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Glen Downie



Glen Downie is a Wellington based composer who holds a Master of Musical Arts from Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music, where he studied under Michael Norris and Dugal McKinnon. Past teachers have included John Psathas, Kenneth Young and Gao Ping. He has been a finalist in the 2014 NZSO Todd Corporation Young Composers Award, a co-winner of the NZ Trio's inaugural composing competition (2015), and won multiple prizes from the NZSM, including three second placings in the composers competition, the 2015 Jenny McLeod award, and the 2017 Matthew Marshall Prize for guitar composition.

He has had performances by the Intrepid Music Project, Stroma, Te Kōkī Trio, and the SMP Ensemble of which he is co-director. In 2016 he was selected to participate in the Palendriai International Composers Course in Lithuania, and also created a soundtrack (along with Christopher Wratt) for Sonya Lacey's video installation Infinitesimals.

2017 saw the première of his orchestral work ‘Hot Coals’ by the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra, which was also selected for the Tactus Young Composers Forum, Belgium, where it was workshopped by the Brussels Philharmonic, alongside a workshop and concert by Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles. Recently he has been appointed the 2019 NZSO National Youth Orchetsra Composer in Residence.

Also a keen free improvisor on saxophone, he has played with Jeff Henderson, Christopher Wratt, Pyramid Lake (an improvised quartet with Rob Thorne, Simon Eastwood and Dexter Stanley-Tauvao) and founded the large improvising ensemble Composting Imposters.

Composed (19)


for organ

Cepheid II

for solo accordion, 3m 30s


for violin and harp, 8m


for piano trio, 1m 30s

Gorzanis frammenti

for solo guitar

Hot Coals

for orchestra (without violins)

Jive for Giuffre

for clarinet, double bass and drum kit

Kotahi Rārangi Ūngutu

for saxophone and taonga pūoro

Leah's Story

for saxophone quartet and percussion

light speckled droplet

for orchestra and mixed choir, 10m


for taonga pūoro, saxophone, bass and drums

Row of Suspects

for solo percussion

Song of the Little Hunter

for soprano and string quartet

Suite for Solo Viola

for solo viola, 16m

Swing Set

for chamber ensemble, 7m

The Li[lbur]ndy Hop

for ensemble of ten players, 2m 45s

Three Miniatures

for clarinet, accordion and tuba, 4m 30s

Performances (1)

NZSO National Youth Orchestra | NYO Celebrates

__James Judd__ | Conductor __New Zealand Youth Choir__ (David Squire Music Director) ___ _...