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Ross James Carey

Born: 1969


Ross James Carey is a composer and pianist. A native of Te Awa Kairangi/Lower Hutt, Aotearoa/New Zealand, Ross completed a PhD in composition from the University of Melbourne and since March 2017 has been a foreign professor in collaborative piano at the School of Music and Drama, Sias University, Xinzheng, Henan, China. He also holds a similar position in the newly established University of Arizona program at Sias. From 2010 to 2015 Ross was a senior lecturer in composition at the Faculty of Music, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) in Shah Alam, Malaysia.

Ross’s compositional influences are diverse, including jazz and modal references, literary influences, quotation, homage and reflections on place and identity. Ross has recently explored his interest in writing for various keyboard instruments, in particular the toy piano, with many of these pieces being written for the Seoul Toy Piano Ensemble and US keyboardist David Bohn. Recent performances have included Kate Kelly, a chamber opera to a libretto by Merrill Findlay presented online by Gertrude Opera, Melbourne; One day in spring, the title piece from a jazz-classical crossover album of 12 pieces for solo piano by pianist Anna Heller for Moving Classics TV; Souvenir des îles composed for oboist Juan Manuel Cano-Ruíz, and Toccatina (Elegy) to the memory of Australian singer-songwriter Ruby Hunter, included in their 2018 CMNZ concert series by the Aroha String Quartet. An arrangement for flute quartet of the well-known Chinese traditional song Jasmine Flower was released on the CD ‘Flute Image di Donne’ by Quartetto Image, Italy, with further pieces for flute and piano and solo bass flute released on the Phasma Music label by Iwona Glinka.

In 2021 Ross presented an online lecture on several of his recent compositions influenced by the music of Indonesia at the 9th International Conference for Asia Pacific Arts Studies hosted by Institute Seni Indonesia, Yogyakarta. Other conferences Ross has participated in as both composer and performer include the China-ASEAN Festival in Nanning (2019), the 11th and 12th Women’s Symposium hosted by the World Academy for the Future of Women, Sias University (2017-18), the IMPAC conference at Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Tanjung Malim (2016), UiTM Malaysian Composer Series at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (2010-14), the East meets west conference at Hong Kong Baptist University (2009) and the UiTM ‘Composium’ (2013), for which he was also the main organiser. Ross has also had a number of works performed at festivals of the Asian Composers’ League, most recently in Singapore in 2013 and the special ACL event in Tokyo in 2010.

Ross’s pianistic career has seen him give performances of solo contemporary repertoire including his own works at venues including Hong Kong University, the National University of Singapore, Universiti Sains Malaysia (Penang), Theatre Utan Kayu (Jakarta) and the universities of Canterbury and Otago. In 2008 he gave a recital of solo and collaborative works by women composers at the International Association of Women in Music Congress in Beijing. A recent highlight was premiering his …infinite songs…, 33 variations on Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star for piano solo in Singapore in 2017. This had a subsequent performance by students and lecturers at the La Salle College of the Arts, Singapore in April 2018. His interest in writing for students has seen Ross contribute to anthologies published by NZIRMT and the Sunrise Music Trust, as well as pieces performed at the NZ schools’ national music competition, RimuFest (Tauranga), and SFA Strings (Ann Arbor, Michigan).

Ross is a member of the Centre for New Zealand Music (SOUNZ) and the Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA). His scores are published by SOUNZ, Donemus (Den Haag) and Alea Publishers (Tacoma, Washington) and have appeared in anthologies published by the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and UiTM Press (Shah Alam), the latter featuring three collaborative compositions with Australian composer Katia Tiutiunnik. Recordings have appeared in anthologies published by Crown Classics (Tokyo), Fontec (Tokyo), Luna Rossa (Italy), Move (Melbourne), Phasma Music (Kwidzyn), Ode (Auckland) and Wai-te-ata Press Music (Wellington) labels as well as online. Ross also features as a composer on two documentary films- Harps Make Fine Companions by Erika Pearson on the making of harpist Helen Webby’s CD of New Zealand harp music, ‘Pluck’ and Tracy Sorenson’s Songs for Kate on the preparation and premiere of The Kate Kelly Song Cycle in Forbes, NSW in September 2011.

