recorded by SOUNZ, and Franco Viganoni, received a standing ovation from the capacity audience.

During January 2018, Andrew Perkins’ Three Spanish Songs was recorded and premiered by famous mezzo-soprano Sally-Anne Russell with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

Andrew Perkins describes his music as “moving forward beyond post-modernism”. His compositions are highly exotic and colourful, focussing on the weaving of melodic strands similar to the concepts behind Renaissance polyphony. He employs non-Western scales and complex rhythmic structures. His recent works have utilised scalar formations that share characteristics with those of ancient cultures, yet retaining a distinctive connection with his home country of New Zealand.

He is currently a teaching fellow at the University of Otago.

Composed (46)


for solo pianoforte, 3m

Ave Maria, gratia plena

for SATB unaccompanied choir, 2m

Ave Maris Stella

for string orchestra, 4m

Ave Maris Stella

for pipe organ, 4m

Ave Verum Corpus - Fantasia

for pipe organ, 7m


for voice and piano

Chants Montage

for organ, 26m

Christchurch Vespers (Vespers for the Feast of Pentecost)

for solo soprano, choir, and orchestra (including positive organ and tambura), 45m

Cogitationes Fantasia

for school orchestra and unison choir

Composition In Red

for mezzo-soprano, flute, viola and cello, 8m

Concertino for Flute and String Orchestra

for solo flute and string orchestra, 20m

Concertino for Flute, Harp, and Concert Band

for flute, harp (or piano) and concert band, 5m


for violoncello and strings, 21m

Concerto Grosso

for flute, harpsichord and strings

Coventry Carol Fantasia

for pipe organ

Date in Ao-Bao

for school orchestra

Dies Sanctificatus

for SATB Choir with brass quartet, 5m

I Prayed, and Understanding was Given Me

for a cappella SATB choir and solo soprano, 4m

It is the Lord who Gives Sight to the Blind

for a cappella SATB choir, 3m


for SATB unaccompanied choir

Lord, Teach us to Number our Days

for a cappella SATB choir, 3m

Lord, You brought a Vine out of Egypt

for a cappella SATB choir, 3m

Love is Come Again

for unison choir and orchestra with pipe organ

Lux et Origo

for brass quintet, 11m

Marian Triptych

for full orchestra, 12m

Ngā Manu O Te Ngahere

for flute, clarinet and cello, 6m 45s

O Crux Splendidor

for a cappella SATB choir, 7m

O Little One Sweet

for organ

Psalm 73

for SATB choir

Sinfonietta di Dieci

for string orchestra, 18m

Song to the Lord Jesus

for SATB choir and organ, 4m

String Quartet 'Vox Stellarum'

for string quartet, 18m

Symphony - Der Bote

for mezzo soprano and orchestra, 30m

The Birds

a comedic Singspiel for soloists, chorus, and orchestra, 1h 40m

The Birds (concert version)

a comedic Singspiel for soloists, narrator, chorus, and orchestra

The Flying Gardens

for solo cello, 10m

The Mute Swan

for SSAA choir and pianoforte, 6m

The Radish and the Shoe

for narrator and orchestra, 16m

Three Bohemian Sketches

for string quartet, 15m

Three Katherine Mansfield Songs

for mezzo-soprano and piano, 10m 30s

Three Spanish Songs

for mezzo-soprano and chamber orchestra


for symphony orchestra, 21m

Veni Sancte Spiritus - Fantasia

for pipe organ, 6m


for symphony orchestra, 8m 40s

Ways of Light and Life

for baritone and instrumental ensemble, 21m

Performances (1)

BMNZ: Beethoven & Perkins (world premiere)

__Sun 26 May | 5 pm | Auckland Town Hall__ May is NZ Music Month, and Bach Musica NZ is deligh...