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SOUNZ projects

SOUNZ collaborates with Aotearoa’s leading arts organisations and manages a large number of projects that support the composition and presentation of New Zealand music through awards, workshops, wānanga, community projects, commissions and composer sessions.

The following are some examples of our projects:

Composer Projects

  • NZ Composer Sessions 
    A collaboration among SOUNZ, NZSO and RNZ Concert provides composers with an opportunity to submit orchestral scores for consideration, and a selection of which are performed, filmed and recorded over a four day period. The aim is to create high-quality new recordings of New Zealand orchestral scores, promote these on the SOUNZ and RNZ Concert websites. Between 1998-present 158 works by 74 composers have been performed.
  • SOUNZ Commission for Orchestra and Sistema Youth Orchestra 
    An annual collaborative project led between SOUNZ, Orchestra Wellington and Arohanui Strings – Sistema Hutt Valley to work with a composer and specifically designed to give children an opportunity to participate and experience a unique music experience. Our aim is to impact local communities by providing greater access and opportunities to be involved in music.
  • SOUNZ Community Commission 
    Brings together New Zealand professional composers and community groups to create and perform a new work. Established in 1999, this project has resulted in works for diverse groups such as recorder choir, experimental sound artists and children’s theatre.
  • SOUNZ Wānanga and Workshops 
    We host wānanga and workshops for composers and specialists to share their expertise to support development and encourage collaboration. Some events are filmed to be shared on our platforms with the public.
  • SOUNZ Jazz Recording Project 
    The project’s purpose is to create films of music by New Zealand jazz composers, which are then promoted and available online.
  • APRA Art Music Fund 
    The Art Music Fund is managed by APRA who collaborate with SOUNZ to manage this award. It exists to commission new work that is innovative, displays professional compositional craft and represents a benchmark of excellence in its field.

SOUNZ Prizes

  • SOUNZ Contemporary Award 
    In partnership with APRA, we select the finalists and winner of the SOUNZ Contemporary Award which is presented at the APRA Silver Scroll awards. The award recognises New Zealand’s premiere classical composition and rewards creativity, excellence and inspiration in music composition by a New Zealander.
  • SOUNZ-NZCF Te Reo Māori Choral Composition Award - Te Puoho Ki Te Rangi 
    SOUNZ, in partnership with the New Zealand Choral Federation has created a composition award as part of the 'The Big Sing' competition, to encourage young composers to write choral settings of texts in te reo Māori. The winning composer receives a cash prize and a trophy in the form of a beautiful Pūtōrino carved by taonga puoro player and maker Tāmihana Kātene. This award complements our existing composition award in the annual 'The Big Sing' competition for secondary schools.
  • Secondary School & Other Music competitions 
    SOUNZ collaborates with secondary school and other music competitions to present 30-40 prizes each year. The majority of these prizes are aimed at youth and those in the early stages of their musical careers to encourage and reward performance and composition of New Zealand music.