Composing Competition

NZTrio Composing Competition overview

In 2015 we kicked off our first NZTrio Composing Competition for tertiary students across five main universities in New Zealand: Auckland, Waikato, Wellington, Canterbury, and Dunedin. Students, ranging from first year to post-grad levels, are asked to respond to a brief and submit a short work to begin the workshopping process. The works that make it to the next stage are workshopped live as a group in each centre with NZTrio and handed back for re-working and final submission. A total of 9 or 10 works are selected for a final Winners concert performed live to the public and professionally recorded with the help of SOUNZ and participating universities.


NZTrio Composing Competition 2019

Theme: Impetus

Brief: Write a composition no longer than 10 minutes in length inspired by the issues you feel would benefit from more public awareness.

A total of 31 scores were submitted from around the country to our third NZTrio Composing Competition. 15 entries were chosen to progress to the workshop rounds held in Auckland, Christchurch, and Wellington. 9 finalists were selected with the help of Dame Gillian Whitehead to perform in Auckland at the Winners Concert.

Our warm congratulations go to the finalists and all the composers, teachers, and mentors who participated.


2019 Finalists:

Robert William Bryce  (University of Canterbury): Caillte

Ewan Collins (University of Auckland): Tinnitus of a City

Rakuto Kurano (University of Canterbury): Fantail in Tokyo

Ihlara McIndoe (University of Otago): (ir)rationality

Ming Shi (NZSM): Villager’s Whisper

Nathaniel Otley(University of Otago): … dimension of loss

Liam Pram (University of Auckland): Auckland Housing

Joshua Taylor(University of Auckland): quirkdale

Kassandra Wang (NZSM): Matakite for the Microbiome


NZTrio Composing Competition 2017:

Title: Turn a Phrase

Brief: find a New Zealand author or poet whose carefully crafted words inspire a musical work of no more than 10 minutes in length.

A total of 23 scores were submitted from around the country, 17 entries were chosen to progress to the workshop rounds, and 9 winners selected with the help of composer Juliet Palmer.

2017 Finalists:

Riley Cahill: Territory of the Heart

Josiah Carr: Time and Glue

Rosa Elliott: Voices of the Air

Richard Francis: Reflections

Marcus Jackson: when where

Lily James: Charcoal on White Snow

Callum Mallett: Departure, at the Going Tide

Abby Pinkerton: Whispers and Echoes

Xu Tang: One Two Three


NZTrio Composing Competition 2015: Celebrating Lilburn

Title: Celebrating Lilburn

Brief: write a new work for Piano Trio that references, or responds to, Douglas Lilburn’s life and work.

A total of 41 scores were submitted from around the country, 18 compositions selected for workshops, and 10 finalists chosen with the help of composer Ken Young.

2015 Finalists:

Click on each winner to watch NZTrio’s Wellington performance of their work, or click the link at the bottom to watch the full unedited concert.

Zac Johns: Snap 

Josiah Carr: still: waiting

Reuben Jelleyman: Analysis/Synthesis

Isaac Shatford: Aeroplanes Over Aotearoa

Matthew Everingham: A Search for a Language

Trevor Coleman: Lilburn Blue 

Glen Downie: Extrapolation

Alex van den Broek: View from Mt Peel

Caitlin Morris: The Song of Cloudy Bay/Te Koko-o-Kupe

Jeremy Mayall: Fourteen moments for three


Click here to watch the complete Winners’ Concert in Wellington


All Video filmed and edited by Chris Watson from SOUNZ, and sound-recorded by NZSM. 

© 2015-2021
Made in Tel Aviv, Israel by Virtuti-D