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Sarah Ballard


Born: 1989


Sarah Ballard is a New Zealand composer based in Wellington. Her works have been performed by ensembles such as the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, the Karlheinz Company, Stroma, Avanti! Chamber Orchestra (Finland) and Ensemble Nikel (Israel). Her work explores the use of timbral processes to generate form and most recently draws inspiration from timeless Vedic concepts.

Sarah was the 2012 winner of the NZSO Todd Young Composer Award and in 2014 she was the National Youth Orchestra of New Zealand Composer in Residence. In 2015 Sarah took part in the Avanti! Ensemble Summer Sounds festival where she attended workshops taken by Jukka Tiensuu, Tomi Räisänen and Magnus Lindberg.

As a bhakti yoga practitioner, Sarah regularly performs kirtana at Wellington’s Bhakti Lounge centre with karatalas, harmonium and voice. Her love of this ancient art form influenced her most recent work Paramātmā, which sets texts from the prime yoga text the Bhagavad Gītā. This work was written for the Wellington-based Stroma ensemble and a quartet of practitioners performing with karatalas, harmonium, voice and bansuri.

Sarah is currently completing a DMA in music composition at Victoria University of Wellington under the tutelage of Michael Norris. She completed a Masters in 2013 at the University of Auckland, studying with John Elmsly and Leonie Holmes.

Composed (13)


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 chamber ensemble, 14m


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 (3)

Stroma - VOX FEM

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

NZTrio | Origins

__Beethoven__ | Ghost Trio __Mark Anthony Turnage__ | A Fast Stomp __Sarah Ballard__ | Prem...

NZTrio | Origins

__Beethoven__ | Ghost Trio __Mark Anthony Turnage__ | A Fast Stomp __Sarah Ballard__ | Prem...