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Red Contributor

Leonie Holmes

Composer, Performer, Presenter

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Born: 1962


Leonie Holmes is an Auckland based composer, writing for orchestra, chamber, choral, vocal and solo instrument. Recent works have been commissioned and/or performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia, BBC singers, ensemble paladino, Aventa Ensemble Canada, Zephyr Wind Quintet, NZ Trio, Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir, Toronto Children’s Choir, Auckland Chamber Orchestra, Estrella Quartet and Jade String Quartet. Her orchestral music has been released on the Atoll CD Solstice, with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marc Taddei. Leonie is currently Senior Lecturer in Composition and Music studies at the School of Music, University of Auckland.

Stemming from her work as Composer-in-Schools in the 1990s, she is also interested in music education and in developing a musical language that will engage and challenge non-professional players. She has written many works for school and community groups and is active as a speaker, adjudicator and teacher at all levels and age groups within the New Zealand music community.

Leonie has been Composer-in-Residence at the Nelson School of Music 1986, Composer-in-Schools 1989, Composer-in-Residence with the Auckland Philharmonia 1997, and Composer-in-Residence with the Manukau Symphony Orchestra in 2005. She was awarded the CANZ Trust Fund for Compositional Development in 1991, a Certificate for Contribution to Music in the Auckland Region from the NZSO and Symphony Friends in 1993, and the Philip Neill Memorial Prize in Composition, University of Otago in 2001. Leonie was a member of the Composers Committee, Centre for New Zealand Music (SOUNZ) 1996-1997, co-ordinator of the Nelson Composers Workshop 2001-2002, and is a member of the Composers Association of New Zealand (CANZ).

Composed (49)

...when expectation ends

for piano trio

A Tedious Brief Scene: Bottom's Dance

for two pianos - eight hands, 6m

Ancient Rhythms

for orchestra, 6m

Aquae Sulis

for orchestra of winds, strings, harp and percussion, 15m

Blues Piece

for two treble instruments and piano, 1m


for brass sextet, 5m


for two flutes and guitar, 6m


for orchestra, 5m


3 pieces for SATB, piano, violin, optional electronic keyboard and percussion, 10m

Fanfare for Manukau

for orchestra, 3m 10s

Fantasia II

for piano, 5m


for two treble instruments and piano, 1m

Flute Quartet

for four flutes, 6m

For Young Nick

for orchestra, 5m 30s

Fragment II

for string quartet, 7m


for orchestra, 9m

Hodie Christus Natus Est

for SATB choir, 4 women soloists and two bongo players, 5m

In the Lair of the Cave Weta

for school orchestra, 5m


for SATB choir and piano, 5m

is there anybody in there?

for flute, bass clarinet and glockenspiel, 30s

is there anybody in there?

for flute, clarinet/bass clarinet, bassoon and piano

Land Pictures

for women's choir and harp

Manukau Suite

for orchestra

Nocturne for Piano

for solo piano, 2m


for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn and string quartet, 8m


for unison voices with keyboard and piano, 2m

Prelude for Strings

for string orchestra, 6m

Recitative II

for viola and percussion, 5m


for wind quintet, 8m

River Stories

for orchestra with narration


suite for youth orchestra, 20m


for string orchestra

Shades of grey

for piano

Shell Song Cycle

for soprano and piano

Shell Song Cycle

for alto (or baritone) and piano, 8m

Silver Whispers

for SATB choir, flute, 2 pianists and 3 percussionists, 21m


for orchestra, 15m

Starting Point

fanfare for orchestra, 3m

Tango Mangle

for orchestra, 5m 30s

The Estuary

for women's voices (SSA) and piano, 5m

The Fourth Station

for solo cello, 4m

The Journey

for SATB choir (with female soloist) and orchestra, 15m

The Wanderer

for SSA choir and piano, 4m

Through Coiled Stillness

for SATB choir, rainstick, finger cymbals, 4m

Where the Tui Sings Three Notes

for mezzo-soprano, baritone, chamber choir, SATB choir, piano, organ and 2 percussion, 7m


for orchestra