Composed (173)

...infinite songs...

for 37-key toy piano, 15m

...infinite songs...

for 32-key toy piano, 15m

A Little Suite for Yuji and Rieko

for violin and piano, 12m

a pirouette

for piano, 9m 12s

A Sea Shanty

for cello and piano

A wish

for guitar, 10m

A Won for Buddha

for piano - four hands, 18m

After the Rain

for flute, alto saxophone and piano

Air and Gigue

for solo viola, 6m 40s


for piano trio, 10m

Baltic Song

for piano, 4m


for piano


for ensemble, 4m 45s


for sextet, 4m 45s

Black and White Tag

for piano, 30s

c.c. that!

for piano, 20s

Canon for Three

for oboe, violin and viola, 3m

Chimes for Regensburg

for piano (four hands), 5m 45s

Come Together

for SATB choir, viola and piano, 6m

Day's End

for piano, 50s

Dirge - Canons

for small orchestra, 10m

Distant Shore

for piano, 10m


for saxophone quartet


for flute and piccolo, 7m

Duetto in B flat minor

for two bass clarinets, 2m

Earth Song

for violin and piano, 4m 20s


for string quartet, 3m

Elegy (for a known)

for chamber sextet, 5m

Falling Petals

for piano, 25s


for solo trumpet in B flat, 1m


for two trumpets in B flat

February Pieces

for piano, 8m

Five Pastorales

for oboe and marimba (or piano), 5m

Five Pieces for Harpsichord

for harpsichord, 8m 20s

Five Solos

for cello or other instrument(s)

Five Songs

for voice and cello, 5m

Five Songs

for mezzo-soprano and piano, 5m

Four New Year's Preludes

for clarinet and harp, 11m

Four Pieces

for violin and piano, 6m

Ghosts of Glenrowan

for solo soprano, unison voices, clarinet, violin, cello and accordion

Great Wall

for vocalising pianist, 15m

Hine e Hine

arranged for flute quartet, 2m 35s

Hine e Hine

arranged for string quartet, 2m 35s


for string quartet, 8m 30s

I Heard the Banshee Cry

for solo soprano, unison voices, clarinet, violin, cello and accordion

In May

for violin and piano

Inner Landscape

for piano, 8m

Jasmine Flower

arranged for erhu (or violin) and piano, 2m

Jasmine Flower

arranged for string quartet, 2m 10s

Jasmine Flower

arranged for violin, viola and piano, 2m

Jasmine Flower

arranged for flute quartet, 5m

Jasmine Flower

arranged for flute quartet and piano, 5m

Jumping in July

for piano, 35s


chamber opera in two acts, 1h 15m

L'Oiseau Bleu

for SATB choir

Lachlan Moods

for guitar, 6m

Le Jardin

for baritone and piano, 2m 40s


for piano, 20s

Little Suite

for guitar, 3m 50s


for piano, 20s

Lyric Suite

for violin and piano (with optional bell and gongs), 22m

Medicine Bundle (No. 1) Flower Echoes of Springs, Sun and Mountainside

for degung gamelan or unspecified instrumentation

Medicine Bundle (No. 1) Flower Echoes of Springs, Sun and Mountainside

for solo piano or unspecified instrumentalists/vocalists

Medicine Bundle (No. 2)

for any number of performers, and allowing for varying page orientation

Medicine Bundle (No. 4)

for any number of pianists playing in unison, 5m


for trumpet (or cornet) and piano


for piano, 8m

Meditation on B.A.C.H.

for solo piano, 4m


for organ, 8m


for soprano saxophone and piano, 3m


for bass clarinet in B flat and organ

Music to Boil an Egg By

for bass clarinet, piano and triangle, 3m

Music to Boil an Egg By

for bassoon, piano and triangle, 3m

New Year’s Suite

for clavichord, 6m

Nga Hau o Kaiaua (The Winds of Kaiaua)

for flute and taonga puoro (one player)

