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Lyell Cresswell

Arranger, Composer, Performer

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Born: 1944

Biography

Lyell Cresswell was born in Wellington, New Zealand, on 13 October 1944. He studied in Wellington, Toronto, Aberdeen and Utrecht. After some teaching at Glasgow University he joined Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff as Music Organiser (1978–80). He returned to Scotland as Forman Fellow in Composition at Edinburgh University until 1982 and spent the next three years as Cramb Fellow in Composition at Glasgow University. In 1978 he won the Ian Whyte Award for the Orchestral work Salm, and in 1979 received the APRA Silver Scroll for his contribution to New Zealand music. His works have been recommended by the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers in 1979, 1981 and 1988. Since 1985 he has been a full-time composer based in Edinburgh.

He was artistic director of the Edinburgh Contemporary Arts Trust’s New Zealand, New Music festivals in Edinburgh (1998 and 2001). In 2001 he received a prestigious Scottish Arts Council ‘Creative Scotland Award’. In 2002 he was awarded an honorary D.Mus degree by Victoria University of Wellington, and the inaugural Elgar Bursary. He was 2006/07 New Zealand School of Music/Creative New Zealand Composer in Residence in Wellington. In 2011 he was given the SOUNZ Contemporary Award for his first Piano Concerto and in 2016 was a recipient of an Arts Foundation Laureate Award.

Lyell Cresswell’s music is widely performed. He has been a featured composer at many festivals around the world and in New Zealand. These include the BBC Proms, for which Dragspil, concerto for accordion, was commissioned in 1995. His works include a cello concerto (1984), commissioned by Musica Nova, Ylur (1991), commissioned for the St. Magnus Festival, Concerto for Orchestra and String Quartet (1996), commissioned by the City of Aberdeen, Kaea, trombone concerto (1997), The Voice Inside (concerto for violin, soprano and orchestra) (2001), commissioned by the BBC, Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (No.1) (2010) commissioned by Jack Richards, The Clock Stops (2013) a song-cycle with texts by Fiona Farrell, commissioned by the NZSO, Llanto – Clarinet Concerto (2016) commissioned by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 2 – Ach wie flüchtig, ach wie nichtig (2017) commissioned by Michael Houstoun.


Composed (113)

