Sep 012015

Black Dog Relief Robbie Tripe Gareth FarrCome along and join Emcee Gareth Farr and Wellington’s performing arts fraternity as we band together to honour a beloved friend, colleague and cohort – Robbie Tripe.

Sunday 6th September at San Fran, a one night only performance to raise money and awareness for The Mental Health Foundation NZ. This tribute is our way of honouring a talented member of the performing community, who left us after losing his battle with the Black Dog.

Led by Musical Director Fiona McCabe, the stellar ensemble cast for Black Dog Relief will comprise celebrated performers including Carrie McLaughlan (Beat Girls), Jane Keller (Boomers Behaving Badly), and Carmel McGlone (Reservoir Hill).

Majestically presiding over the event will be Emcee Gareth Farr, who has decided to give his stage persona Lilith LaCroix an outing… “ I thought that Robbie would get a kick out of it. It’s very important for me to show how much I adore him as an artist and as a gay man – this is my way of giving Robbie a befitting tribute and this is how I want to express it in my own way. We basically want this show to be a celebration – not a memorial of Robbie’s life and we want to acknowledge the joy that he brought to all of us, whose lives he touched along the way.”

More details on the event’s facebook page.

Sharu Loves Hats in collaboration with Cuba Creative presents

Black Dog Relief – A Cabaret for Robbie Tripe

San Fran, 171 Cuba Street, Wellington
Sunday 6th September, 7 pm (approx. 90+ minutes)

BOOKINGS: www.blackdog.shoretix.co.nz

Aug 102014

Radio New Zealand National

In an interview with Radio New Zealand National, Composer Gareth Farr describes his commission for the Edinburgh International Arts Festival – a piece called Relict Furies which describes the First World War from the perspective of three women.

You can listen here or on the Radio New Zealand website.


You can also read more about the performance itself here.

Jul 172014

Sarah Connolly Relict Furies Gareth Farr EifSarah Connolly CBE, one of the foremost British mezzo sopranos, will be performing Gareth Farr’s “Relict Furies” at the Edinburgh International Festival 2014.

It will be the World Premiere of “Relict Furies”, which Gareth wrote as an EIF commission for mezzo soprano and double string orchestra.

Full details of the performance can be found on the Edinburgh International Festival website.

Nancy Wake: The White Mouse

 Posted by on July 17, 2014
Jul 172014

“Nancy Wake: The White Mouse” is a 70 minute documentary-drama from the Gibson Group and features a soundtrack by Gareth Farr.

Nancy Wake - Gibson Group - Gareth Farr
It tells the thrilling true story of a NZ-born heroine who became the Gestapo’s most wanted woman in World War II. This showcase follows Nancy Wake’s life from becoming a vital link in the French resistance, to fleeing from Nazi spies, before returning as a highly trained special agent. She fought to win back her country, but can Nancy also save her husband’s life?

It screens on TV1 on Sunday 20th July at 8.30pm – don’t miss it!

More details about the show are on the Gibson Group website.

Jul 172014
Gareth Farr 'Taheke' - Chamberfest Ottawa - Joanna G'froerer

Joanna G’froerer

Chamberfest Ottawa 2014

Flutist Joanna G’froerer and harpist Michelle Gott will perform a selection of meditative contemporary works, including Gareth Farr’s Taheke, at Chamberfest Ottawa 2014.

Joanna is principal flute of the National Arts Centre Orchestra and one of Canada’s best-known flutists.

Full details at the Chamberfest Ottawa website.

Dominion Post article on Gareth

 Posted by on March 28, 2014
Mar 282014

The Dominion Post featured a great article today on Gareth!

So Farr, so good for Gareth


Wellington’s Gareth Farr is not only one of New Zealand’s best-known contemporary composers, he now has a significant standing overseas.

The prestigious Edinburgh International Festival this year has commissioned Farr, 46, to compose a piece to be performed at the festival in August.

But ahead of that milestone, comes another: Farr’s first piano concerto. Concerto for Piano and Orchestra will be performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and young Australian pianist Tony Lee in Wellington tonight.

A concerto – where one or more instruments is contrasted and blended with an orchestra – has a long tradition in classical music. But a piano concerto for Farr has been a long time coming. He first wanted to write one when he was 17.

Read the rest of the article on the Dominion Post website.

And there’s a review by John Button up now too:

Farr’s new piano concerto marvellously inventive


This was a concert of real contrasts. All three of Respighi’s Roman works with Gareth Farr’s new piano concerto sandwiched in between.

And the Farr work left the famous Respighi works in the dust. Based on just one listen I have no doubt that this marvellously inventive piano concerto is bound to develop an international life all its own. Rarely have I heard a new piece in which I felt we got the absolute essence of the composer, but this was such a piece.

