New Farr cello concerto album

 Posted by on November 6, 2020
Nov 062020

Cello Concertos Gareth Farr Edward Elgar NZSOGareth’s new album ‘Gareth Farr / Edward Elgar: Cello Concertos’, featuring Sébastien Hurtaud and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra under the baton of conductor Benjamin Northey, has been released internationally on the UK label RUBICON.

Gareth wrote his cello concerto after discovering some family history. Towards the end of WWI, his three great grand-uncles left New Zealand to fight on French battlefields; all three were killed within weeks of arrival.

Gareth’s concerto is instantly accessible and is a dramatic and emotional statement.

Also on the disc, Elgar’s famous concerto was composed as a reaction to the horrors of the Western Front and the mass slaughter of so many young lives.

To order the album:

CD format

mp3 format

For more information visit or

Ngū Kīoro opens with Sea Gongs

 Posted by on June 28, 2020
Jun 282020

On Jun 25th 2020, The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Wellington City Council presented “Ngū Kīoro… Harikoa Ake – Celebrating Togetherness”, a celebration of the enormous effort New Zealanders made to protect the vulnerable and eliminate COVID-19.

Internationally renowned tenor Simon O’Neill and rising star soprano Eliza Boom joined the Orchestra for an evening of classics from Bizet’s Carmen, Puccini’s La Bohème and Verdi’s Otello.

A celebration of New Zealand wouldn’t be complete without our own music. Gareth Farr’s From the Depths Sound the Great Sea Gongs and John Psathas’ ecstatic Tarantismo feature, while vocalist Maisey Rika and Taonga Pūoro specialist Horomona Horo perform music from the NZSO’s successful 2019 An Instrumental Voyage Pae Tawhiti, Pae Tata concert.

The full power of the Orchestra will be on show for Richard Strauss’ inspirational Suite from Der Rosenkavalier before all our guest soloists and singers from Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir join the Orchestra for a special finale, the beloved waiata Pōkarekare Ana.

Watch the live stream here.

Toru Whā – Ka Rewa a Matariki

 Posted by on June 14, 2019
Jun 142019

NZTrio will be joined by musician and composer Horomona Horo playing taonga pūoro in a programme reflecting on our past, while celebrating new horizons and possibilities.

It includes three newly commissioned pieces, from Dame Gillian Karawe Whitehead (Ngāi Te Rangi), Martin Lodge and Jeremy Mayall, alongside works composed by Victoria Kelly, Richard Nunns and Gareth Farr.

Full details on the Chamber Music New Zealand site:

Gareth Farr Toru Wha Matariki


Wellington Pride Parade Fanfare

 Posted by on March 5, 2019
Mar 052019

Gareth has written a fanfare – “rumbling cacophony of sound to show off a bit” – for the 2019 Wellington International Pride Parade, that will bring the theme of FIRE | AHI to life and be performed by Orchestra Wellington!

He felt compelled to write a Pride Fanfare because the opening of the parade cries out for some kind of musical performance.

“This will be a noisy one,” Farr said. “The piece has to compete with decibel levels on the street we don’t usually associate with the concert hall.”

“With their training and professionalism, I’m sure the orchestra players will cut through any of the street noise and get the parade off on the right foot (or stiletto).”

See the Orchestra Wellington website for full details!

Wellington Pride Parade Gareth Farr


Cello concerto: Great War Story

 Posted by on January 10, 2019
Jan 102019

Gareth grew up with the photos of three young men in army uniform on the wall in his parents’ home. He didn’t know much about them until his mother recounted their history.

The Byrne brothers, Frank, Vince and Charlie, all volunteered for the First World War. All three died in the last 18 months of the war, leaving their New Zealand family devastated.

Gareth was so moved that he wrote a cello concerto in their memory.

AC Productions went to France and filmed Sebastien Hurtaud performing the concerto in Laon Cathedral. Picardy, a region where thousands of French and Germans died during the First World War.

See the video featured on Newshub:

Gareth Farr Great War Concerto Newshub

Fabulous at 50

 Posted by on December 14, 2018
Dec 142018

Gareth, who this year celebrated his 50th birthday (or possibly his 12.5th), popped into the Radio New Zealand studios to share stories about life, music and things that go wrong on stage.

Read more and listen to the full interview on RNZ’s site.

RNZ Logo Reo

Cello Concerto in Paris

 Posted by on November 28, 2018
Nov 282018

Gareth’s cello concerto was recently performed in Paris as part of the French Armistice Day celebrations. The orchestra of the Garde Répulicaine performed the concerto with cellist Sébastien Hurtaud in the Cathedrale St. Louis des Invalides.

Gareth Farr Cello Concerto Garde Repulicaine Sebastian Hurtaud

If your French is très bien, you can listen to an interview with Sébastien here.

Te Kōanga Premiere by Heath Quartet

 Posted by on June 28, 2018
Jun 282018

Tui bird calls heard in the Marlborough Sounds were the inspiration behind Gareth Farr’s new string quartet Te Kōanga premiered by the touring Heath Quartet this week.

Eight Col Tui Photo Matt Binns CC BY 2.0

“As the water taxi pulled in, I could hear the tui calls, and it was the same call I notated when I was 16,” Gareth says.

The work was commissioned by the family of Wellington luthier Ian Lyons. Ian was a well-known figure among many of the country’s leading string players whose instruments he serviced for many years for before passing away unexpectedly in 2015.

The new work is called Te Kōanga, meaning Spring or planting season. It is written for string quartet but Farr turns the strong group into a percussion ensemble by having the players pluck and snap their strings.

The piece was debuted this week by one of Britain’s most exciting chamber ensembles, the Heath Quartet. The Chamber Music New Zealand concert includes string quartets by Haydn and Britten, and an arrangement of Bach’s sublime Chorale Preludes as well as the new commission by New Zealand composer Gareth Farr.

The full interview is on RNZ.