A Modern Ecstasy

for baritone, mezzo-soprano and orchestra, 45m


Acquerello

for piano, 5m


Alas! How Swift

for trumpet and orchestra


Anake

for flute, 13m


And Every Sparkle Shivering

for piano quintet, 21m


Apteryx

for piano, 2m


Ara Kopikopiko

for orchestra, 22m


Atta

for cello, 20m


Bisbigliando

for harpsichord, 6m


Body Music

a suite of 10 graphic scores


Canterbury Rhymes

for mezzo-soprano and orchestra, 35m


Canzone

for trombone and organ, 14m


Capricci

for string quartet


Cello Concerto

for cello and orchestra, 30m


Chiaroscuro

for piano, 6m


Con Fuoco

for twelve-piece chamber ensemble, 9m


Concerto for Orchestra and String Quartet

for orchestra and string quartet, 25m


Concerto for Piano and Orchestra

for piano and orchestra, 30m


Concerto for Piano and Orchestra arr. by The Heavy Metal Ninjas

The Heavy Metal Ninjas' arrangement for the 2011 Silver Scroll Awards


Dancing on a Volcano

for orchestra, 12m


Das Lied von dem Fisch

for soprano and piano


De Musica

for SATB choir and orchestra, 6m


Die Zaubertuba

for four tubas, 5m


Dragspil

for accordion and orchestra, 29m


Ear Music

visual music, to be seen but not heard


Eight Shaker Songs

for soprano and piano, 15m


Eye Music

(visual music) for solo flute; free duration


Feet

for trombone, hard soled shoes and tape


Fogli Rugginosi

for wind quintet, cello and double bass, 10m


Four Sentimental Songs

for soprano, piano and a bag of wooden clothes pegs, 7m


Fragments of Existence Withdrawn from Time

for trumpet, violin and synthesiser, 11m


Good Angel, Bad Angel

chamber opera for three singers and four players, 1h


Hammers, Levers and Strings

for 2 pianos - 8 hands, 10m


Hocket

for bass clarinet and tape delay system, 9m


I paesaggi dell'anima

for string orchestra


I sveikata-sonata

for solo percussion


Il Suono di Enormi Distanze

for mezzo-soprano and chamber ensemble, 25m


Impasto

for piano, 4m 18s


Inventions

for new violin octet, 16m


Ixion

for orchestra, 11m


Kaea

for trombone and orchestra, 20m


Kotetetete

for string quartet


Lacrimae

for cello, 4m


Le Sucre du Printemps

for 6 bass clarinets and 3 contrabass clarinets, 13m


Llanto

for clarinet and chamber orchestra, 17m 30s


Major Ricketts

for brass band, 4m


Mezzotinto

for piano


Moto Perpetuo

for piano trio


Music for Strings with Horns

for chamber orchestra


Nose Music

(visual music) for any players; free duration


Nursery Chairs

for voice and piano, 5m


O Let The Fire Burn

for SSAATTBB choir and shouter, 15m


O!

for orchestra, 16m


Octaves of Radiation

for chamber ensemble, 19m


Of Smoke and Bickering Flame

concerto for chamber orchestra, 25m


Of Whirlwind Underground

for mixed chamber quintet, 18m


Opuscule

for double bass and woodblock, 7m


Organic Music

for 3 groups of players, 10m


Passacaglia

for chamber ensemble, 20m


Pater Columba

for SATB choir and wind septet, 10m


Pianto - In memoria di Roger Cresswell

for horn and string orchestra, 7m


Prayer to Appease the Spirit of the Land

for soprano and recorder, 2m


Ricercari

for violin and cello, 15m


Salm

for orchestra, 20m


Seven Shaker Songs

for baritone and piano, 15m


Sextet

for brass sextet, 20m


Shadows without Sun

for chamber orchestra, mezzo-soprano and narrator


Six Haiku

for voice and piano, 3m


Six Poems by Amy Lowell

for soprano and piano, 6m


Snatches, from Baptized Generations

for tenor and piano, 15m


Soliloquy on a Lambent Tailpiece

for clarinet, violin and double bass, 8m


Speak for Us, Great Sea

for orchestra, 17m


String Quartet

for string quartet, 20m


Taking a Line for a Walk

for tape, 10m


The Belly of the Whale

for SATB choir, 4m


The Clock Stops

for baritone and orchestra


The Fallen Dog

for baritone and orchestra, 25m


The Harp Sang

for voice and pedal harp, 8m 30s


The Heavenly Aeroplane

for soprano, clarinet, violin, viola and violoncello, 4m


The Kauri Tree and the Whale

for orchestra, 12m


The Magical Wooden Head

for orchestra, 18m


The Money Man

opera, 25m


The Perfect Woman

chamber opera for mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone and chamber orchestra, 15m


The Pot of Basil

for SATB choir, 2 violins, 2 violas and 2 cellos, 20m


The Pumpkin Massacre

for strings, 12m


The Rev. Norman McLeod's Dance

for chamber orchestra, 3m


The Silver Pipes Of Ur

for wind quartet, 16m


The Slaughter of the Innocents

for school choir and variable instruments, 22m


The Urim And The Thummim

for organ, 13m


The Voice Inside

for violin, soprano and orchestra, 23m


Three Songs

for soprano and piano, 6m


Three Sousa Marches

for nonet of wind, brass and double bass, 10m


Throat Musik

graphic score


To Aspro Pano Sto Aspro

for choir, 20m


Tre Canti

for soprano and piano, 6m 16s


Trio for Clarinet, Violin and Piano

for clarinet, violin, and piano


Triple Concerto

for violin, cello, piano and orchestra, 26m


Triptych

for clarinet and piano, 9m


Variations on a Theme by Charles Ives

for flute and cello, 12m


Violin Concerto

for violin and orchestra, 12m


Voices of Ocean Winds

for SSAATTBB choir and orchestra, 38m


Whira

for violin, 14m


White Relief

for piano, 3m 34s


Words for Music

for mezzo-soprano, 4m


Ylur

for orchestra, 27m



Arranged (1)

Three Sousa Marches

for nonet of wind, brass and double bass, 10m



Resources (25)

Canzona September 1979 vol 1 no 1

Commentary or analysis


Canzona Winter 1989 vol 12 no 32

Commentary or analysis