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Red Contributor

Edwin Carr

Composer, Performer

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Born: 1926 Died: 2003


Edwin Carr was born in Auckland on August 10th 1926. He was educated at Otago Boys' High School from 1940 to 1943. Studied music at Otago University 1944–5 and Auckland University College 1946, degree unfinished. Attended the first Cambridge Summer Music School, 1946, with Douglas Lilburn as composition tutor. Travelled to England 1948, New Zealand Government Bursary to study composition at the Guildhall with Benjamin Frankel: much freelance work and travel. In 1954 a British Council scholarship enabled him to study under Petrassi in Rome. Also worked in Italy as musical director of an independent ballet company. In 1957 a further British Council Scholarship enabled him to study with Carl Orff in Munich.

Travelled back to New Zealand in 1958, staying there until 1960 teaching and composing. During the 1960s spent time in both Australia and England, composing, teaching and studying, several trips to New Zealand.

Was awarded the Mozart Fellowship at the University of Otago 1973–4. 1975–6 teacher of composition at the Sydney Conservatorium. 1976 return to London. Return to Australia 1977, part-time teaching at Sydney Conservatorium. 1984 return to NZ, freelance composing and conducting based in Taupo. 1991 shift to Waiheke Island where he remained active as a composer.

In 1999 he was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen's Birthday Honours. Edwin Carr died at his home on Waiheke Island on the 27th March 2003.

Composed (119)

A Blake Cantata

for two-part children's choir and two pianos, 9m


for orchestra


for piano

Alla marcia

for piano

An Easter Cantata

for two-part soprano choir and organ, 12m

An Easter Cantata

for two-part soprano choir, string orchestra and timpani, 12m

An Easter Cantata

for mezzo-soprano, two-part soprano choir, descant voices and organ, 12m

An Edith Sitwell Song Cycle

for mezzo-soprano, oboe and piano, 14m


for soprano and orchestra


for clarinet and orchestra, 8m


for clarinet and piano, 9m

Auckland '71

ode for male speaker, SATB chorus and orchestra, 12m

Concerto Ballabile

for piano and orchestra

Concerto for Oboe

for oboe and orchestra

Doves of Peace

for piano, 7m

El Tango

for orchestra


for piano, percussion and orchestra

Elegie (Elegy)

for oboe and piano

Five Bagatelles

for piano, 12m

Five Fragments from The Song of Solomon

for female voice and piano

Five Pieces for Orchestra

for orchestra, 12m

Five Pieces for Piano

for piano, 11m

Five Wolfskehl Songs

for baritone and orchestra, 14m

Five Wolfskehl Songs

for baritone and piano, 14m

Four Pieces

for oboe d'amore, strings and harp, 10m

Four Pieces

for oboe d'amore (or oboe) and piano, 6m

Foxtrot from "Coup de Folie"

for piano duet, 3m

Foxtrot from "Coup de Folie"

for 2 pianos - 8 hands, 3m

Gaudeamus Overture

for orchestra, 10m


for piano

In the Rangitaiki Valley

for SSATBB choir

In the Rangitaki Valley

for 2 pianos - 8 hands


for piano

Lord Arthur Saville's Crime

comic opera in one act, 40m

Mardi Gras

for orchestra, 5m

Moderato Amabile

for piano


opera in three acts, 2h 15m

Ngataringa Nocturne and Scherzo

for oboe, oboe d'amore (or cor anglais) and piano

Night Music

scherzo for orchestra, 12m

No. 7

for piano

No. 8

for piano

O Soldier

for mezzo-soprano and viola


for wind octet

Organ Sonata

for organ, 12m

Out of Dark

for mezzo-soprano and piano

Out of Dark

for mezzo-soprano and orchestra, 14m

Pacific Festival Overture

for orchestra, 8m

Piano Concerto No. 1

for piano and orchestra, 20m

Piano Concerto No. 2

concerto for piano and orchestra, 20m

Piano Sonata No. 3

for piano, 13m

Poems for piano and orchestra

for piano and orchestra, 25m

Prelude and Aria

for oboe d'amore (or cor anglais) and piano, 6m 30s


for orchestra, 18m


for piano and string quartet, 12m


for piano

Seven Elizabethan Lyrics

for SATB choir and orchestra, 14m

Seven Elizabethan Lyrics

for SATB choir and piano duet

Seven Mediaeval Lyrics

for SATB choir and orchestra, 19m

Seven Mediaeval Lyrics

for SATB choir and piano duet

Seven Waiheke Lyrics

for SATB choir and piano duet


for small orchestra, 17m

Six Studies

for string orchestra, 13m


for solo violin, 12m


for violin and piano, 17m

Sonata No. 1

for piano, 12m

Sonata No. 2

for piano, 11m


for piano, 8m

Sonatina di maggio

sonata for musette in F or E Flat (or oboe) and piano

Spring Wind in London

for SATB choir

String Quartet No. 1

for string quartet, 14m

Suite No. 1

for two pianos, 10m

Suite No. 2 - Four Dances from Electra

for two pianists and two percussionists

Suite No. 2 - Four Dances from Electra

for two pianos and optional percussion, 9m

Suite No. 3

for two pianos, 7m

Symphony No. 1

for orchestra, 17m

Symphony No. 2 (The Exile)

for orchestra, 34m

Symphony No. 3

for orchestra, 16m

Symphony No. 4

for orchestra, 25m

Taupo - Te Ao Marama (The Eye of the World)

for soprano solo, SATB choir and orchestra, 40m

Te Tau (The Seasons)

for piano, 14m

Te Tau (The Seasons)

for piano and piano duet, 14m

Ten Concert Studies

for piano, 23m

The End of the Golden Weather

for orchestra, 10m

The Four Elements

for two pianos, 12m

The Mayor's New Coat

for orchestra, 24m

The Maze of the Muses

opera in one act

The Ring

for SATB choir

The Sea Child

for SATB choir

The Snowmaiden

for orchestra, 25m

The Snowmaiden

for piano

The Song of Solomon

for vocal soloists, speaker, choir and orchestra, 55m

The Twelve Signs: An Astrological Entertainment

for orchestra (without strings), 28m

The White Notes

for piano

Three Love Songs

for high soprano and piano, 7m

Three Pieces

for cello and piano, 25m

Three Pieces

for bassoon

Three Shakespeare Songs

for mezzo-soprano and piano, 9m

Three Songs from Childhood

for mezzo-soprano and violin, 8m

Trio for Horn, Violin and Piano

for horn, violin and piano, 12m

Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano

for violin, cello and piano

Two Dances

for viola and piano

Two Mansfield Poems

for oboe d'amore (or cor anglais) and piano, 12m

Two Tableaux for Orchestra

for orchestra, 8m


for piano

Voices of the Air!

for SATB choir

Waiheke Island

for oboe consort, 13m

Waikato Song

for choir and orchestra

Waikato Song

for two pianos, soprano, contralto and choir

Winter Bird

for SATB choir

Resources (7)

Canzona 2001 vol 22 no 43

Commentary or analysis

Canzona 2003 vol 24 no 45

Commentary or analysis

Canzona 2004 vol 25 no 46

Commentary or analysis

Crescendo No. 64, April 2003

Commentary or analysis

Crescendo No. 71, August 2005

Commentary or analysis