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Red Contributor

David Farquhar

Arranger, Composer, Performer

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Born: 1928 Died: 2007


David Farquhar was born in Cambridge, New Zealand in 1928 but spent most of his early years in Fiji. He was educated in New Zealand and began his university studies in Christchurch before completing his degree at Victoria University in Wellington where he studied with Douglas Lilburn. He taught briefly at St Peters School, Cambridge, before going to Britain where he completed an MA at Cambridge University, and also studied composition with Benjamin Frankel at the Guildhall School of Music in London.

On his return to New Zealand he joined the staff of the Department of Music at Victoria University, and was made Professor of Music in 1976, retiring in 1993. He was the Founder-President of the Composers' Association of New Zealand in 1974 and was awarded their Citation for Services to New Zealand Music in 1984. From 1982 - 1995 he was a member of the Board of the New Zealand Composers' Foundation and is a Trustee of the Centre for New Zealand Music. In 2004 he was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to music. He has written numerous orchestral, choral, stage and instrumental works, songs and music for children, and has been recognised since the 1950s as being at the forefront of New Zealand composition.

David Farquhar died in Wellington, New Zealand in 2007.

Composed (185)

...And One Makes Ten

for piano, 10m

A Christmas with Carols

for SATB choir and narrator with organ, 31m

A Christmas with Carols

for SATB choir and narrator and orchestra, 31m

A Joyful Song

for piano

A Little Song-Suite

Three songs for high voice and piano, 8m

A Paire of Wings

For medium voice and piano, 3m

A Sad Song

for piano

A Unicorn For Christmas

an opera in three acts, 2h


for SATB choir, 7m

Anniversary Duets (first set)

for piano duet, 12m

Anniversary Duets (second set)

for piano duet, 13m

Anniversary Duos

for two guitars, 14m

Anniversary Suite No. 1

for orchestra, 15m

Anniversary Suite No. 2

for orchestra, 16m

Ariel's Song

for soprano, treble recorder and piano, 1m

Au clair de la Lune

for violin and piano, 1m


for solo piano with orchestra, 14m


for two pianos, 14m


for wind quintet, 12m

Bachiana No. 2

six chorale preludes from JS Bach's Little Organ book arranged for wind quintet, 10m

Bagpipe Music

for vocal sextet (SSATBB), 5m

Bells in their Seasons

for double choir and orchestra, 25m

Bethsabe's Song

For medium voice and piano, 3m

Beyond ...

for orchestra, 11m

Birthday Fanfare

for two trumpets and two horns, 2m

black, white and coloured: first set

five pieces for solo piano, 12m

black, white and coloured: fourth set

five pieces for piano, 12m

black, white and coloured: second set

five pieces for piano, 12m

black, white and coloured: third set

five pieces for piano, 12m

Blues and Pinks

a cycle of five songs for high voice and guitar, 13m

CANZ Box 4065

for three trumpets, 1m

Carols to Sing and Play

For voice and piano, 30m


for solo cello, 7m


for viola or violin and audience, 5m


for guitar and chamber orchestra, 18m

Concerto for Six

for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, vibraphone and piano, 10m

Concerto for Wind Quintet

for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn, 17m

Concerto Sul "La"

for SATB choir, 4m


for piano, 26m


for piano

Dance Suite from "Ring Round the Moon"

for violin and piano, 19m


microscore for mixed chamber ensemble, 1m


for brass ensemble (11 players), 9m


for piano duet, 9m


for guitar and sitar, 4m


for harmonica and guitar, 5m


for violin and guitar, 5m

earth, air, water...

for solo violin, 5m


for solo violin, 1m


for piano

Echoes and Reflections

for string orchestra, 14m

Eight Blake Songs

for baritone or mezzo-soprano and piano, 15m


for string orchestra, 7m

Enchanted Island

an opera in three acts based on Shakespeare's "The Tempest", 1h 40m

Epithalamion Overture

for string orchestra, 7m


for two cellos, 14m


eight duos for two violins, 13m


for orchestral violins, 8m


for guitar quartet, 8m

Falling Asleep

for medium voice and piano, 3m

Festival Te Deum

for SATB choir and organ, 7m

Finale from "Ring Round the Moon" Suite

arranged for brass quintet, 1m

Five Scenes

for guitar, 11m

Five Shakespeare Songs

for SSA choir, 8m

Five Songs of e e cummings

A cycle of five songs for baritone, 10m


for 5 dancers and 5 instruments, 13m

For Harry

for viola, guitar and double bass, 3m

Four Janet Frame Songs

for medium voice and piano, 11m

Four Socratic Dialogues

duets for 2 guitars (one easy part), 9m

Harlequin Overture

for orchestra, 7m


for piano

Homage to Stravinsky

for 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 2 trumpets and 2 trombones, 7m

