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Red Contributor


Kenneth Young

Composer, Arranger, Publisher

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Born: 1955

Biography

Kenneth Young is one of New Zealand’s most well-known and performed composers with a professional career which has expanded over the past 40 years. Numerous commissions from Chamber Music New Zealand, the NZSO, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, the International Festival of the Arts, Radio New Zealand and all the regional orchestras of New Zealand have been regularly performed nationwide and also in Australia, Europe and America.

Recent premiers include Invocation and In Paradisum, both written for the APO during his Residency with that orchestra in 2014-15. Other recent premiers include Symphony No. 3 written for the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Woolston Brass and, most recently, a Piano Trio commissioned by NZTrio. He has three times been a finalist for the SOUNZ Contemporary Award while many of his works have been recorded by various artists, including the NZSO and Michael Houstoun. Most recently, five orchestral works dating from 2005 – 2014, featuring the NZSO with the composer conducting, has been released on a CD entitled Shadows and Light by Atoll Records.

Young began playing both tuba and percussion with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and National Youth Orchestra while studying composition at Canterbury and Auckland Universities. His interest in brass stemmed from his involvement with the brass band movement from the age of seven; an interest he still maintains having written many works for brass band.

In 1976 he was appointed Principal Tuba of the NZSO, a position which gave him the financial independence to also freely pursue his interest in composition and conducting. He was appointed the NZSO’s Conductor-in-Residence in 1991. He resigned his tuba position in 2001 to concentrate on a free-lance career.

Young regularly conducts the NZSO, APO and the other regional orchestras throughout New Zealand. His engagements with the NZSO and the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra have also included highly acclaimed CD recordings of the orchestral works of Douglas Lilburn, Edwin Carr, David Farquhar, Lyell Cresswell, Anthony Ritchie, Gareth Farr, Christopher Blake, Jack Body and many others. 

Outside New Zealand, Young has worked with the Melbourne, Sydney, Queensland, Tasmanian, Adelaide and West Australian Symphony Orchestras, Orchestra Victoria, the City of Osaka Sinfonia, and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. He has particularly enjoyed the many opportunities to perform Australian and New Zealand repertoire together in concert on both sides of the Tasman. He also works with the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Australian Ballet and the West Australian Ballet.

Since 1988 he has been a member of the music faculty at Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music at Victoria University, Wellington where he lectures in conducting and composition. In 2004 Young was awarded the Lilburn Trust Citation in Recognition of Outstanding Services to New Zealand Music.


Composed (55)

Autumn Arabesque

for harp


Beacons of Hope

for soprano, SATB choir and orchestra


Brass Quintet No.1

for 2 trumpets, horn, trombone and tuba, 24m


Concertino for Horn

for horn and orchestra


Concerto

for tuba and orchestra, 25m


Concerto for Euphonium and Orchestra

for solo euphonium and full orchestra, 23m


Dance

for orchestra, 14m


Dona eis requiem

for soprano, children's choir and orchestra


Douce Tristesse

for orchestra, 10m


Elegy

for saxophone quartet


Elusive Dream

for piano, 2m


Fantasy for Two Pianos

for piano duo, 10m


Five Pieces

for piano, 26m 30s


Four Questions, No Answers

for mixed chamber septet


Gone

for solo violin


Homage

for solo flute, 4m


Homage to Chopin

for piano


Homage to Ravel

for piano


In Paradisum

for choir, vocal soloists and orchestra


Invocation

for orchestra


Lux Aeterna

for full orchestra, 16m


Nocturne

for string quartet


Panic

for solo trombone, 3m 57s


Pastorale

for brass band


Piano Concerto

for piano and orchestra, 25m


Piano Trio

for violin, cello and piano


Portrait

for solo violin and small orchestra, 20m


Prayer

for tuba and piano, 4m


Prelude

for oboe, tuba, harp, 3m


Prelude

For Cello and Piano, 8m


Prelude and March

for brass band


Prelude for Kerkrade

for brass band


Reflections

for brass band


Remembering

for violin and orchestra


Reverie

for brass band


Saffire Concerto

for orchestra and guitar quartet


Serenade

for oboe, tuba and harp, 12m


Sextet

for string quartet, clarinet and piano, 30m


Sinfonietta

for orchestra, 15m


Sonata In One Movement

for double bass and roto toms, 10m


Sonatine

for guitar, 11m


Suite for Solo Cello

for solo cello, 25m


Suite for Violin and Guitar

for violin and guitar, 11m


Symphony

for orchestra, 42m


Symphony No. 2

for orchestra, 25m


The Enchanted Dance Hall

for brass band, 15m


The last rose of Summer (arr.)

for violin and harp, 5m


Three Sad Waltzes

for solo guitar, 7m


Top Notch

for orchestra


Trois Chants De Douleur (Three Songs of Sorrow)

for tenor or mezzo-soprano with flute and viola, 10m


Variations on a Prayer

for piano duet


Vignette

for trumpet, horn, and trombone


Virgen de la esperanza

for orchestra, 15m



Arranged (2)

Mahler: Songs of a Wayfarer, arr. Young

for violin, cello, piano and tenor


The Maori Merchant of Venice

score for film of the same name with Maori music and songs by Hirini Melbourne and orchestrated by Kenneth Young, 53m