Award-winning composer and violinist announced as Composer-in-Residence

6 Jun 2019

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Selina Fisher, Photo: Hagen Hopkins.
Selina Fisher, Photo: Hagen Hopkins.

New Zealand composer Salina Fisher will be the Creative New Zealand Composer-in-Residence for 2019 at Victoria University of Wellington's New Zealand School of Music—Te Kōkī.

Salina studied composition and violin performance at the New Zealand School of Music (NZSM), graduating in 2015 with a Postgraduate Diploma in Music with Distinction. She was awarded the Fulbright New Zealand General Graduate Award to study her Master of Music in Composition at the Manhattan School of Music, New York, and received an Edwin Carr Foundation Scholarship through Creative New Zealand in 2017 and 2018 to support her in completing these studies. Salina graduated in May this year, winning the Carl Kanter Award in Orchestral Composition for her thesis work Murmuring Light.

“I am extremely thrilled and grateful to have this opportunity to return to Wellington and focus on creating new works. Wellington has inspired several of my pieces so far, and I am beyond excited to feel its energy again and reconnect with its creative community through the NZSM,” Salina says.

In 2016, Salina became the youngest winner of the SOUNZ Contemporary Award for composition, which she won again the following year. In 2017, her score for New Zealand short film Misimpressions won ‘Best Score’ in the International Category at the Canberra Short Film Festival.

NZSM Composition Programme Director Associate Professor Michael Norris says, “Salina's music combines both a deep understanding of the conventional chamber and orchestral repertoire with a uniquely Asian-Pacific perspective. Her writing is always concerned primarily with the sensuality of sound; most memorably in her award-winning work Rainphase in which the orchestra simulates the gentle pitter-patter of rain.”

Associate Professor Norris sees Salina as one of the most gifted of the younger generation of New Zealand composers. “In addition to being an internationally performed composer, she is also an extremely accomplished violinist, having played with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in a number of concerts. She brings that intimate knowledge of the physicality of instrumental performance to her works,” he says.

Salina will move back to Wellington to start her 12-month residency in July. She plans to work on a number of new pieces including one for shakuhachi, koto, viola and cello, a new piano trio, and an orchestral work featuring pūtōrino.

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