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Chris Artley


Born: 1963 Website  


Originally from England, Chris Artley studied Music at University of Bristol (1981–84) with composer Derek Bourgeois. He has spent 30 years teaching music in schools in the United Kingdom and New Zealand, where he is now resident and teaches at King’s College, Auckland.

In 2010, Chris took a year out of teaching and studied Music at University of Auckland, taking papers in composition, jazz piano and jazz arranging with John Elmsly, Kevin Field and Roger Manins respectively. This ‘year out’, rekindled Chris’ interest in composition. Indeed, all of his publications and competition successes date from 2010 onwards.

Chris is a multi award-winning composer, with competition successes in Canada, USA, Japan, Czech Republic, Germany, England, Spain and New Zealand. His works have been performed worldwide by ensembles including: The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Amadeus Choir of Toronto, Lutheran Youth Choir of North America, Metropolitan Chorus of Tokyo, National University of Singapore Choir, Age of Discovery, Auckland, The Graduate Choir NZ and the New Zealand Secondary Students Choir.

Chris has had a number of choral pieces published by Helbling Verlag in Austria (further details: here), Pana Musica in Japan (further details: here) and Royal School of Church Music (further details: here).

In October 2023, Chris Artley's O Magnum Mysterium was voted number one piece by listeners in the 2023 Settling The Score on RNZ Concert Programme.

International Composing Competition Successes:

Nov 2011: Winner of Amadeus Choir of Toronto’s 2011 Seasonal Song-Writing competition, Adult Amateur SATB Accompanied category, with 'The Ashwell Carol'

March 2013: First equal in Australian and New Zealand Viola Society Composition for two or more Violas, with 'Ah Waiheke'

May 2013: Winner of Lutheran Youth Choir of North America 2013 International Choral Composition Contest, with 'The Lord is my Shepherd'

May 2013: Winner of European Choral Association competition in the frame of Youth Choirs in Movement, with 'The Mock Turtle's Song'

May 2014: Joint Winner of Recital Music Sixty-Second Song Competition in United Kingdom, with 'Houses of Dreams'

June 2014: Winner of XIIth Inter­nati­o­nal Com­posers Competition Jihlava 2014 in Czech Republic, with 'Cantate Domino'

June 2014: "Declared works of interest" in the form of mixed voices in the VIIIth Amadeus International Choral Composition Contest in Spain, with two works: 'Agnus Dei and 'Ave Maria'

August 2015: 3rd Prize winner in '1st International Japanese Choral Composition Competition', with ‘Agnus Dei’

January 2016: '1st Prize Winner in the 2015 Cincinnati Camerata Composition Contest’ with ‘Qui Creavit Caelum’

July 2017: Winner of Freudig Singers of West New York Composition Competition with 'Love Came Down at Christmas’.

November 2017: Winner of 'Leeds Philharmonic Christmas Carol Competition' with 'Christmas Bells'

December 2017: Winner of 'St Mary-at-Hill Carol Composition Competition 2017', with 'The Promised Child’

January 2019: Winner of District of Columbia Chapter of the American Guild of Organists Competition for a Commissioned Composition for Organ Solo, with 'Toccata for Organ'

December 2019: Winner of 'Second Leeds Philharmonic Christmas Carol Competition', with 'Cradle Song'

January 2020: Winner of 2020 Eastern Michigan University Composition Competition with 'Ubi Caritas et Amor'

January 2021: Winner of open category of Compose Aotearoa! NZ 2020 with 'Matariki'

August 2021: Winner of Fourth International Composition Competition for Children's and Youth Choirs Corinfesta (category B) with 'You Can Still Dream'.

January 2022: Winner of the 2022 Music Unites the World Songwriting Contest with 'It Starts With You'.

March 2022, Winner of the 5th IFCM International Composition Competition (World Choral Day category) with 'On the Road of Life'.

October 2022: Winner of the 2022 Grace Church Composition Competition with 'The Kings They Came From Out The South'.

October 2022: Winner of the XXXV International Juan Bautista Comes Choral Composition Competition, Segorbe with 'Sanctus in 8 parts'.

December 2022: Joint winner of the RSCM Harold Smart Composition Competition, with 'In the Sound of Song'.

February 2023: 2nd Prize in 1st Leonardo da Vinci Composition Competition (Children Choirs Category) with ‘Singing Together’.

October 2023: Joint First Prize in the 2023 TAVAC Composition Competition with ‘Scherzo Seven’.

December 2023: Winner of the inaugural London Choral Sinfonia Carol Competition with 'Christmas Day'.

“It's (Psalm 121) very attractive indeed Chris – and has a ‘ring’ of crossover with American (Clausen et al) and the UK (Rutter et al) with your OWN stamp on it. Thank you for sending me the file.”
– Terence Maskell, Director of the Graduate Choir.

