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Alex Taylor


Born: 1988


Alex Taylor (b. 1988) has been commissioned and performed by prominent artists in his native New Zealand and abroad, including Orchestra Wellington (NZ), Enso Quartet (US), Ensemble U (EE), Ensemble Proton Bern (CH), Susan Narucki (US), Justine Cormack (NZ), Steven Schick (US) and the Tanglewood Music Center (US). He has received a number of awards, including the 2012 SOUNZ Contemporary Award, the 2013 CANZ Trust Fund Award, and a 2016 New Zealand Arts Foundation New Generation Award. Past residencies include the NZSO National Youth Orchestra Composer-in-Residence, Caselberg Trust Creative Connections Artist-in-Residence, and Composition Fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center. With collaborator Simon Ingram he was a co-finalist for the 2020 SOUNZ Contemporary Award for their work for orchestra and painting machine Assemblage.

After studying English Literature and Music, Alex completed a Masters in Composition with First Class Honours under the supervision of Eve de Castro-Robinson and John Elmsly, and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California San Diego, studying with Lei Liang.

Alex’s compositional work often explores interactions between seemingly disparate materials, especially between old and new musics. His output includes works for orchestra, chamber music, music for theatre, and concertos for flute (with soloist Abigail Sperling) and bassoon (with soloist Ben Hoadley). He has also worked extensively with vocalists, having composed several substantial song cycles: Poema de La Siguiriya Gitana, Sea Gods, Dryad, and Agee Songs, as well as an opera, The Last Delirium of Arthur Rimbaud.

As well as composing, Alex is also a multi-instrumentalist, writer and music educator. He has written about music for the Pantograph Punch, Radio New Zealand, and Canzona, taught at Unitec, the University of Auckland, UC San Diego, and regularly gives pre-concert talks for the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. He served for six years on the committee of CANZ, the Composers’ Association of New Zealand, and co-convened the Nelson Composers Workshop in 2014 and 2015. He was the artistic director of the Intrepid Music Project, and co-directed the performance group hear|say with Eve de Castro-Robinson. Alex has performed across a range of vocal and instrumental genres, including as lead vocalist for the Blackbird Ensemble, and as the Sorceress in his own recomposition of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with Frances Moore’s Unstuck Opera.

Alex’s music has been recorded on the Rattle label, including releases by NZTrio (Lightbox, 2015), Sarah Watkins and Andrew Beer (11 Frames, 2019), and Henry Wong Doe (Perspectives, 2023).

Composed (71)


for piano, 5m


a mini viola concerto, 6m

[inner] arr. by Rhian Sheehan

Rhian Sheehan's arrangement for the 2012 Silver Scroll Awards

a coincidence of surfaces

for string quartet or octet

a summoning

for concert band, 4m


for ensemble, 11m

an autumn cutting

for solo viola


brass fanfare, 2m 30s


for orchestra with painting machine, 13m


for piano trio, 25m


for actor and orchestra, 9m

Bassoon Concerto

for bassoon and chamber orchestra


for orchestra, 8m

burlesques mécaniques

ten miniatures for piano trio, 11m


for solo piano, 10m


work for vocalising clarinetist, 9m 30s


for double bass ensemble, 11m


a song cycle for three voices and ensemble, 35m

eight miniatures for piano

for solo piano, 7m

eight pieces for wind quartet

for wind quartet, 9m


four movements for orchestra, 18m

fiend lyric

for solo viola, 5m


for mixed chamber sextet, 7m

Flute Concerto

for solo flute and chamber orchestra, 24m

four abstracts

for mixed chamber quintet, 11m

four landscapes

for string quartet, 11m

Four Little Pieces

for cello and piano, 4m


for orchestra

Garden I

for three voices, 2m

Garden II

for three voices, 2m


for solo viola, 9m

half patterns

for E flat clarinet and piano

Horn Concerto: hydraulic fracture

for horn and orchestra, 11m

In Golden Gate Park that Day

for piano and voice (one performer), 6m 45s


for nineteen players, 18m

loose knots

for bassoon


for bass clarinet, 7m


for two clarinets, 7m 30s


for chamber choir, piano and percussion, 5m

nine bagatelles

for bass clarinet and cello, 7m

Noughts and Crosses

for orchestra, 7m 45s

Obtuse Strategies

for solo piano, 13m

Old Threads

for violin and viola, 5m

on what grounds

a suite for violin, cello and theorbo, 12m

Poema de La Siguiriya Gitana

for tenor, cello and percussion

quasi concertino

for bassoon and string trio


for string quartet, 12m

Resistance Study

for two flutes, 4m 30s

Sea Gods

for mezzo-soprano and ensemble, 17m

Sea Rose 1

for soprano and piano, 2m

seven bagatelles

for B flat clarinet, bassoon and piano, 9m

silk / gravel

for string orchestra, 8m

six pieces for orchestra

for orchestra, 7m

small loop

a miniature for violin, viola and bass clarinet, 40s


for soprano and piano, 3m 30s

study of two pears

a song cycle for mezzo-soprano and chamber ensemble, 17m

thirteen ways of looking at a blackbird

a song cycle for countertenor, clarinet in B flat, 2 violins, viola and cello, 20m

Three Arches

for drumset, 10m

Three Endings

for violin and piano, 8m

Three Preparations

for three violins

three songs of iain sharp

for baritone and piano

Tiaho Mai

for soprano and string orchestra

two movements

for bass clarinet and viola, 5m

two years later

for 12-part male voice choir, 4m


for solo piano, 1m


for solo trumpet, 10m

Whakapiri mai

for gospel choir and orchestra, 8m


for string orchestra, 5m

Arranged (1)

R. Strauss: Four Lieder, arr. Taylor

arranged for violin, cello, piano and tenor by Alex Taylor

Resources (21)

Performances (5)

NZTrio | Exotica

Enjoy a myriad of single movements, like a tasting platter full of vibrant, piquant music from Sp...

Auckland Chamber Orchestra - 'Turakirae'

Ben Hoadley | Turakirae for solo clarinet & orchestra [WORLD PREMIERE] Alex Taylor | Flute...

Orchestra Wellington | Pictures at an Exhibition

With a full orchestra and custom-made painting robot, composer __Alex Taylor__ and artist Simon I...

POSTPONED: Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra | Ludwig Reflected #3 (Beethoven 250)

__This event has been postponed. We will update this page when more information is available.__ ...