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William Green


Born: 1962


William Green was born in Christchurch and studied piano with Jean MacLachlan, and with Maurice Till at the University of Canterbury, graduating BMus/MA. He now lives in Auckland where he works as a pianist, teacher, arranger, composer and presenter. His varied life as a pianist has involved playing for improv theatre, comedy festivals, quiz shows and art exhibitions to accompanying choirs, and playing in professional orchestras, in venues ranging from Disneyland L.A. to a cheese factory in Matamata. In dance, his experience spans playing for international ballet superstar, Sergei Polunin and visiting dance companies from UK, USA and Taiwan, to beginners aged 3-92. His improvised silent film playing includes the German classic, Nosferatu (Auckland Arts Festival, 2015) and Rewi's Last Stand.

He has worked in secondary, tertiary, adult and alternative education, including guest tutoring at Auckland University and Auckland University of Technology and has worked at UNITEC's School of Performing and Screen Arts since 1998. In 2012 he was Musical Director for Beth Shalom Progressive Jewish Synagogue, and was made a Life Member of Bach Musica in 2016.

William has performed and recorded music by approximately seventy New Zealand composers, most of them represented in his seven-year series of annual recitals in the Auckland Public Library concert series, where he performed New Zealand piano music of each of the seven decades from 1940 to 2010. This large-scale project was completed in 2012, with 53 composers represented. He has also performed New Zealand music in Australia and at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, where he presented a lecture-recital of New Zealand piano pieces based around the music of NZ-born composer, Frank Hutchens. In 2016 he launched his CD, 'The Young Pine Tree' (Organism label - ORG018, producer Richard Apperley) of New Zealand piano miniatures 1900-60, featuring 27 pieces (many previously unrecorded/unpublished) which was a Radio NZ Concert, 'disc of the day' in September 2016.

William's compositions - ranging from choral, piano, chamber, vocal and orchestral music to opera, ragtime, jazz, comic songs and music for theatre - have been performed by Stephen de Pledge, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, opera companies and Opera NZ soloists, many choirs (and featured on Bach Musica's CD, 'The Best of Bach') premiered at the 44th World Viola Congress, and published by SOUNZ (NZ flute album, 'Little Dancings') and Orpheus Music, Australia. His comic operas, to his own libretti (described by reviewers as 'zany' 'witty' and 'delightful') include 'Atishoo!', given eight performances by Opera Factory (2006) and 'Goldilocks a la Mozart' (the Goldilocks story set to various Mozart themes) premiered by Little Box of Operas in the Dunedin Fringe Festival (2018). He was the commissioned composer for the Many Choirs Festival in Auckland in 2010, and again in 2011. His poems on musical themes have been read at concerts, charity events and on radio, and he enjoys creating piano transcriptions as well as organising, presenting and performing in unusual commemorative events, such as the centenary of Paderewski's New Zealand visit (1904), Opera's '400th' birthday (2007) and the Titanic centenary (2012).

Composed (27)

24 Short Preludes for Piano

for solo piano, 20m


for SATB choir, 3m


for SSA choir and piano, 3m 30s


for bassoon and piano, 3m

Christmas Morning

for SSA choir and keyboard, 2m

Concertino for Sopranino Recorder and Recorder Orchestra

for solo sopranino recorder and recorder orchestra, 5m

Dawn Chorus

for SATB choir and piano, 3m

Festive Fanfare

for SATB choir and small orchestra, 2m

First Light

for SATB choir and organ, 3m

Four Duets for Treble Recorders

for two treble recorders, 4m

Goldilocks a la Mozart

a comic opera, 30m

In a Box for You

for SA choir and piano, 2m

Motes in the Sunlight

for soprano voice and viola, 3m

Nocturne for the Right Hand

for solo piano, 3m

On a Long White Cloud

for five voices, 3m

Psalm 23

for SATB choir and piano, 3m


for SATB choir, 2m

Sea to Shore

for SATB choir and piano, 10m


for treble recorder and piano, 8m

The Turakina Canticles (Series 1)

for soprano and piano, 6m

Three Glimpses

for flute and piano, 4m

Three Preludinos from a Concertino

for solo piano, 4m 30s

Trio for recorders

for soprano, alto and tenor recorders, 5m

Two Seasonal Pieces

for recorder quintet, 3m