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Robbie Ellis

Composer, Performer

Born: 1984


Robbie Ellis is a composer, music director, broadcaster, comedy songmaker, and other.

Born on Auckland’s North Shore, he studied Composition at the University of Auckland with Eve de Castro-Robinson, John Elmsly and John Coulter. He’s had works performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Saxcess, 175 East, the Jade String Quartet, Classical Revolution Chicago, and a host of other ensembles. He was the University of Otago Mozart Fellow in 2012, as well as the Auckland Youth Orchestra Composer-in-Residence.

Robbie is also a comedy songmaker: he has released an album, Pumpkins, on which he orchestrated his songs for members of the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. He performs his songs from the piano in cabaret, sketch and stand-up comedy settings.

He presents and produces classical music radio. He got his start with RNZ Concert in Wellington and Auckland, winning two New Zealand Radio Awards for feature programmes about the NZSO. He now works for 98.7 WFMT in Chicago.

He’s also a music director for improv, sketch comedy and musical theatre: he’s written several original musicals, countless sketch shows, and played probably thousands of improv performances. He now lives in Chicago where he performs and teaches at a bunch of venues including the legendary Second City.


Composed (75)


for solo piano, 12m 30s

...das composer lied...

for baritone and piano, 3m

Alla Marcia Brady

for a whole bunch of wind & brass, 5m

Annie & Joshua

for two actor-singers and piano

Bacon Madrigal

for SATB quartet or choir, 3m

Banda Chiflada

for saxophone quartet, 4m


for cor anglais and chamber orchestra, 1m

Beethoven C minor

a song for voice and orchestra, 3m

Beethoven C minor

a song for voice and piano, 3m

Bike Lane

1m 15s

Cause I Couldn't Find a Tenor

for five-part male barbershop, 8m

Dry July

for voice and piano, 5m 30s

Drying Music

for piano, 30s

Duetto buffo di due GOOD BOYS (The Dog Duet)

for tenor, baritone, and piano, 30s

Elderly Southern Liberals

a scene for mezzo-soprano, tenor, and piano, 5m

Fanfare 10

for orchestra, 5m

Fanfare of the Earth

for brass section, 5m

Fantasy for Bass Clarinet

one (1) solo piece that lasts two (2) ticks


for orchestra, 5m 30s

First-Class Seat

for child(like) voice and accompaniment, 1m

Flat White

for voice and piano, 2m 30s


for violin and cello, 30s

Fragments of Noir

for string quartet

Freaky Franzi's Schubertapalooza

for male voice and piano, 7m 30s

General Intransigence

for orchestra, 6m


for solo violin and shouty chorus, 3m


for solo viola and shouty chorus, 3m

How Many Legs

for voice and piano, 1m 30s

Howler Monkey

for solo presenter, TTBB choir and hand drums, 4m

Howler Monkey

for solo presenter, SATB choir and hand drums, 4m


for saxophone quartet, 5m 30s

I am a Cat

for voice and piano, 3m 45s

In meinem letzten Leiden

for orchestra, 10m

It Doesn't Go Up

for clarinet quartet, 30s

Jane Austen Dance

for violin and piano, 1m 30s

Love is a Four-Letter Word

for voice and piano, 3m 45s


for piano and tape, 5m 30s


for voice and piano, 4m 15s

Monty Python's Flying Dutchman

for orchestra, 1m 30s

Pasticcio espagnol

a song for voice and orchestra, 11m

Philip Glass

for voice and chamber orchestra, 1m 30s

Play Some Metallica

for musical performer(s) numbering between 1 and ∞ inclusive and some munter in the audience, 30s


1m 30s

Relish in Immature Bombast

for organ, drum kit and orchestra, 12m

Root Vegetable Opera

recitativo ed aria grave for baritone and piano, 5m 30s

Root Vegetable Opera

for baritone and 20-piece orchestra, 5m 30s

Root Vegetable Opera

arranged for baritone and orchestra, 5m 30s

Sad Song

for voice and orchestra with surprise cello reveal, 3m 30s

Saying Grace

for SATB voices

Seven Banana Songs

for soprano and piano, 14m

Sheepdog Plainchant

for solo voice, 1m 30s

Ship Waltzes

for piano, 14m

Sonatina for alto saxophone and piano

for alto saxophone and piano, 9m

Sonatina for clarinet and piano

for clarinet and piano, 17m

Sonatina for violin and piano

for violin and piano, 8m

Sugar Crystal

for clarinet quintet, 11m

Symphony No 1 in Eb

for voice and piano, 4m

Symphony No 1 in Eb

a song for voice and orchestra, 4m

The Ancient Thracian God of 'Huh?'

for clarinet, bass clarinet, bass trombone, cello and double bass, 8m

The Express Lane Hath Open'd

for soprano and continuo, 4m

The Lover's Knot

for orchestra and actor, 11m

The Miracle of Creation

for pregnant soprano and piano, 5m

The Piano Tuner's Performance Appraisal

for eight hands/two pianos/four players/forty fingers

Three Sibilants

for E flat clarinet, 11m 30s

Tomorrow is a Feast Day

for SSA choir and piano, 3m 30s

Trolling the Tuba

for brass trio, 2m


for voice and piano, 6m 30s

Your Concern is Noted

for new mother and piano, 2m 30s

Performances (2)

Robbie Ellis | The Mid-30s Guide to the Orchestra

__Robbie Ellis__ | Composer and musical comedian __Mina Zikri__ | Conductor __Oistrakh Sym...

Robbie Ellis in Concert

On a return visit from the USA, Robbie performs a solo set of his new comedy songs.