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Inner Bellow Takes Top Prize in 2010 SOUNZ Awards

10 Sep 2010

This content is tagged as Music .

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Inner Bellow, Chris Cree Brown’s work for solo clarinet and electronics, has won the 2010 SOUNZ Contemporary Award, the most prestigious annual award for ‘classical’ composition in New Zealand.

The work has a strong Canterbury connection. Cree Brown, an Associate Professor at the School of Music, University of Canterbury, wrote the work for Christchurch-based clarinetist Gretchen Dunsmore, who premiered it at the Christchurch Arts Centre in April this year."It is everything I could hope for in a piece of music," Dunsmore enthuses, "dramatic, energetic and virtuostic sections contrasted with moments of great lyricism and poignancy. I love to perform this work and have been absolutely delighted with the response from audiences. I am extremely grateful to Chris and am looking forward to my next performance of it. Inner Bellow is an extremely valuable addition to the clarinet repertoire and I'm sure it will become a great favourite of clarinettists and audiences alike."The work involves unusual performance techniques including having the soloist play through a partly dismantled instrument! “This was a very canny way of ensuring reliable microtones,” the jury commented. “Inner Bellow was fantastically innovative revealing new tonal possibilities from the clarinet. It was a great audience piece with highly defined textures and vigorous, good-humoured interplay between soloist and the electronic part.”

The SOUNZ Contemporary Award is funded by APRA and facilitated by SOUNZ and the winner was announced at the APRA-hosted event in Auckland on September 8 along with the winners of the APRA Silver Scroll and Maioha Awards and a new induction into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame.

Chris Cree Brown has previously been a finalist for the SOUNZ Contemporary Award three times with Memories Apart (2002), Icescape (2003) and Remote Presence (2008). His compositions cover a wide range of genres from full symphonic works to inter-media sonic installations, from intimate chamber works to electroacoustic and computer music, such as his Pilgrimage to Gallipoli – a 14 year radiophonic project commemorating the ANZAC campaign.

Inner Bellow was one of three finalist works for the SOUNZ Contemporary Award this year from 44 works submitted for the prestigious annual composition award. The other two finalists were Rudiments for orchestra by Chris Gendall and Violin Concerto No. 1 by Amberely-born Ross Harris, a commission from Christchurch-based businessman Christopher Marshall.

Julie Sperring, Executive Director of SOUNZ, the Centre for New Zealand Music says: “The jury were hugely impressed by the standard of entries this year and only wished that they could have selected six or seven finalists. The SOUNZ Contemporary Award is awarded annually as part of the APRA Silver Scroll event to a work by a New Zealand composer which has been premiered in the last year. Funded by APRA and facilitated by SOUNZ the award consists of a $3000 prize and a distinctive trophy designed and made by Auckland sculptor Sarah Smuts Kennedy.”

For more information contact:

Stephen Gibbs
Marketing Coordinator
SOUNZ the Centre for New Zealand Music
development@sounz.org.nz
021 366 539
04 801 8602

www.sounz.org.nz