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Alex Taylor


Born: 1988


Alex Taylor (b. 1988) is a composer and musician based in Auckland, New Zealand. His works have been commissioned and performed by prominent artists and ensembles, including the NZSO, Enso Quartet, NZTrio, the Taipei Chamber Singers, and the New Zealand Youth Choir. He has received a number of awards, including the 2012 SOUNZ Contemporary Award for his orchestral work [inner], the 2013 CANZ Trust Fund Award, and in 2016 an Arts Foundation New Generation Award. He has held residencies with the Caselberg Trust, the Auckland Youth Orchestra, and the National Youth Orchestra of New Zealand, and was a Composition Fellow of the 2017 Tanglewood Music Center.

As well as composing, Alex is a multi-instrumentalist, poet, critic, lecturer, conductor and impresario. He has written about music for the Pantograph Punch, Radio New Zealand, and his occasional music blog 'the listener', and has taught at Unitec and the University of Auckland. He directs the Intrepid Music Project and co-directs the hear|say performance group with Eve de Castro-Robinson. He has performed across a range of vocal and instrumental genres, including as lead vocalist for the Blackbird Ensemble, as a key performer and collaborator of Celeste Oram's 'Tautitotito', and as the Sorceress in his own recomposition of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with Frances Moore’s Unstuck Opera. After studying English Literature and Music, Alex completed a Masters in Composition with First Class Honours under the supervision of Eve de Castro-Robinson and John Elmsly in 2011. He co-convened the 2014 and 2015 Nelson Composers Workshops and has served on the committee of the Composers Association of New Zealand since 2013.

Alex’s output includes works for orchestra, chamber music, songs, opera, music for theatre, and three concerti, for flute, bassoon and horn. He writes regularly for school and community groups, and a number of ensembles have won Best Performance of a New Zealand Work at the KBB Music Festival in Auckland performing his works. Alex's piano trio burlesques mecaniques is featured on NZTrio’s 2015 CD release, Lightbox. His work for double bass septet 'Descent' was premiered by the Bass Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center in July 2018.

Composed (58)


for piano, 5m


a mini viola concerto, 6m

[inner] arr. by Rhian Sheehan

Rhian Sheehan's arrangement for the 2012 Silver Scroll Awards

a coincidence of surfaces

for string quartet or octet

a summoning

for concert band, 4m

an autumn cutting

for solo viola


brass fanfare, 2m 30s


for actor and orchestra, 9m

Bassoon Concerto

for bassoon and chamber orchestra


for orchestra, 8m

burlesques mécaniques

ten miniatures for piano trio, 11m


for solo piano, 10m


work for vocalising clarinetist, 9m 30s


for double bass ensemble, 11m

eight miniatures for piano

for solo piano, 7m

eight pieces for wind quartet

for wind quartet, 9m


four movements for orchestra, 18m

fiend lyric

for solo viola, 5m


for mixed chamber sextet, 7m

Flute Concerto

for solo flute and chamber orchestra, 24m

four abstracts

for mixed chamber quintet, 11m

four landscapes

for string quartet, 11m

Four Little Pieces

for cello and piano, 4m


for orchestra


for solo viola, 9m

half patterns

for E flat clarinet and piano

Horn Concerto: hydraulic fracture

for horn and orchestra, 11m

loose knots

for bassoon


for bass clarinet, 7m


for two clarinets, 7m 30s


for chamber choir, piano and percussion, 5m

nine bagatelles

for bass clarinet and cello, 7m

Noughts and Crosses

for orchestra, 7m 45s

Old Threads

for violin and viola, 5m

quasi concertino

for bassoon and string trio


for string quartet, 12m

Resistance Study

for two flutes, 4m 30s

Sea Rose 1

for soprano and piano, 2m

seven bagatelles

for B flat clarinet, bassoon and piano, 9m

silk / gravel

for string orchestra, 8m

six pieces for orchestra

for orchestra, 7m

small loop

a miniature for violin, viola and bass clarinet, 40s


for soprano and piano, 3m 30s

study of two pears

a song cycle for mezzo-soprano and chamber ensemble, 17m

thirteen ways of looking at a blackbird

a song cycle for countertenor, clarinet in B flat, 2 violins, viola and cello, 20m

Three Arches

for drumset, 10m

Three Endings

for violin and piano, 8m

Three Preparations

for three violins

three songs of iain sharp

for baritone and piano

Tiaho Mai

for soprano and string orchestra

two movements

for bass clarinet and viola, 5m

two years later

for 12-part male voice choir, 4m


for solo piano, 1m


for solo trumpet, 10m

Whakapiri mai

for gospel choir and orchestra, 8m


for string orchestra, 5m

Arranged (1)

R. Strauss: Four Lieder, arr. Taylor

arranged for violin, cello, piano and tenor by Alex Taylor

Resources (21)

Performances (4)

NZTrio | Exotica

Enjoy a myriad of single movements, like a tasting platter full of vibrant, piquant music from Sp...

Auckland Chamber Orchestra - 'Turakirae'

Ben Hoadley | Turakirae for solo clarinet & orchestra [WORLD PREMIERE] Alex Taylor | Flute...

Orchestra Wellington | Pictures at an Exhibition

With a full orchestra and custom-made painting robot, composer __Alex Taylor__ and artist Simon I...

Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra | Ludwig Reflected #3 (Beethoven 250)

__Paula Morris__ | Guest Speaker __Sophia Yang__ | Soprano __Sid Chand__ | Tenor __Arth...