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Anthony Ritchie


Born: 1960 Website  


Anthony has composed over 200 compositions during a career that includes a decade of freelance composing, several composer residencies, and twenty years teaching composition at Otago University. His works include six symphonies, five operas, oratorios, numerous concertos (including popular concertos for piano, flute and viola), chamber music and songs. Many of his works have been published and recorded, and he has had works performed in many countries abroad, including the UK, Europe, Asia and the US. In 2014, his choral work Salaam was commissioned and premiered by Aquarius in Belgium, who have recently recorded a CD of his choral work. Anthony has had chamber music performed by The Takacs Quartet, The Eggner Trio, and The Yang Quartet, and The BBC Symphony Orchestra has recorded his A Bugle Will Do. His French Overture was performed by The Swedish Chamber Orchestra in 2012, while the CD A Bugle Will Do (Atoll, 2011) was named one of the “CDs of the year” by British reviewer Nick Barnard, on the Music Web International site. He has regularly had works performed overseas at ISCM and ACL festivals.

Anthony Ritchie completed a Ph.D. on the music of Bartok in 1987, studying at the Bartok Archives in Budapest. He also studied composition with Attila Bozay at the Liszt Academy, and completed his Mus.B (Honours) at the University of Canterbury. During this time his Concertino for Piano and Strings was recorded onto LP by Kiwi Pacific. In 1987 he was Composer-in-Schools in Christchurch, before moving to Dunedin as Mozart Fellow (1988-9) at the University of Otago. Anthony was Composer-in-Residence with the Dunedin Sinfonia in 1993-4, completing his Symphony No. 1 'Boum'. He free-lanced until 2002, writing commissioned works for performers as diverse as the NZSO, Class Act Opera, and Daniel Belton and Good Company. In 2000 his Symphony No.2 was premiered by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra at the International Festival of the Arts, and was followed up by the comic opera Quartet at the 2004 Festival. Other operas include The God Boy (2004) and This Other Eden (2014), both premiered at Arts Festival Dunedin. Anthony has also composed film music in collaboration with Natural History NZ, including Southern Journeys (2000) and Timeless Land (2003).

Since 2005 he has had fourteen CDs of his composition released, including the critically acclaimed Piano Preludes (Atoll, 2005), NZ Poets in Song featuring Anna Leese (Ode/Manu 2008), and the CD Remember Parihaka (Atoll, 2009) which includes his widely performed Flute Concerto, written for Alexa Still. His two CDs of chamber music include Octopus featuring his String Quartet No.2. An album of his piano music, Expressions, was released by Ode/Manu in 2010, performed by Tom McGrath. Atoll and the NZ Symphony Orchestra released his CD A Bugle Will Do in 2012, which included his Symphony No.3. It was awarded classical album of the year by The Listener, and was a finalist at the NZ Music Awards. Atoll released his Stations CD in 2014 (Symphony No.4 performed by The Christchurch Symphony Orchestra), and it was declared a ‘Recording of the Month’ by Web Music International. Reviewer Nick Barnard wrote: “I have been listening to this music over the last month during which time I have found myself increasingly drawn into its profoundly moving sound-world. . . The structure of the work is hugely impressive – the listener is drawn forward inexorably with each station clearly defined yet clearly part of a greater scheme. . . Ritchie’s music speaks with a very individual yet accessible voice and his work – and certainly this symphony – deserves a wide audience.” Fjarren: In the Distance with Anthony’s Clarinet Quintet and Purakaunui at Dawn won ‘Best Classical Album’ in the 2016 NZ Music Awards. In the same year he was Composer-in-Residence at the Visby International Centre for Composition, in Sweden. His Gallipoli to the Somme was performed in London and Oxford, 2018, and voted Aotearoa’s most popular classical music recording in RNZ Concert’s ‘Settling the Score’ in 2020. His Symphony No.5 ‘Childhood’ was rated one of the recordings of the year by MusicWeb International, 2022. The NZ Symphony Orchestra has regularly played his work, including recent performances of Remember Parihaka, Piano Concerto No 3, and his overture A Bugle Will Do in their Jubilee concert, 2022. Anthony continues to compose for less experienced performers, with recent highlights including Kia Kaha Tamariki commissioned by The Sinfonia of Hope, and Whānau Overture, commissioned by The Manukau Concert Band.