“It (Psalm 121) absolutely knocked me out – it was the most beautiful setting.”
– Brian Kay, former member of the King's Singers

“The Ashwell Carol is written in an eminently approachable idiom with an appealing and catchy melody. It rightly received one of the best performances of the evening.”
– Ken Bayliss for the Bury Times, November 2011

“‘O Magnum Mysterium’ by New Zealand composer Chris Artley is remarkable for its obvious charm, unity and beauty. It works fine and easily a cappella and creates a brilliant sound due to its well balanced unity between the voices. It works fine for both smaller and larger choirs and I believe would give great pleasure to choirs of very different standards. And audiences as well!! I would like to welcome highly a publication in New Zealand as well as internationally in general of some of Chris Artley’s music.”
– Ebbe Munk, Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Copenhagen Royal Chapel Choir in Denmark

“Chris Artley's setting of my poem, ‘What is this thing called love?’, is cool yet spicy. So neatly balanced and crafted. Terrific work.”
– Kevin Ireland, OBE

Composed (67)

Agnus Dei

for SATBB choir, 4m 30s

An Anzac Reflection

for viola and piano, 4m

An Anzac Reflection

for violin and piano, 4m

Ave Maria

for harp, flute and upper voices

Ave Maria (SATBB)

for unaccompanied SATBB choir with occasional sub-division, 5m

Ave Maria (soprano, baritone and piano)

for soprano, baritone and piano

Ave Maria (soprano, tenor and piano)

for soprano, tenor, and piano, 4m

Ave Maria (SSAA choir and piano)

for SSAA choir and piano, 4m

Ave Maria (two baritones and piano)

for 2 baritones and piano

Ave Maria (two sopranos and piano)

for 2 sopranos and piano, 4m

Ave Maria (two tenors and piano)

for two tenors and piano, 4m


for SSAATTBB choir

Cantate Domino (Psalm 149)

for SATB choir with occasional sub-division and organ

Cradle Song

for SATB choir and organ


for baritone voice, trumpet and piano


for SATB choir, organ and brass quintet


for male voice choir, piano and trumpet, 4m 30s

Dawn (SATB choir, trumpet and piano)

for SATB choir, trumpet and piano, 4m

Dawn (soprano voice, trumpet and piano)

for soprano voice, trumpet and piano

Deck The Halls

arranged for eight-part a cappella choir, 2m 30s


for flugelhorn and piano, 3m 15s

I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes (Psalm 121) (SATB, full accompaniment)

for SATB choir, organ and trumpet, 4m 30s

I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes (Psalm 121) (SSAA, full accompaniment)

for SSAA choir, trumpet and piano, 4m 30s

I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes (Psalm 121) (TTBB, full accompaniment)

arranged for TTBB choir, organ and trumpet, 4m 30s

In Darkness and in Light

for SATB choir and organ, 3m 30s

Join Our Team

for SSA choir and piano, 3m 10s


for SATB choir and piano

Little Blue Pigeon

for SSAA choir

Love Came Down at Christmas

for SATB choir and organ, 3m 20s

Love is Patient

for SATB choir and piano, 2m 50s


for SATB choir and organ

Make a Joyful Noise

for SATB choir and organ, 3m 30s


for a cappella choir, 5m

May God Bless You (SATB)

for SATB choir and piano

May God Bless You (SSA)

for SSA and piano

May God Bless You (TBB)

for TTB choir and piano

Missa Brevis Akarana

for SATB choir, orchestra and organ, 21m

Night Prayer

for SATB choir and keyboard accompaniment, 3m

Nunc Dimittis

for SATB choir and organ

O Magnum Mysterium

for SATB choir, 4m

O My Children, My Poor Children!

for SATB choir and big band, 5m

Of Land and Sea

for symphony orchestra with soprano, 18m

Organ Toccata

for solo organ, 3m 20s

Qui Creavit Caelum

for SATB choir, 3m

Sanctus (SATB)

for SATB choir and piano

Sanctus (SSAA)

for SSAA choir and piano, 3m 30s

Sanctus (TTBB)

for TTBB choir and piano, 3m 30s


for SATB choir, piano and double bass

Songs of Joy (SATB)

for SATB choir and piano, 3m

Songs of Joy (SSA)

for SSA choir and piano, 3m

Songs of Joy (TBB)

for TBB choir and piano

The Angel's Song (SA)

for SA choir and organ

The Angel's Song (SATB)

for SATB and organ

The Ashwell Carol (a cappella)

for SSAATTBB choir, 4m 10s

The Ashwell Carol (SAB and keyboard)

for SAB choir and organ or piano, 4m 10s

The Ashwell Carol (SATB and keyboard)

for SATB choir and organ or piano, 4m 10s

The Ashwell Carol (SATB and orchestra)

for SATB choir and orchestra

The Ashwell Carol (SSA and keyboard)

for SSA choir and organ or piano

The Great Invocation

for SATB choir and piano, with optional organ or strings, 3m 40s

The Lord is My Shepherd (Psalm 23)

for SATB choir, piano or organ, 2 flutes or violins, or flute and violin, 3m 30s

The Mock Turtle’s Song

for SSA choir and piano

The NZ Bush (SSA)

for SSA choir and piano, 3m 20s

The NZ Bush (TBB)

for TBB choir and piano, 3m 20s

Ubi Caritas et Amor

for SATB choir, 3m 30s

What Are We?

for big band and voice, 2m 40s

Performances (1)

Milan Milisavljević | War and Peace

Milan Milisavljević | viola Sherry Grant | piano PROGRAMME: Arvo Pärt | Fratres R...