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Red Contributor


Kit Powell

Composer

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Biography

Born 1937 in Wellington Kit Powell met Brigitte, his Swiss wife, while studying in Europe in 1966/67. Since 1984 the Powell family live in Switzerland. He has an MSc (in maths) from Victoria University of Wellington and a B Mus (Hons) from Canterbury University. He taught maths and music at Linwood High School, Christchurch from 1962 until 1975 when he joined the staff of the Christchurch Teachers College. He was also active teaching courses on New Music and Creative Music with children. Since living in Switzerland he has taught Music Theory at the Hochschule fur Musik und Theater in Zurich and English privately. Important influences in his development as a composer in NZ are the contact with Douglas Lilburn as a student, the visits to the Cambridge Music School in the early 60s (tutors Ron Tremain and Larry Pruden) and in Europe: Accademia Chigiana, Siena (Goffredo Petrassi) and courses on computer music (Gerald Bennett in Zurich and UPIC in Paris). In 2003 he retired from teaching but is still very active as a composer. His works include compositions in all fields of music: choral (sung and spoken), orchestral, chamber music, brass band, percussion, music theatre, electroacoustic … His special interests in composition include the use of chance techniques and also music with found objects. He has also created a series of nearly 20 works in collaboration with the poet, Michael Harlow. Many works have been written for his two children, Philip (trombonist) and Fiona (soprano).

Since retirement Kit Powell has worked on several large scale works: Missa Profana (a setting of the liturgical mass plus poems by Michael Harlow) for large choir, soloists and orchestra, Maui Cycle (four symphonic poems for orchestra and solo clarinet), a dual language book about his work as a composer: Quite by Chance / Wie durch Zufall (Pfau-Verlag), Symphonie réflectique, for two soloists and orchestra. For his 80th birthday Kit Powell has completed a further symphony: Schubert 1828, based on themes from works from Schubert’s last year of life and using the same orchestra as in the Schubert E flat Major Mass plus electro-acoustic sounds.


Composed (95)

4 Carols on 4 Notes

a song cycle of four carols for SATB choir


6 Fragments for 4 Trombones

for trombone quartet


A Shout - for the Life and Work of William Cumming

for women's chorus, soprano soloist and piano, 10m


Alles unter einem Hut

for soprano and piano


Amselbaum

for soprano and piano, 15m


Chance Piece for Flute and Tape

for flute (preferably alto or bass) and tape (ie CD), 7m 10s


Chance Piece for Oboe and Tape

for oboe and tape, 7m 10s


Chance Piece for Saxophone and Tape

for saxophone (preferably Baritone or Bass) and tape (ie CD), 7m 10s


Chinese Songs

for high soprano and tape, 16m


Christophorus

Christmas cantata for baritone, children's chorus, wind orchestra and percussion, 45m


Clarinet Quintet

for clarinet and string quartet, 20m


Contrasts

electroacoustic, 7m


Credo

for organ


Dapple Metal

electroacoustic work, 9m


Das Ausland

for soprano and trombone


Das Ausland

for soprano, bass clarinet and percussion


Devotion to the Small

a song cycle for soprano and five percussionists, 12m


Dies Irae

For children's (or women's) voices and piano, 10m


Due movimenti per quattro strumenti

for piano, piccolo, clarinet and cello


Encounter with Don Giovanni

for orchestra, 7m


Father's Telescope

a playful music theatre piece for singer, speaker and tape about power and submission, 15m


Five Schwitters Songs for Andres

for soprano, alto and piano


Floetenspieler und Fledermaeuse

for solo flute and tape, 6m


Four Rothko Pictures

for piano duet


Francesca e Paolo (SATB)

for SATB choir, with STB soloists from the choir, 10m


Galgenlieder

solo speaker, spoken and sung chorus and instruments, 15m


Hubert the Clockmaker

for brass band and narrator, 10m


Hubert the Clockmaker

arranged for orchestra and narrator


Kapiti

for piano solo


Koauau

for flute ensemble (8 players with 16 flutes from piccolo to contrabass flute), 10m


Korimako

for flute and piano (with ratchet played by pianist)


Kraehenalles

for flute (or clarinet) and tape, 14m


Kuza Nama

a song cycle for baritone and piano, 11m


Les Episodes

for soprano, baritone and orchestra, 25m


Let all words be music

for SATB choir, trombone and piano


Metamorphoses

for brass quartet, 6m


Microzoic Piano Suite

for baritone and ensemble, 25m


Missa Profana

for choir, orchestra and soloists, 1h 10m


Nelson Songs

for male singer and tape, 12m


Nothing but Switzerland and Lemonade

for singer, flute, violin, cello


Nothing but Switzerland and Lemonade

for soprano and wind trio, 12m


Ophelia Songs

for soprano (or mezzo soprano) and piano, 11m


Othello Overture

for orchestra


Paper Pieces

7 short pieces on newspaper texts for SATB choir, 10m


Piano Poems

for solo piano, 20m


Piece of 4

a piece of four players, 45m


Piece of Four

A music theatre piece for four players, 45m


Pied Beauty

for SATB choir and instrumental ensemble, 3m


Poem Then, For Love

A song cycle for two singers and percussionist involving graphic notation and theatrical elements., 20m


Psalm 8

for SATB choir, 5m


Reading Gaol

song cycle for baritone and orchestra, 11m


Rothko Variations

for orchestra, 16m


Salmagundi

for brass ensemble and percussion


Sanctus

for SATB choir and orchestra, 3m


Schubert 1828

for orchestra and pre-recorded audio


Seven Aesop Fables

experimental sounds for beginners of guitar, 15m


Sextett

for clarinet, bass clarinet and string quartet


Sextett

for flute, bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano and percussion


Six Mother Courage Songs

for soprano and piano, 10m


Six Mother Courage Songs

for soprano and harp


Snakes and Ladders

for cello and piano, 6m


Sonatina

for trombone and piano, 8m


Stone Poem

for two wind quintets and two speakers with stones, 10m


Stone Poem

for clarinet and tape, 8m


Te Ika a Maui

a concerto for clarinet and orchestra, 10m


Texts For Composition

music theatre for about 5 players, 50m


The Ever-Circling Light: Te Ao Hurihuri

four choruses for SATB choir and 6 percussionists, 30m


The Fisherman and his Wife

a comic opera, 1h 15m


The Green Man

music theatre piece for solo percussionist, 8m


The Pink Panther's Picnic

an entertainment for brass band and SATB chorus


Three Pieces for Violin and Piano

for violin and piano


Tide Pools

for SATB choir, piano, small percussion (claves, maraca, small gong, tambourine), 8m


Today is the Piano's Birthday

arranged for trombone and piano


Today is the Piano's Birthday

for female voice and piano


Verschiedene Tiere (Various Animals)

for soprano, piano and trombone


Verschiedene Tiere (Various Animals)

for soprano, horn and piano


Violin Concerto

for violin and orchestra, 19m


Vlaminck's Tie

song cycle for singer with piano accompaniment, 20m


Was Liebe ist

for soprano and piano


Wedding Fanfare

for horn and organ


Whale

for trombone (tenor or bass) and tape, 10m


Whale

for SATB choir and tape, 10m


Whale Fantasy

for piano solo


Whale Song

for piano, 1m 30s