Anthony is currently Professor of Music at The University of Otago in Dunedin, and Head of the School of Performing Arts. He combines his interest in composition with a passion for teaching and mentoring young composers. In 2012-13 he was the Composer Mentor for the Todd Young Composer Awards. He also engages with the community through his role as a conductor (Dunedin Youth Orchestra), pre-concert speaker and arranger. In 2011 he was chosen to arrange the music for the 20 national anthems at the Rugby World Cup. Anthony combines his interest in music with an interest in sport, and has represented New Zealand at two croquet world championships.

“What is not in any doubt is just how engaging and of real worth Ritchie’s music is. Certainly it deserves to be far more widely known than it currently is outside of his native country. By now it should be clear that this is music that appeals to both the head and the heart and speaks using a voice that will touch those who do not normally respond to the traditional Classical Music idiom.”
(Nick Barnard, Music Web International, 2013)

Composed (271)

24 Preludes

for solo piano, 49m

A Bugle Will Do

for full orchestra, 9m

A Folk Lament

for organ, 10m

A Little Sleep

for solo piano, 9m 40s

A Mid-Term Trio

for clarinet, viola and piano, 8m

A Poem Just for Me

for soprano, baritone and piano

A Shakespeare Overture

for youth orchestra, 8m

A Survivor from Rēkohu

for flute solo/piccolo and taonga pūoro, 12m


for SATB choir, kapa haka group, soloists and orchestra

Albatross in Flight

for orchestra, 4m

Albatross, Flying So High

for voice and piano, 2m

Angels Flow

for pedal harp, 2m 40s


for harp, 4m

Ants: Sextet for Strings

for two violins, two violas and two cellos, 9m 30s

as long as time

for unaccompanied SSAATBB, 10m

As-salamu Alaykum

for solo organ, 5m

Ashburn Fragments

for piano, 12m

Autumn Concerto

for piano and orchestra, 10m

Autumn Concerto

arranged for two pianos

Autumn Moods Op. 196

for cello and guitar, 6m

Balkan Bagpipes

for amateur orchestra, 9m

Bartok Medley

arranged for school orchestra

Bear Dance

for primary school orchestra, 6m


for orchestra, 9m

Behind our Masks

a musical, 2h

Bele Doette

for soprano and oboe, 5m

Berlin Fragments

for mezzo-soprano and piano, 23m

Brass Quintet

for brass quintet, 12m

Caroline Bay Suite

for piano, 5m

Cartoon: Fantasy for oboe and orchestra

for oboe and orchestra, 17m


for SATB choir and woodblocks

Cat in the Dark

for treble voices, clarinet and piano, 2m 30s

Cat in the Dark

for treble voices and piano, 2m 30s


for violin, cello and piano, 10m

Children and Adults

for mezzo-soprano, clarinet and piano, 10m

Children and Adults

for mezzo soprano, viola and piano, 10m

Clarinet Quintet

for clarinet in A and string quartet, 18m

Clouds, op.114

for solo trombone and brass band, 10m

Columba Song

for two part choir and piano, 2m

Coming to It

for orchestra and speaker, 19m


dance music for violin and piano, 24m

Concertino for Piano and Strings

for piano and strings, 13m

Concerto for Euphonium and Brass Band

for euphonium and brass band, 20m

Concerto for Soprano Saxophone and Orchestra

for soprano saxophone and orchestra, 17m

Concerto for Three: 'Coming of Age'

for flute, violin, cello and strings, 12m

Convention for Harpsichord - A personality study

for harpsichord with two manuals, 12m


for female vocal sextet and harp, 4m

Dance around the world

for school orchestra


for solo cello


for SAB choir and piano

Dogwobble and other Songs

for SAB choir and flexible instrumental ensemble, 11m

Double Concerto for bass clarinet and cello

for bass clarinet, cello and orchestra, 19m

Down in the Brunner Mine

for brass band, 9m


for Javanese gamelan ensemble, 5m


for solo piano, 3m

Es ist ein Ros entsprungen

for a cappella SATB choir, 3m 30s

Everyone says "No!"