Nine Poems from "Meeting the Comet"

for countertenor and guitar, 13m

Nine Poems from "Meeting the Comet"

for countertenor or mezzo-soprano and piano, 15m

Nine Poems from "Meeting the Comet"

for countertenor or mezzo-soprano, cello and piano, 15m

Nine Poems from "The Book of Questions"

for soprano, viola, piano and percussion


for piano

Odd Dodos Do Add

for piano, 30s


for piano

One day in spring

for piano, 5m 10s

Pastiche Sonata

for piano, 22m


for clarinet and chamber orchestra, 18m

Petite Suite

for double reed trio, 4m 45s

Piano Piece (Memorial)

for piano, 4m


for piano

Poor Irish and Wiradjuri

for solo soprano, unison voices, clarinet, violin, cello and accordion

Prelude and Dance

for violin, 5m


for piano solo and gamelan, 20m

Prologue: Bricky's Sorry Song

for solo soprano, clarinet, violin, cello and accordion

Quong Lee's Aria (Harvest Moon in Spring)

for solo soprano, unison voices, clarinet, violin, cello and accordion


for clarinet and piano

Recollections (Volume 1)

for piano, 10m

Recollections (Volume 2)

for piano, 20m


for harpsichord solo, 8m


for vocal sextet


for piano (four hands), 11m


for string quartet, 3m

Reverie and Blues

for clarinet in A, 5m

Sad Song

for piano, 30s


for alto flute and three violas, 9m

Second Melody

for bass clarinet and organ, 8m

Sentimental Waltz

for clarinet and piano, 3m

September Song

for harp, 3m 15s

September Song

for piano

September Song

for violin and piano, 3m

Serene Song

for clavichord (or piano) solo

Seven Bagatelles

for oboe, piano and marimba, 11m

Seven Little Pieces

for a melody instrument, 5m

Sighing in September

for piano, 20s

Simple Song

for piano, 30s

Six Russian Folksong Arrangements

arranged for violin, viola and piano, 9m

Snake in the Grass

for piano, 30s


for bassoon, 9m


for viola and piano, 18m


for two violins, 11m


for viola and three hand-held percussion, 9m 15s

Sonatine (ensemble version)

for two violas, two marimbas and three hand-held percussion

Souvenir de Java

for flute and harp, 1m 40s

Summer Rose

for piano solo, 3m 50s


for viola and piano, 4m

tak berjudal

for piano two hands (four hands required for last movement only), 5m

Te Whanganui-a-Tara

for alto flute/flute, guitar and cello, 13m

The Big Swim

for flute, clarinet and piano, 9m

The Big Swim

for flute, viola and piano

The Giant Awakes!

for piano, 20s

The Kate Kelly Song Cycle

for solo soprano, unison voices, clarinet, violin, cello and accordion, 55m

The Kate Kelly Song Cycle

for baritone, tenor and soprano soloists, unison voices, clarinet in B flat, violin, cello and accordion, 55m

The Place

for piano, violin and mezzo-soprano, 4m

Thoughts on Homecoming

for piano, 3m

Three Concert Etudes

for piano solo, 10m 30s

Three Ink-wash Landscapes

for 25-note toy piano, 8m 45s

Three Little Pieces for Toy Piano

for toy piano (two octave range)

Three Pieces

for clarinet and piano, 8m

Three Pieces for Piano Four Hands

for piano - 4 hands, 10m

Three Poems of Oscar Wilde

for baritone solo, 4m

Three Songs

for alto saxophone, cello and piano, 9m 40s

To Dusan

for violin, 2m

To Moya Henderson

for piano, 3m

Toccatina (Elegy)

for string quartet, 6m 30s


for violin and piano, 15m

Trio élégiaque

for flute, oboe and bassoon, 11m 30s

Trio for guitar, double bass and celesta

for guitar, double bass and celesta, 12m

Trio for oboe, clarinet and bassoon

for oboe, clarinet and bassoon, 9m

Trio on Hymn Tunes

for piccolo, clarinet/bass clarinet, and piano, 10m

Trois valses romantiques

for piano, 10m

Two Burlesques

for bassoon and piano, 3m 15s

Two Etudes

for flute, 2m

Two Pieces

for bass clarinet

Two Pieces for mixed choir

for eight-part vocal ensemble, 7m

Two Pieces for Three Gamelan Players

for two sarons and one demung, 6m

Two Poems of Katherine Mansfield

for mezzo-soprano and piano, 9m 15s

Two Rhythmic Etudes

for two cellos


for violin and small orchestra, 14m

Performances (1)

Gamelan Aotearoa

Experience gamelan at the National Library with Wellington's __Gamelan Padhang Moncar__, introduc...