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Celeste Oram


Born: 1990


Celeste Oram (b. 1990) is a New Zealand composer who was born in Manhattan, learned to walk and talk in London, grew up in Auckland, and is presently based in Southern California.

Celeste's scored works investigate new media and strategies for musical notation: namely, video and audio scores. These works have been performed and recorded by ensembles including the Callithumpian Consort (Boston), wasteLAnd (Los Angeles), the Karlheinz Company (Auckland), the Intrepid Music Project (Auckland), and Three Shades Black (Melbourne), and presented at festivals including SICPP at the New England Conservatory, the soundSCAPE festival in Maccagno, Italy, and the Melbourne Fringe Festival.

Older works for standard forces and notation have been performed and recorded by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Song Company (Sydney). Celeste was the Auckland Philharmonia’s ‘Rising Star’ young composer-in-residence for 2013-14; her commissioned orchestral work macropsia was selected as a finalist in the 2014 SOUNZ Contemporary Award for excellence in New Zealand contemporary composition.

Another avenue of work is non-instrumental performance with audio and visual media; Celeste performed her solo piece O I at the 2016 Darmstadt Summer Courses for New Music in Germany and was awarded the Kranichstein Prize for composition.

A third ongoing project is the renovation of histories of New Zealand music and sonic cultures. At present, this revolves around research into early 20th-century ham radio activity, and the figure of Vera Wyse Munro (1897-1966). This project is rapidly snowballing into an obsession with building re-creations of early radio circuits.

Celeste is currently pursuing a PhD in music composition at the University of California San Diego, where she completed an MA in 2016. She completed a BMusBA with first-class Honours at the University of Auckland in 2012, studying with Eve de Castro-Robinson, John Elmsly, and Leonie Holmes.

Composed (16)


for solo piano

8 x ∞

for mixed octet and fixed 8-channel audio, 11m


a pas-de-trois for cello, cellist, and dancer, 13m


for orchestra

mirror #1

a moving score for at least one each of violin, viola, cello, and double bass, 7m 30s

mirror #2

a moving score for solo violin or viola, 4m 40s

Mirror and Echo

for violin, viola and percussion

Out of the Unreal Shadows

for orchestra, 4m 45s


for chamber ensemble

rupture | rapture

for voice and percussion, with live video, 8m

Televisionmann (Gulliver's Travels)

for violin and live video

The Naming of Waters

for violin, cello and piano

The Young People's Guide to the Orchestra

for orchestra and battery-powered FM radios.

third person

a video score


for electric guitar, piano and marimba, with fixed AV media, 8m

Performances (4)

NZTrio | Twine

Featuring Ashley Brown (cello) with guest musicians Amalia Hall (violin) and Somi Kim (piano). ...

NZTrio | Twinepieces

Featuring Ashley Brown (cello) with guest musicians Amalia Hall (violin) and Somi Kim (piano). ...

STROMA | Voices of the World

A rich collection of works inspired by non-Western musical traditions from around the world, incl...

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

__This event has been postponed. We will update this page when more information is available.__ ...