for unison voices and piano accompaniment

Exquisite Spirit

for mezzo-soprano and piano, 12m

First Day at School

for SA choir and piano, 3m

Five Dunedin Songs Op. 76

for tenor and guitar, 16m

Five New Zealand Bird Songs

for voice and piano, 5m

Five Songs of Colour

for soprano and piano, 12m

Flute Concerto

for flute and piano, 17m

Flute Concerto

for flute and orchestra, 17m

Flute Sonata

for flute and piano, 14m

For Seven

for voice and mixed ensemble, 7m

Four Bagatelles for Viola and Percussion

for viola and percussion, 8m

Four Duos for Two Violins

for two violins

Four e.e. cummings Poems

for unaccompanied SSAA choir, 8m

Four Preludes

for wind quintet, 5m 30s

Fours into Twelve...

for four double basses, 2m

French Overture

for full orchestra, 12m

From Mountains to Sea

for orchestra, 12m

From the Southern Marches

for choir, soprano, alto, tenor and bass soloists and orchestra, 2h

Gallipoli to The Somme

for soprano, bass, choir and orchestra


for piano, 2m

God Defend New Zealand

for SATB choir and orchestra

Goodbye to Blues

for symphonic or concert band, 7m


for orchestra, 10m 15s

Guitar Concerto Op. 79

for guitar and orchestra, 30m

Haere Mai Ra

for SSA choir, flute, cello and piano

He is Starlight

for brass band

He moemoea

for mezzo soprano and piano, 5m

Hippocratic Hymn

for brass, timpani, tam tam and organ, 2m 30s

Horn Trio: Re-birth

for horn in F, violin and piano, 20m

Hungarian Folk Songs

arranged for unaccompanied SATB choir, 5m


for piano, 5m

Johnny Come Dancing

for SATB choir and piano duet, 10m

Journey through Eastern Europe

for chamber orchestra, 5m


for orchestra, 40m

Kia Kaha Tamariki

for solo violin, solo cello, 7-part cello ensemble, taonga puoro, mbira, and percussion, 12m

Lament for Barney Flanagan

for baritone and piano

Le vierge, le vivace et le bel aujourd'hui

for unaccompanied SATB choir, 4m


for solo piano, 15m

Line Dances

music for a dance film by Daniel Belton, 30m

Little Quartet

for flute, clarinet, viola and piano, 8m


for solo soprano, children's choir, SATB choir and organ, 21m


for SATB choir, 4m


for male voice choir unaccompanied, 4m

Mazurka for Anna

for solo piano, 4m 30s


for violin and piano, 12m

Meditation Upon Tao Te Ching No.16.

for tape (EMS/CU), 13m

Meditation, op.112

for viola and piano, 3m

Melancholia Op.51b

for solo guitar, 3m


dance music for tape, 15m

Memories of Budapest, op. 87

for horn, 2 violins, 2 violas and cello, 11m

Memories of Purakaunui

for five cellos and piano, 12m

Milking Before Dawn

for soprano and piano

Moa were big, Moa were strong

for unison voices and piano accompaniment


for amateur orchestra, 14m

Music for Hippolytus

for female voices with flute, 15m

Music for The Revengers Tragedy

incidental music for the play by Tournier, 25m

Music for Tristan

for piano, 9m 12s

My Father Today

for baritone and piano

Naïve Pieces for Piano

for solo piano, 19m


for piano, 16m


for piano

Nocturne and Sunrise

for flute, viola and guitar, 10m 30s

Oboe Sonata

for oboe and piano, 17m


dance music for tape, 10m

Octet - Octopus

for chamber octet, 12m


for SSAATTBB choir

Olveston Suite

for piano, 7m 40s

On Trying to Understand a Poem in the 'Listener'

for female voice and piano, 3m


for piano quartet, 7m

Organ Overture

for orchestra with concert organ, 8m

Pas de Deux (Prelude - Au Revoir)

for violin and guitar

Pas de Deux Op.51a

for guitar duo, 21m

Penguins Go!

