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Red Contributor

Sarah Ballard

Composer, Performer

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Born: 1989


Sarah Ballard completed her Masters with first-class Honours in Composition in 2013 under the tutelage of Honorary Associate Professor John Elmsly and Dr Leonie Holmes at the University of Auckland. Her works have been performed by ensembles such as the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the NZSO-National Youth Orchestra, The Karlheinz Company, Stroma and The Avanti! Ensemble.

During her studies, Sarah was the winner of the 2012 Llewelyn Jones Piano Prize and the 2012 Douglas Lilburn Trust Award. She was also the winner of the NZSO Todd Young Composers Award in the same year, of which she was also a finalist in 2011 and 2013. Sarah was appointed the NZSO-National Youth Orchestra’s Composer-in-Residence for their summer 2013 season and their mid-year season in 2014. In 2015 Sarah was the recipient of the APRA Professional Development Award. This award assisted her with a compositional opportunity in Finland and helped to facilitate further studies in Wellington.

In 2015 Sarah had a work performed by the Avanti! Ensemble (Finland) in their Summer Sounds festival. As part of this opportunity, she also attended workshops taken by Jukka Tiensuu, Tomi Räisänen and Magnus Lindberg. Sarah is a committee member of the Composers Association of New Zealand and attended the 2015 Asian Composers League festival in the Philippines as chief delegate and as a programmed composer.

Sarah is currently interested in the use of timbral processes to generate musical form and will develop her methods and philosophy further through postgraduate study with Michael Norris in 2016 at the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington.

Composed (12)


for mezzo-soprano, cor anglais, bassoon, viola and cello, 4m 30s

Bitter Hill

for orchestra

felsic mafic

for chamber septet, 6m 30s


for alto flute, harp, violin, viola and cello, 4m


for orchestra, 6m 30s


for orchestra and improvising vocalist

street: noise: graffiti

for orchestra


for orchestra, 13m 30s

The Wind in a frolic

for chamber orchestra and improvising vocalist

Two Pieces

for two pianos, eight hands


for soprano saxophone, electric guitar, percussion and piano

Recordings (1)

Estrella: Tui - CD


Performances (1)

Stroma - VOX FEM

A concert of dynamic and diverse new works by women from New Zealand and Australia, celebrating 1...