Farr has stated that the piano concertos of Prokofiev, Bartok, Ravel and Shostakovich were long-term favourites and each of these composers’ influences this new concerto of delights. With marvellously free piano writing surrounded by orchestral sounds that conjure up memories of Prokofiev ballets, Ravel’s L’ Enfant et les Sortileges and even the Bartok First Piano Concerto, the ear was tickled bar after bar.

But this is no mere pastiche piece; the distinctive Farr sound was always there and one could sense Farr the puppet- master hovering over the music, pulling the strings and enjoying every second. With some wonderful piano playing from Tony Lee and superbly involved orchestral support – titillating percussion sounds still resonate – this was utterly special.

Read the rest of the review on the Dominion Post website.

Plus! Here’s a bonus picture of Gareth and his parents at the concerto mentioned in the articles:

Don, Jan and Gareth at NZSO Concerto

Don, Jan and Gareth

La Dolce Vita – NZSO

 Posted by on March 17, 2014
Mar 172014

NZSO Gareth Farr 2014 La Dolce VitaWith La Dolce Vita, Music Director Pietari Inkinen and a large-scale orchestra launch the 2014 NZSO Season with a celebration of Roman exuberance and flair.

Exploring passion and history through Ottorino Respighi’s three over-the-top Roman tone poems, they embark on a rich journey through the city of Rome before resting in the shade of majestic pine trees.

And what could better match the feisty boldness of the Italians than a new commission from firebrand composer Gareth Farr ? Full of vigorous rhythms and vivid orchestral colours, Gareths’s new Concerto for Piano and Orchestra features Tony Lee, whose performance will quicken the pulse and re-energise the spirit.

Date: Friday 28th March, 2014
Concert Duration: 1h23
Continue reading »

Mar 162014

University Auckland Alumni Award MedalOn Friday night, March 14, Gareth was honoured with the University of Auckland’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

He was in the stellar company of Bruce Aitken, Dr Julie Maxton, Dr ‘Ana Maui Taufe’ulungaki, Dr William Tan and Roseanne Liang – similarly awarded – and about 400 guests in the enormous marquee in Old Government House gardens.

Strike’s Murray Hickman, Tim Whitta and Rachel Jefferies started proceedings with a blood-thumping, high-energy performance of Gareth’s “Volume Pig” in the gardens of Old Government House.

The food was fabulous – the speeches entertaining, touching and inspiring and the venue, amazing. And the tropical cyclone held off until this morning when it woke our hero percussively.

At Gareth’s table Don and Jan Farr, Salesi Le’ota, Strike’s Murray Hickman, Tim Whitta and Rachel Jefferies, Charmaine Ngarimu, Rima Te Wiata, and Eve de Castro Robinson enjoyed each other’s very fine company, which was occasionally enhanced by Lisa Harrow, Don McGlashan and others.
Continue reading »

Duck, Death and the Tulip

 Posted by on March 10, 2014
Mar 102014

Gareth Farr - Duck Death and the TulipDuck, Death and the Tulip is an acclaimed picture book by German illustrator and writer Wolf Erlbruch, which has been adapted by Peter Wilson as a puppetry stage production for his Little Dog Barking Theatre Company.

The show is directed by Nina Nawalowalo and features music by Gareth Farr.

Gareth’s composition won the 2013 Chapman Tripp Award for Outstanding Composer of Music.

Duck, Death and the Tulip is a strangely heartwarming story. A duck strikes up an unlikely friendship with Death. The superb use of masks, puppets and objects, allows the play to deal with a difficult subject in a way that is elegant, straightforward and thought provoking.

The show has been invited to be part of the 2014 Edinburgh Festival.

Duck, Death and the Tulip is now my favourite book of all time!
Kim Hill, Radio New Zealand National

…sublime music from Gareth Farr… – Keran Brady

…it is Gareth Farr’s music that really brings the whole piece together… – John Smythe

Continue reading »

Feb 032013

Masi has been playing at the Sydney Festival, Australia. This review by Lloyd Bradford Syke appeared at Crikey.com.au on Jan 31, 2013.

REVIEW: Masi (Sydney Festival) | Everest Theatre

Lloyd Bradford Syke –  Jan 31, 2013 4:12PM

 “Grounding and connective in a way social media and the inter web at large can and will never be.” From across the Tasman, a deeply personal, multi-media story.

 Conch isn’t only a name for a large sea snail, or its shell. It’s a Kiwi theatre company, founded in Wellington, with hands across the South Pacific to Fiji. As with the shell, you can hear (and see) the sound of the ocean in it. I’m also presuming, as with the Marxist ska band of the same name, (The) Conch is a euphemistic abbreviation of consciousness.

Founded in 2002 by associate director Tom McCrory and artistic director Nina Nawalowalo, the company has experienced explosive growth and success (as far afield as London’s Barbican) — yet, aside from a previous visit in 2006 with Vula (Fijian for moon), Australia seems to be the unlucky country, inasmuch as being, seemingly, among the last to celebrate it. By rights, this should now change, dramatically, with the short Sydney Festival season of Masi just wrapped-up. Continue reading »