for unison voices and piano accompaniment

Peninsula Suite

for piano

Piano Concerto

for piano and full orchestra, 29m

Piano Concerto No. 3

for piano and orchestra, 18m

Piano Concerto No. 3

arranged for two pianos

Piano Sonata 1988

for solo piano, 17m

Piano Trio

for piano trio, 15m

Picture Stone Trio

for clarinet, violin and piano

Pink and White

for pipe organ or electronic organ, 11m

Please Be My Friend

for primary school choir and keyboard, 3m

Poems of Spring

for piano, 14m

Polish Dances

for flute and piano, 7m

Portrait of FH

for orchestra with optional narrator part, 28m


for orchestra, 4m 30s

Psalm 147

for SATB and organ, 4m


for chamber orchestra, 5m

Purakaunui at Dawn

for clarinet and string quartet, 6m


a chamber opera, 1h 10m


for baritone and piano, 6m


for baritone and orchestra, 6m

Remember Parihaka

for orchestra, 9m


for orchestra, 12m


for violin and piano, 9m

Rhapsody Op. 32

for solo guitar, 6m

Rites of Passage

for bassoon and string quintet, 12m


for SSAATTBB choir

She is singing for Peace

for SSAATTBB unaccompanied choir, 5m

Shintaro San

for brass band, 7m

Shoal Dance

for two violins, 11m

Silver Songs

for SATB choir, 10m


for small orchestra, 15m

Singers in the Islands

for piano, 50s


for solo violin, 15m


for 7-8 percussionists and bass guitar, 6m


for mezzo-soprano and piano, 4m

Song for Minstrel, op.120

for violin and piano, 3m

Song of Hope

for unaccompanied SATB choir, 3m 28s

Song to the Lord Jesus

for unison choir and keyboard, 3m

Songs Just For You

for female choir and piano, 10m

Songs of Roses

for a cappella SATB choir with solo soprano

Southern Journeys

for orchestra with video, 30m


for two violins and viola, 6m 6s

Spring String Trio

for string trio, 9m

Star Fire

an opera, 45m

String Quartet No 3, 'In Time'

for string quartet, 23m

String Quartet No. 1

for string quartet, 20m

String Quartet No. 2

for string quartet, 24m

Sultry Op. 139b

for solo guitar, 4m

Swinging Ducks and Yellow Trucks

a creative resource of songs for 3 -7 year olds

Symphony No. 1 - 'Boum'

for full orchestra, 32m

Symphony No. 3

for full orchestra, 30m

Symphony No. 4, 'Stations'

for orchestra and soprano, 45m

Symphony No. 5, 'Childhood'

for orchestra, 40m

Symphony No. 6

for orchestra, 33m

Taioro ki te Ao

for narrator, viola and piano, 50m


for three-part female choir, 3m


for baritone and piano, 4m 15s

Te Moana

for wind band, 7m

The Bay

for baritone and piano, 3m 40s

The Blue Sonata

for cello and piano, 23m

The Bomb is Made, op. 99

for large choir, strings, organ and timpani, 5m

The Charge of Parihaka

for vocal sextet SSATBB, 5m

The Eagle has Landed

a chamber opera, 15m

The Flower of Scotland (arr.)

