Jack Body

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Jack Body
Birth name John Stanley Body
Born 1944
Te Aroha, New Zealand
Died (aged 70)
Wellington, New Zealand
Occupation(s) Composer, photographer, artist, ethnomusicologist
Labels Atoll Records
Website www.jackbody.com

John Stanley "Jack" Body ONZM (1944 – 10 May 2015) was a New Zealand composer, photographer, artist and ethnomusicologist.


While his best-known composition is the 1975 theme to Close to Home, a New Zealand soap opera, his music as been performed by Lontano, the Kronos Quartet (on Early Music (Lachrymae Antiquae)), ARC, the New Zealand String Quartet, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. His opera Alley was featured in the 1998 New Zealand International Festival of the Arts.

From 1980 to 2009, he was a lecturer in the Department of Music at Victoria University of Wellington (now the New Zealand School of Music). Body began editing Waiteata Music Press in 1980, publishing scores and recordings of New Zealand composers, and curated and promoted multiple festivals and music shows in New Zealand. His recordings as an ethnomusicologist include Music for Sale: Street Musicians of Yogyakarta (OMCD 006, and TC HLS-91), Music of Madura (CD ODE 1381) and Jemblung: Sung Narrative Traditions (PAN 2048CD).[1]

He died in Wellington on 10 May 2015.[2]


Body received three prizes at the Bourges International Competition for Electroacoustic Music (most recently in 2008); his recording Pulse won the 2002 New Zealand Music Award for Best Classical CD, and his soundtrack (with John Gibson) for Vincent Ward’s Rain of the Children won the 2008 Qantas Film and Television Award for Achievement in Original Music in Film. For his services to New Zealand music he has been honoured by both the Composers’ Association of New Zealand and the Lilburn Trust. In the 2001 New Year Honours, Body was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to music, photography and education,[3] and in 2004, he received an Arts Foundation Laureate Award. In 2015, shortly before his death, he received an New Zealand Icon Award from Arts Foundation of New Zealand, becoming the first composer to be so honoured.[4]


  1. ^ "Jack Body". Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  2. ^ Hunt, Tom (10 May 2015). ""Arts icon" Jack Body has died". Dominion Post. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  3. ^ "New Years Honours List 2001". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 2000. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  4. ^ "Renowned composer Jack Body is now a 'New Zealand Icon'". 8 May 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 

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