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31 July 2007

Newz from SOUNZ

Lissa Meridan, 2007 recipient of the Edwin Carr Foundation Scholarship Image: Lissa Meridan, 2007 recipient of the Edwin Carr Foundation Scholarship  

IAMIC 2007

Seventeen countries from the IAMIC network congregated in Wellington in June for the 2007 International Association of Music Information Centres Conference. Apart from the AMC – represented by CEO John Davis – all were travelling from their mid-summer to mid-winter for the week. Despite dire conditions elsewhere in the country, Wellington turned on some spectacularly clear days – as well as a few fresh breezes – to entertain the guests.

A welcoming powhiri at Te Papa Tongarewa / Museum of New Zealand was followed by a full program of meetings interspersed with concerts, social events and excursions. These included the Lilburn Residence and a visit to Park Road Post – the post-production facility made famous through Peter Jackson’s recent films. The celebration of Matariki, the Maori New Year, was also a major feature with a presentation of traditional Maori music from Richard Nunns and SOUNZ Trustee Dr Charles Royal in one session and a Chamber Music New Zealand concert from Tuhonohono, a group specialising in the music of Gillian Whitehead.

Other highlights included a lively and informative Open Forum about audience development for new music with Andrew Ford and Anna Cerneaz amongst the special guests and musical interludes from ensemble 175 East; the IAMIC Concert from Stroma featuring eight works selected from those submitted by IAMIC Members (including Trace Elements by Damien Ricketson); and a concert hosted by the Australian High Commission with outstanding guitarist Geoffrey Morris performing works by Peter Sculthorpe, Brett Dean, Stuart Greenbaum and Gerard Brophy before a large and appreciative audience.

David Farquhar (1928-2007)

Distinguished New Zealand composer, Professor David Farquhar, died on Tuesday 8 May in Wellington. A pioneer of professional composition in New Zealand, he was active throughout his life in performance and education, helping to found the Composers' Association of NZ, serving for many years on the Composers' Foundation of APRA and teaching composition at Victoria University of Wellington (now the NZ School of Music) for forty years.

Professor Farquhar told his students that ‘music should entertain’. He wrote works in most genres, from opera to symphonies, but was a particularly prolific and skillful composer of vocal works.

Since its establishment in 1991, SOUNZ has enjoyed David's support and benefited from his insight and experience. He was the inaugural chair of the Composers' Advisory Panel and a Trustee of the Centre for six years. He also edited the three albums of music published by SOUNZ: First XV for piano, Little Dancings for flute and the Kowhai vocal album.

Edwin Carr Scholarship composers go international

New Zealand composer Lissa Meridan is the third recipient of the Edwin Carr Foundation Scholarship, administered by Creative New Zealand. Currently on leave as director of the Lilburn Electroacoustic Studio, Lissa is in Paris studying with Gerard Pape at the Centre des Creations Musicales Iannis Xenakis. She commented: ‘The scholarship will allow me to spend time exploring and developing my music and refine my skills as a composer while immersing myself in this creatively challenging city’. The award was formally announced at the world premiere of the late Edwin Carr’s Violin Concerto by the Christchurch Symphony in early June.

Robin Toan, the 2006 recipient, is sending back regular reports from her globe-trotting exploration of composition and music made possible by the scholarship. She has already worked with Dorothy Ker, Nicola LeFanu and Roger Marsh in England and Dieter Mack in Lübeck.

The first recipient of the Edwin Carr Scholarship, Dylan Lardelli, is also enjoying overseas study once more having been accepted into the Centre Acanthes composition workshops in Metz, France in July as well as having work accepted in the Ostrava Days festival of music in the Czech Republic in August.

Further Links

Stephen Gibbs is the Marketing Coordinator for SOUNZ, the Centre for New Zealand Music, following a career as musician, teacher, postie and journalist.


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