for massed choirs and bagpipes, 3m

The God Boy

an opera in two acts, 1h 30m

The Hanging Bulb

for orchestra, 12m

The Kea

for unison voices with piano accompaniment

The Lamb

for soprano, mezzo-soprano and piano, 3m

The Lost Cat

for unison voices with piano accompaniment

The Pelog Quartet

for piano quartet, 15m

The Rose Family

for a cappella choir with soprano soloist, 14m

The Sandfly

for unison voices and piano accompaniment

The Shark

for unison voices

The Survivor

for SSAATTBB choir, 8m

The Trapeze Artists

chamber opera for soprano, alto, baritone, 35m

The Tuatara Dances

for full orchestra, 18m

The Whale

for unison voices


dance music for tape, 10m

Theme and Variations for 6 cellos

for cello ensemble, 5m

Then I Understood

for choir and orchestra, 23m

This Other Eden

an opera in two acts

This Sea We Cross Over

for SSAATTBB choir, 3m 30s

Thorrington Blues

for classroom orchestra, 2m

Thoughts from an Inner Garden

for soprano, violin and piano, 25m

Three Baritone Songs

for baritone and piano

Three Chinese Love Songs

for soprano and piano, 9m

Three Little Kiwis

for unison voices and piano accompaniment

Three Pieces for J.A.R.

for piano solo, 10m

Three Pieces for Strings

for string orchestra, 10m

Three Pieces Op. 118a

for viola and guitar, 10m

Three Scenes for Solo Clarinet

for solo clarinet, 9m

Three Songs

for women's choir with horn and piano

Three Songs for Tracy

for soprano and piano, 6m

Timeless Land

for orchestra and multimedia, 43m

to face the night alone

song cycle for baritone, large SATB choir, and orchestra, 37m


for solo piano, 9m 30s

Transylvanian Dances

for string quartet, 6m 30s

Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano

for clarinet, cello and piano, 19m

Trio in C

for flute, oboe and clarinet, 5m


for euphonium and piano

Triptych: Mountains and Rivers

for SATB choir with soprano soloist, 10m


for violin and piano, 2m


for solo flute, 5m

Tutira Mai

for SA with flute, cello and piano

Two Further Songs for Columba College

for SA choir, piano, guitar and flute, 6m

Two Pantoums

for soprano and piano, 9m

Two Partsongs

for unaccompanied SSATB choir, 4m

Two Songs for Columba College

for SSA choir, flute, cello and piano, 4m

Two Songs for Contralto

for contralto and piano, 7m

Underwater Music

for small orchestra, 12m


for youth orchestra, 9m

Variations for G.B.P.

for violin and organ, 8m

Variations on a Theme

for primary school orchestra, 3m

Viola Concerto

for viola and orchestra, 14m

Viola Concerto No. 2

for viola and string orchestra

Viola Sonata

for viola and piano, 25m

Violin Concerto

for violin and orchestra, 23m

Violin Sonata

for violin and piano, 21m

Violin Sonata No. 3

for violin and piano, 20m

Visions of Education

for flute, violin, piano, mixed choir and soloists


for SSAATTBB choir, 3m


for string quartet, 10m


for string orchestra, 10m


for solo double bass and orchestra, 10m

Whispers of Gallipoli

a song cycle for baritone and piano, 31m

Why Don't You Talk To Me?

for soprano (or high voice) and piano, 3m

Whānau Overture

for concert band, 5m

Widow's Songs

for a cappella SSAATB choir, 7m

Wind Quintet, op. 142

for wind quintet, 15m

With Years To Go

for unaccompanied SATB choir, 3m

Woodwind Quartet

for two flutes and two clarinets, 10m

Words are my notes

for mezzo-soprano, viola and piano, 12m

Yet Another Poem of Spring

for full orchestra, 2m


for SATB choir, taonga puoro, organ and strings, 8m

Arranged (1)

God Defend New Zealand

for SATB choir and orchestra

Recordings (41)

Da Chara




Resources (33)

Performances (5)

Gala Concert

This is our school Gala Concert and it is a particularly special occasion this year as we have th...

Dunedin Symphony Orchestra - Matinée Series 2 : Voila Viola!

Dunedin-based Anthony Ritchie has been hailed as “one of the greatest composers of his time” and ...

New Art Song of the Pacific Rim

Chris Adams Afternoon – Brian Turner Anthony Ritchie My father today – Sam Hunt S...

Waikanae Music Society | Tākiri Ensemble

__Anna Leese__ | soprano __Maaike Beekman__ | mezzo __Manase Latu__ | tenor __Robert Tuc...