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Red Contributor

Chris Gendall

Composer, Performer

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Born: 1980


Originally from Hamilton, New Zealand, Chris Gendall studied composition at Victoria University of Wellington before completing a doctoral degree at Cornell University with Roberto Sierra and Steven Stucky. He has participated in a number of festivals and conferences including the Wellesley Composers’ Conference, the Aspen Music Festival, the Britten-Pears Contemporary Composition programme, the Royaumont Voix nouvelles Composition Course, and the Aldeburgh Festival – bringing him in contact with such figures as Magnus Lindberg, Brian Ferneyhough, Mario Davidovsky, Oliver Knussen, and Anders Hillborg. He has held residencies at Orchestra Wellington and at the New Zealand School of Music, and he is the Mozart Fellow at the University of Otago for 2016 and 2017.

In 2016 Chris’ orchestral work Incident Tableaux was premiered in Hanoi, Vietnam during the Asia-Europe New Music Festival and Asian Composers League Festival. In the same year Chris’ Choruses was premiered by the Miyata-Yoshimura-Suzuki Trio.

Chris Gendall’s works have received performances in Europe, Asia, North and South America, from such performers as the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, Stroma, NZTrio, the New Juilliard Ensemble and the New Zealand String Quartet. Select works are published by the Waiteata Music Press, Peer Music Hamburg and Promethean Editions, and recorded on Atoll Records. His work Wax Lyrical was the winner of the 2008 SOUNZ Contemporary Award.

“…the purest musical ecstasy. We were blown away by its swoops and gasps, swarming pizzicato fields and clever effects…” (William Dart on Gravitas, New Zealand Herald, May 2011)

Composed (25)


for solo piano

Blur Circles

for piano solo, 7m


for Shō, recorder and koto, 9m


for solo percussion, 8m

Dulcet Tones

for violin, cello and piano

Eigene Gestalt

for flute, guitar, cello and piano, 6m


for soprano and chamber orchestra


for full orchestra, 8m

Great and Small

for one piano, four hands


for trombone, percussion and piano, 8m 30s

Hand to Hand

for percussion sextet, 8m


for marimba/vibraphone and piano, 7m 50s


An opera in one act, 1h

Incident Tableaux Part One

Excerpted from the opera in one act, 10m


for piano trio, 10m


for trombone quartet


for chamber ensemble

Suite for String Quartet

for string quartet

Sweet Nothing

for clarinet, violin, cello and piano, 9m

The Charm Offensive

for soprano and orchestra

Three Details

for guitar, pre-recorded electronics and 4-8 sustaining instruments

Triple Concerto

for violin, cello, piano and orchestra, 20m


for vocal soloists, SATB choir and piano, 13m

Water Features

for clarinet in B flat, cello and guitar

Wax Lyrical

for chamber octet, 7m