Andrew Perkins

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Andrew Perkins (born 31 December 1961 in Warkworth, Northland, New Zealand)[1] is a New Zealand composer, choral conductor and teacher. In 1985, he graduated from Auckland University with a master's degree in Music, and in 2013 he graduated from Melbourne University with a Ph.D. degree in music composition. Andrew has had a number of works recorded and performed internationally.

Collected works and positions held[edit]

In 1986 he was elected the NZ Delegate of the NZIAA,[clarification needed] representing New Zealand at the Eleventh General Assembly in Baghdad, Iraq. The congress was entitled 'Artists For Peace'. His "Requiem For Peace" for mezzo-soprano, SATB[clarification needed] choir, woodwind, brass and percussion was highlighted in International Youth Year with a performance at St. Mary's Cathedral, Parnell, Auckland (1985).

Perkins was appointed Composer in Residence of the Auckland Philharmonia in 1992. During his tenure, he produced Symphony Der Bote (performed by Carmel Carroll under the baton of William Boughton) and the Renaissance-style song cycle Ways of Light and Life, among others.[2] His sequence of cello orchestral movements entitled "The Flying Gardens" is frequently performed internationally by cellist Tom Pierard. One of the Flying Gardens, retitled Islamic Lament, played by Pierard, was recorded by Bach Musica New Zealand in 2010.[3] Perkins's "Fantasia For Eight Celli" was performed by the Ensemble Philharmonia of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra at Auckland's Aotea Centre on 20 and 21 October 1993.

He worked as director of music at both the Senior College in Auckland (1995–2004), New Zealand, and at Baradene College in Remuera, Auckland (2004–2008). Baradene commissioned Andrew to produce a "Jubilate Deo" for SSATB choir, full symphony orchestra and pipe organ as part of the Baradene College Centennial Concert in 2009.

For many years he was the musical director of the Auckland Catholic Music Schola, stationed at St John's Church in Parnell, Auckland. The Schola specialise in Medieval and Renaissance plainchant and liturgical music in the context of the Mass.[4]

Among his available works is Chants Montage, published and edited by Wellington organist Richard Apperley for Fagus Music (USA).

Recent works[edit]

Perkins is now[when?] resident in Melbourne, Australia, where he is a sessional lecturer and tutor at the VCA/Conservatorium of Music. His doctoral studies involved investigating the impact of nodal points in musicological and compositional history on his own work as a practising composer. His "Tango-Romanza", scored for full concert band, was performed by Watsonia Military Band in 2010. He graduated from Melbourne University with a Ph.D. degree in music composition in December 2013.

In July 2012 his major work "Christchurch Vespers" was performed by Pita Paczian and Bach Musica New Zealand at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell, Auckland. Its musical language – a fusion of the ancient (Greek, Byzantine, Middle Eastern, Hebrew, Indian), the liturgical (Perkins sets seven texts from the Vespers for Pentecost liturgy) and the idiosyncratic (a duel between the harp and the vibraphone in The Announcement of the Eternal Gospel) is both academic and passionate. The work was warmly received with a standing ovation. In a 2014 interview he said of his doctoral studies, of which The Christchurch Vespers/Vespers for Pentecost are a part: "THE PhD explored the idea that composers are not exactly like a magpie collecting shiny objects. They do draw on past experiences but also build things out of what’s laying around, a bit like a bricoleur although it's not a totally accurate description of what composers do because they tend to be highly selective in what they choose"(Gupta, 2014) [1].

During November 2012, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra recorded his "Waltz-Fantasia". The orchestra also recorded his "The Radish and the Shoe" for narrator and orchestra in 2014. It was recorded in three languages: English, French, and Japanese. He continues to work as an international commissioned composer and educationalist.

Selected works[edit]

  • Arioso for solo pianoforte (or other keyboard instrument)
  • Ave Maria, gratia plena for SATB unaccompanied choir
  • Ave Maris Stella for string orchestra
  • Ave Maris Stella for pipe organ
  • Ave Verum Corpus – Fantasia for pipe organ
  • Lux et Origo for Brass Quintet
  • Butterfly for voice and piano
  • Chants Montage for organ
  • Christchurch Vespers for solo soprano, SATB choir and orchestra
  • Cogitationes Fantasia for school orchestra and unison choir, based on the plainchant 'Cogitationes'
  • Composition In Red for mezzo-soprano, flute, viola and cello
  • Concertino for Flute and String Orchestra For solo flute and string orchestra
  • Coventry Carol Fantasia for pipe organ
  • Date in Ao Bao for school orchestra
  • Dies Sanctificatus for SATB Choir with brass quartet
  • Duo Concertante for cello and piano
  • Fantasia for eight violoncelli for eight cellos
  • Huia for harp and wind quartet
  • I Prayed, and Understanding was Given Me for a cappella SATB choir and solo soprano
  • It is the Lord who Gives Sight to the Blind for a cappella SATB choir
  • Jubilate Deo for SATB choir and symphony orchestra
  • Loquebantur for SATB unaccompanied choir
  • Lord, Teach us to Number our Days for a cappella SATB choir
  • Lord, You brought a Vine out of Egypt for a cappella SATB choir
  • Love is Come Again for unison choir and orchestra with pipe organ
  • Marian Triptych for full orchestra
  • O Crux Splendidor for a cappella SATB choir
  • O Little One Sweet for organ
  • Psalm 73 for SATB choir
  • Sinfonietta di Dieci for string orchestra
  • Song to the Lord Jesus for SATB choir and organ
  • String Quartet Vox Stellarum
  • Symphony – Der Bote for mezzo-soprano and orchestra
  • Tango-Romanza – for concert band
  • The Flying Gardens for solo cello
  • The Radish and the Shoe for narrator and orchestra
  • Three Bohemian Sketches Three pieces for string quartet, each based on a Bohemian Folksong
  • Veni Sancte Spiritus – Fantasia for pipe organ
  • Waltz-Fantasia for symphony orchestra
  • Ways of Light and Life a song cycle for baritone and instrumental ensemble


  1. ^ "NZ composer – Andrew Perkins". Retrieved 8 September 2010.
  2. ^ Andrew, M. 1992. Different Styles: Two Composers-in-Residence, Canzona, 33, Wellington.
  3. ^ "Rachmaninov, Boccherini, Perkins | Amplifier NZ Music". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  4. ^ "Auckland Catholic Music Schola". Retrieved 19 July 2016.