Apr 042015

Gareth’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra was performed and recorded by the BBC Philharmonic in Manchester, UK on April 1st 2015, a year after it was premiered in Wellington, NZ with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

The performance was broadcast nationally in the UK on ANZAC day, 25th April 2015, on BBC Radio 4. Australian pianist Tony Lee was the soloist, and New Zealander Tecwyn Evans conducted.

Gareth Farr - BBC Philharmonic

Dec 042014

New Zealand theatre company The Conch have once again engaged Gareth to compose a soundtrack, this time for their new intercultural work Marama.

It will be their third production with Gareth as composer. 2003’s Vula won him the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards ‘Outstanding Composer of Original Music’ award, and Masi in 2009 won critical acclaim at the NZ and Sydney Festivals.

Marama will feature performers from the Solomon Islands, Kiribati, and New Zealand.

Gareth Farr Masi Workshop


New short pieces: Fifty Fifty and Gem

 Posted by on November 24, 2014
Nov 242014

Two new short pieces are coming soon from Gareth!

The first is Fifty Fifty – commissioned by Dame Evelyn Glennie for solo bongos, in honour of her 50th birthday (50 bars for 50 years).

Dame Evelyn has performed Gareth’s percussion concerto in NZ and Australia (with the NZSO), and in Canada with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

The second piece is Gem for solo piano, commissioned by Nicola Melville in memory of her teacher Judith Clark, who died in early 2014.

Gem will be premiered in Nelson at the 2015 Adam Chamber Music Festival.

Gareth Farr Glennie Olympics

UPDATE: More news here.

Royal New Zealand Ballet commission

 Posted by on November 21, 2014
Nov 212014

Gareth Farr Smashing Sweet Vixen

Smashing Sweet Vixen

Gareth has been commissioned to write a twenty minute ballet for the Royal New Zealand Ballet Company, to be premiered in 2015 as part of the company’s centenary commemorations of the Gallipoli landings.

Gareth will be working with Kiwi choreographer Andrew Simmons, and the score will be performed live by the New Zealand Army Band around the country.

This will be Gareth’s third ballet for the RNZB; Smashing Sweet Vixen (choreographed by Shona McCullagh, music performed by Strike) premiered in 1998, and The Wedding (choreographed by Mark Baldwin, music performed by the APO and the NZSO) premiered in 2006.

Relict Furies – critical acclaim

 Posted by on September 20, 2014
Sep 202014

Relict Furies was commissioned from Gareth by the Edinburgh International Festival and the NZ International Festival.

It was performed on August 26th at the Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh by world-renowned mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly CBE and the Scottish Ensemble, Scotland’s premiere string orchestra, to critical acclaim and a rousing ovation from the audience.

Relict Furies will also be performed in Wellington, NZ in the 2016 NZ International Festival.

…there was other fantastic music too from this brilliant big band … a wonderful new song trilogy, Relict Furies by Gareth Farr, looking at the impact of war from the perspective of the women who wait, permeated with breathtaking orchestration and a text movingly sung by Sarah Connolly. ✬✬✬✬✬

The Herald Scotland

Gareth Farr’s new score for Relict Furies, a heart-stabbing evocation of the First World War … with the most wonderfully dramatic singing from mezzo Sarah Connolly, whose depth of understanding of Paul Horan’s texts was both honest and poignant. ✬✬✬✬

The Scotsman

Paul Horan, Sarah Connolly & Gareth Farr - Relict Furies

Paul Horan, Sarah Connolly & Gareth Farr

Works by Farr Feature in NZ Music Awards

 Posted by on December 14, 2011
Dec 142011










Two works by Gareth Farr feature on two of the albums nominated for the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards ‘Best Classical’ album of 2011.

He Poroporoaki (Saying Goodbye), co-written by Farr and taonga puoro player Richard Nunns, features on the New Zealand String Quartet’s album Notes from a Journey, a diverse and fascinating collection of works for string quartet by New Zealand composers, released by Atoll Records. Farr and Nunns co-wrote this work for the 2008 Dawn Service Commemoration at Gallipoli, Turkey. This work features alongside works by John Psathas, Micheal Norris, Jack Body and Ross Harris.

Farr’s work Taheke also features on flautist Bridget Douglas and harpist Carolyn Mills’ debut album Flight, which showcases modern works for flute and harp. Taheke is the Maori word for waterfall and each movement of the work draws inspiration from a renowned New Zealand waterfall. The recording also includes works by New Zealanders Eve de Castro-Robinson and Jack Body, as well as works by Toru Takemitsu and Tan Dun.

Dec 142011


Gareth Farr’s children’s opera Kia Ora Khalid, a production from Capital E National Theatre for Children (Wellington, New Zealand), was featured at the Taranaki Arts Festival in New Plymouth, New Zealand on 4-5 August 2011. Recently, it made its Australian debut at the Victoria Arts Centre, Melourne, Australia 26-28 October 2011. Farr created the opera with award-winning writer, Dave Armstrong.

This children’s opera tells stories about refugees and their migration to New Zealand. It is set in a New Zealand playground over a lunch hour and brings together the stories of four students: Tom, a Paheka New Zealander; Serena, a Samoan; Trang, a first generation Cambodian New Zealander; and Khalid, a Tampa refugee from Afghanistan. Local school children at both the New Plymouth and Melbourne performances joined the  four actors to sing in the chorus.

Kia Ora Khalid was well received at the Taranaki International Arts Festival with writer Jo Hills of the Taranaki Daily News describing it as ‘like a school lunch break, it’s only about an hour long, but it’s bursting with goodies and action.’

Nov 242011

On 23rd September, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra gave the Australian premiere Gareth’s ‘The Nor’west Arch’ at the Brisbane Festival. The piece was commissioned by the Christchurch Arts Festival as a memorial to the victims of the February earthquake. It was originally scored for brass band and percussion, and performed by the Woolston Brass Band and Strike – the version for the QSO is an orchestral version, and was performed this time as a memorial to the Queensland floods.