Homage to Stravinsky

for brass quintet, 7m

I Sing of a Maiden

carol for unaccompanied SATB choir, 2m

In Black and White

two easy pieces for piano, 2m

In Despite Of Death

A song cycle for baritone and piano, 15m


for piano duet and 2 percussionists, 10m

Jubilate Deo

for trebles voices (or solo soprano), SATB choir and organ, 3m

Lines from the Beach House

for medium voice and piano, 3m


for medium voice and piano, 3m

Magpies and other Birds

For vocal quartet, 8m


for solo clarinet and string orchestra, 4m

March and Musette

for violin and piano, 1m


for orchestra


suite for small orchestra, 15m


for solo guitar, 2m

Noone and Anyone

for vocal sextet, 8m

Now is the Hour

arrangement for wind quintet, 3m

O Captain Cook!

musical based on Giradoux play, 2h

O Come All Ye Faithful

arranged for violin and piano, 1m


three pieces for treble recorder, 6m


for piano, 10m


eight piano pieces, 12m

On the Swag

for unaccompanied SATB choir, 2m


for gamelan, 2m


for flute and tape, 4m


for two equal voices or instruments, 5m


for piano, 7m


for voices, brass, woodwind and percussion

Piano Trio: Woven Strands

for violin, cello and piano, 14m

Polka and Finale from "Ring round the Moon"

arranged for concert band, 3m

Prayer before Birth

for narrator, SSA and organ, 5m

Prelude for Piano

for piano

Prospero Dreaming

for solo guitar, 8m

Psalm 29

for SATB choir and organ, 4m

Reflections on Three Japanese Songs

for string quartet, 3m

Remembrance of Things Past

four Shakespeare sonnets for high voice and piano, 10m

Ring Round the Moon: A Waltz Suite

for string orchestra, 10m

Ring Round the Moon: Dance Suite

for small orchestra, 19m


for violin and piano, 5m


for small orchestra, 2m

Rorate Coeli

for unaccompanied SATB choir, 2m

Scenes and Memories

for violin, piano and percussion, 17m


for orchestra, 10m


for wind quartet, 12m


a one-act opera for soprano, tenor, baritone and bass and ensemble, 35m


for piano

Sing unto the Lord a New Song

for narrator and SATB choir, 5m

Six Songs of Women

For soprano and piano, 16m


six short pieces for solo piano, 12m

Smile My Weeping

For medium voice and piano, 3m


for solo piano, 8m

Spirituals in black and white

for solo piano, 7m


for solo cello, 15m


for solo guitar, 14m

Swan Songs

a song cycle for baritone and guitar, 13m


for piano

Symphony No. 1

for orchestra, 23m

Symphony No. 2

for orchestra, 29m

Take Thou This Rose

For medium voice and piano, 3m

Telephonic 10: Postlude

for piano, 2m

Telephonic12: Fanfares

for piano, 2m


set of nine piano pieces, 16m

The Islands

song cycle for SATB choir, 8m

The King's Aria

for tenor and orchestra

The Leaden Echo and The Golden Echo.

for solo soprano, SATB choir and small orchestra, 13m

The Librarian's Wife

For medium voice and piano, 3m

The Score

21 songs for voices and piano with optional instrumental parts, 2m

The Uses of Adversity

a chamber opera, 15m

Three Bagatelles

for piano, 7m

Three Canonic Bagatelles

for piano, 1m

Three Children's Songs

For unison voices and piano, 6m

Three Cilla McQueen Songs

for mezzo-soprano and piano, 10m

Three Echoes

for piano, 6m

Three for Two

three pieces for clarinet with guitar, 10m

Three Horn Duos

for 2 french horns, 4m

Three Improvisations

for piano, 6m

Three Lullabies

for piano, 6m

Three Medieval Carols

for soprano and piano, 12m

Three Nursery Rhymes

for unaccompanied SATB choir, 4m

Three of a Kind

nursery rhymes arr. for SATB choir, 5m

Three Pieces

for solo double bass, 10m

Three Pieces for Violin and Piano

for violin and piano, 12m

Three Scots Ballads

song cycle for baritone and orchestra, 10m

Three Scots Ballads

for baritone and piano, 11m

Three Studies

for piano, 7m

Three Tudor Dances

for small orchestra, 6m

Twelve Traditionals

twelve traditional songs with no-too-hard piano versions, 2m


for trumpet and piano, 2m

Waiata Maori

for SATB choir, 10m

Walking on my Feet

for voices, instruments and piano, 2m

Where have all the whitebait gone?

a song for children, 2m

Why not?

for unison voices (with optional extra voices) and piano (or guitar), 2m

Wild Iron

a sprechstimme for children with classroom percussion, 2m

Wild Iron

for medium voice and piano, 3m

Winter wakeneth all my Care

for unaccompanied SATB, 2m

Writing on the Sand

for mezzo-soprano and violin, 9m

Arranged (1)

Desdemona's Song

arranged by David Farquhar for solo guitar from Lilburn's music for " The poor soul sat sighing by a sycamore tree.." composed for Ngaio Marsh's production of Shakespeare's "Othello", 1m