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Noel Sanders


Born: 1948


Noel Sanders was born in Auckland in 1948. He studied English Literature at Auckland University and linguistics at Harvard in the 1970s. He has recently retired from a senior lectureship in cultural studies and media history at the University of Technology, Sydney. Writings in this area include histories of the NSW Roads and Motorists Association (NRMA), the Commercial Traveller’s Association (CTA), and the Australian nuclear testing and uranium industries in the 1950s and 60s. The Thallium Enthusiasms and Other Australian Outrages (local Consumption Press 1994) represents current study interests, has chapters on the thallium murders that happened in Sydney 1947-53, the Graeme Thorne murder in 1960, the Whiskey a GoGo fire of 1973, the ‘white slavery’ scandals of the late 50s and the Fairlie Arrow disappearance of 1991 on the Gold Coast, and can be bought for the price of a small potplant.

In 1995 Noel was joined by a small black dog, Littledog, rescued from the RSPCA Yangoona, in the enjoyment of his struggling garden and many long walks along the Georges River (a polluted mess at low tide, a joy at high) and surrounding suburbs. In 2003 and 2004 he was awarded the Mozart Fellowship at the University of Otago in Dunedin. In 2009 Noel's piece Shirty (2003) was recorded as part of the NZSO-SOUNZ Readings. In 2010 Steele Roberts & Associates published 'Moon, Tides and Shoreline', a biography of Dame Gillian Whitehead written by Noel Sanders. He now divides his time between the Illawarra and Surfer's Paradise.

Composed (65)

Adagios of Islands

for orchestra, 6m

Bassoon Quartet

for solo bassoon with violin, viola and cello, 10m

Belle Isle

for chamber orchestra, 20m

Big Dipper and Little Mouse

for piano and orchestra, 12m

Cuerda de Cielo (Sky Rope)

for wind quintet, 15m

Dances for Dead Cities

for orchestra, 25m


for flute, trombone, piano, cello and percussion, 8m

Faust Prologue

for bass-baritone and orchestra, 20m

Firefalls/Nocturnes II

for clarinet and piano, 12m

First Premises

for two pianos, two horns, vibraphone and two tenors, 12m

Five Epigrams of Dmitris Tsaloumas

for high voice and piano, 12m

Five Poem Songs

for clarinet, 8m

Five-Step Symphony

for full orchestra, 14m

Flame Tree

for solo piano, 6m

Food Toy

for chamber ensemble

Four Poems from Aftonland

for soprano and piano, 10m

Four Poems of Cesar Vallejo

For high voice and chamber ensemble, 16m

Fractal Apostles

for chamber orchestra, 10m

Fury of Antonio Gramsci

for flute and piano, 16m


for 3 saxophones, 2 percussion and 3 strings, 15m

Goethe Nightsongs

for voice and piano, 12m


for orchestra, 15m


for piano, 6m

Hoop Pine Eclog

for wind quintet, 10m


for voice and chamber ensemble, 15m


for clarinet, cello and piano


for orchestra, 12m


for clarinet and orchestra, 12m

Natural Kinds

for chamber ensemble, 18m

Oedipal Triads (Part 1 of 3)

for 3 sopranos, mezzo, tenor, bass-baritone and orchestra, 25m

Paysage Sauvage

for chamber ensemble, 10m

Picnic at Woodhaugh, Dunedin, 1863

for mezzo soprano, flute, cello and piano


for ensemble including a string quartet, 20m

Road Works (via Crucis)

for piano and percussion, 25m

Sacred to the Memory of Death

for amplified clarinet, 2 cor anglais, 2 horns, 4 percussion, 3 dancers, 17m


for clarinet and piano, 6m

Seven Pieces

for piano, 4m

Seven Poems of Iannis Ritsos

for high voice and piano, 12m


for full symphony orchestra, 24m


for violin, percussion, and piano

Six Piano Pieces

for solo piano, 5m

Six Poems of Bill Manhire

for mezzo-soprano and piano, 10m

Small Forms 1-24

for piano, 26m

Some Five Nets

for string orchestra


for flute, clarinet, viola and piano, 12m

Stiff and Still (te parenga)

for orchestra, 15m

String Quartet No. 2

for string quartet, 17m

String Quartet No.3

for string quartet, 15m

String Quartet No.4

for string quartet, 20m

String Quartet No.5

for string quartet, 10m


for chamber sextet, 8m

Te Kohanga (The Nest)

for orchestra, 20m

The Ace of Spades Ascends the Stair

for chamber ensemble, 12m

The Cult Of Light

for piano quintet, 20m

The Insane Piano Of Denis Diderot

for tenor, baritone and piano duet

The Tidal Wedge

for orchestra, 28m

The Twin-Hulled Canoe

for B flat clarinet and bass clarinet, 8m

The Web Of Urizen

for soprano and ensemble, 18m

Turk's Head

for four crumhorns, tenor, crotales and tape, 9m

Two Goethe Songs

for high voice and piano, 8m

Two Two-Colour Studies

for string orchestra, 6m

Up the Off Ramp

for chamber ensemble, 15m


for solo horn and two percussionists, 10m


for string quartet, 15m

Women of Jerusalem

for soprano, horn, tuba and timpani, 8m