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Colin Hemmingsen

Composer, Performer, Jazz Composer


Colin Hemmingsen (Executant Diploma of Music, Auckland University, NZ (1968), Master of Music, New England Conservatory, USA (1973).

Hemmingsen has had a dual jazz/classical career for more than 30 years and until 1992 was "New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s": principal bassoonist. He won a Downbeat scholarship on tenor saxophone in 1970 to study jazz at Berklee College of Music and was subsequently awarded a scholarship to New England Conservatory. There he completed a Masters degree in bassoon with Sherman Walt as his teacher. After teaching and performing in the United States (freelance with the Boston Philharmonia and Opera and ballet companies and a one year position at Virginal Commonwealth University in a resident woowind quintet) he returned to New Zealand to work with the "NZSO": and also establish the country’s first jazz school. He has been involved in jazz education since the mid-1970s and founded the NZ Jazz Foundation in 1980.

Hemmingsen is a Senior Lecturer in Jazz studies at the NZ School of Music, Wellington. Present research consists of:
“Exploring the bassoon in Jazz Performance”; CD release 2005 "The Rite of Swing": and conference paper at the International Double Reed Society 2004.
“Electric Instruments in Jazz (wind synthesis)”; CD release 2004 “Parallax”.
Recent research seminar “The Lydian Augmented-A scale for all Occasions”.

Composed (1)

Song for Louise

arranged by Jeff Driskill for solo tenor saxophone and jazz orchestra

Commissioned (2)


for bassoon and piano, 5m

Variations for bassoon and piano

for bassoon and piano, 8m

Resources (1)