Trans-Tasman Composer Exchange Residency 2009
Stuart Greenbaum and NZ Trio
Stuart Greenbaum spent his residency working with the NZ Trio in Auckland in September 2009 and in April 2010
Before his residency, Greenbaum wrote:
'I’ve been following the Trans-Tasman Exchange project for some years with great interest. I see Australia and New Zealand as natural cultural trading partners, and some of my piano music is published in New Zealand by Promethean Editions. In recent years I’ve started writing piano trios, and the opportunity to work with the NZ Trio was too good to pass up. They have an imposing record of commissioning and premiering new work. We’ll be spending a week in Auckland together in September to start the process of creating a new work. It’s an unusual way to start the composition process (it’s a luxury not always afforded). I’d like to hear them play and talk with them "informally" about the "form" and art of the piano trio – to unpack this particular instrumental combination from their perspective and from mine, and then start mapping out how I might put it all back together as an original work for them to bring to life.'
Stuart Greenbaum (b. Melbourne 1966) studied composition with Brenton Broadstock and Barry Conyngham at the University of Melbourne, where he now holds a position as Senior Lecturer and Head of Composition.
Nelson, a 3–act opera written with long–time collaborator, poet Ross Baglin, was premiered at the 2007 Castlemaine State Festival. Recent commissions include works for the Australia Ensemble, a double concerto for Sydney Omega Ensemble and a piece for the 2008 World Shakuhachi Festival.
Greenbaum was a featured composer at the 2006 Aurora Festival in Western Sydney and has won a number of awards, including the Dorian Le Gallienne Composition Award, the Heinz Harant Prize, and the Albert H. Maggs Composition Award. His most recent CD, Mercurial, was released in 2005.
Violinist Justine Cormack, cellist Ashley Brown and pianist Sarah Watkins first joined forces in 2002 and were Ensemble in Residence at The University of Auckland from 2004-2009. The Trio actively commissions works by leading New Zealand composers, and collaborates with musicians of diverse musical styles. In the past twelve months, their commitment to commissioning and performing new music has expanded to include emerging and established composers from China, and their 2009 concert season will feature works by Chen Yi, Zhou Long, Musheng Chen and Mike Yuen.
NZ Trio’s first CD Spark (which showcased a broad range of contemporary New Zealand trio pieces) was a finalist for best Classical Album at the NZ Music Awards in 2006; their 2008 Pacific Rim-focused release Bright Tide Moving Between has also been named a finalist, receiving unanimously high praise from critics and listeners alike. Recent highlights include appearances at the Beijing Modern Music Festival, and with the Vector Wellington Orchestra (performing Gareth Farr’s Triple Concerto). In 2009 they will undertake two national tours, several festival appearances, and are planning a return to Shanghai, Sichuan, Beijing and Taipei.