Carl Doy

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Carl William Doy (ONZM) (born 1947 in Camberley, Surrey, England) is a British born New Zealand pianist, composer and arranger. One of New Zealand's most successful musicians, Doy is probably best known for his multi-platinum selling Piano By Candlelight albums.

Life and career[edit]

Doy was born in Camberley, Surrey. He drew an interest in music as early as six years of age after he fell in love with his grandmother's piano.[1] Although he did not have a formal music education at that time, he had a natural gift for playing by ear, which he then used to play popular songs of the day. It was only when he was in the Grammar School, his talents were identified by his music teachers who guided him to take the preliminary exams at the Royal College of Music. At 18 years of age, he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music and studied piano, organ and composition there for two years.

In 1967, having achieved highest grades for theory in music, he joined the P&O Arcadia cruise ship as its resident pianist. He spent the next few years playing between the cruise ship job and in UK clubs as well. In 1971, he was appointed the Musical Director aboard the Ocean Monarch cruise ship, which was one of the pioneers to have a full entertainment unit aboard.

After few years of work on cruise ships at the sea, Doy decided to settle down to pursue his musical career in a different domain. That resulted in him moving to New Zealand in 1973 with wife Kathy. He started work at Television New Zealand, where he got himself established quickly as a session pianist and arranger. That was the beginning of his career as a very popular writer and arranger of music for thousands of radio and television programs over the next decade or so. The most significant work at that time was the Royal Variety Performance for HRH Queen Elizabeth II. He also arranged the Pope's Mass, which involved writing for two orchestras and a large voice choir. He had the opportunity to play and tour with a variety of visiting artists such as Shirley Bassey and The Seekers.

His immense success in popular commercial music scene started in late 1980s with the introduction of the best selling Piano by Candlelight sequel. Meeting with Murray Thom, ex head of CBS records was a big breakthrough for Doy and they decided to record an album with popular music/songs in CD format. This was beginning of the ever popular Piano By Candlelight series, which made its entry to the NZ charts at number one in its very first week Page text.[2]

Eight more albums were recorded over the next twelve years under the same series. The second CD named Piano By Candlelight 2 created a record in 1989 for most copies sold in New Zealand of a locally recorded album.

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa sang his arrangement of E te Tarakihi from Gisborne in the first live broadcast of the new millennium, to a worldwide television audience of over a hundred million people.

In 1992, he received the Benny Award from the Variety Artists Club of New Zealand Inc, the highest honour available to a New Zealand variety entertainer.[3]

Doy has completed five series as Musical Director for TVNZ's Dancing with the Stars, currently on hiatus. His Together Collection was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show.[citation needed]

At the 2009 Queen's Birthday Honours, he was awarded Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.[4]

Doy is a patron of the National Youth Theatre Company of New Zealand (NYTC).



Year Title Details Peak chart
1987 Piano by Candlelight
  • Label: CBS
  • Catalogue: 460487-1
  • NZ: Platinum[5]
1989 Piano by Candlelight II 1
  • NZ: Platinum[5]
1990 The Christmas Album 20
1991 Piano by Candlelight III 2
  • NZ: Platinum[5]
1993 Piano By Candlelight Collection 21
1995 Night and Day 9
1996 Piano By Moonlight: Shadow of Your Smile 5
1997 In Loving Memory
  • Released: 23 December 1997
  • Label: Carl Doy
2000 Piano By Candlelight: Entrée
  • Label: Sony
2002 Together
  • Label: Thom Music
2003 Piano By Candlelight: The Music of Barbra Streisand
  • Label: Thom Music
2008 Music for Wine Lovers
  • Released: 13 October 2008
  • Label: Thom Music
2008 Music for Christmas Lovers
  • With the NZSO
  • Released: 13 October 2008
  • Label: Thom Music
2009 The Very Best of Carl Doy
  • Released: 16 October 2009
  • Label: Thom Music/Sony
2011 The Solo Album
  • Released: 19 January 2011
  • Label: Thom Music
2011 East West
  • Released: 22 April 2011
  • Label: Thom Music
2011 Lullaby: The International Love Language of Babies
  • With the NZSO
  • Released: 22 April 2011
  • Label: Thom Music
2011 Hymns and Songs of Praise
  • Released: 1 September 2011
  • Label: Carl Doy
2013 Songs of Love and War
  • Released: 12 April 2013
  • Label: Sony
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


  1. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ [1], additional text.
  3. ^ "Variety Artists Club of NZ Benny Award Recipients". 
  4. ^ "The Queen's Birthday Honours 2009". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 1 June 2009. Archived from the original on 17 February 2016. Retrieved 10 April 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Gold and platinum New Zealand albums to 2013". Te Ara. Encyclopedia of NZ. Retrieved 19 July 2015. 

External links[edit]