She studied at the University of Auckland from 1959–62, and Victoria University of Wellington in 1963, graduating BMus Hons in 1964. She then studied composition at the University of Sydney with Peter Sculthorpe from 1964–65, graduating MMus in 1966. That same year she attended a composition course given by Peter Maxwell Davies in Adelaide and in 1967 travelled to England to continue studying with him. She worked in London composing and copying music for two years and then with the assistance of a New Zealand Arts Council grant worked in Portugal and Italy from 1969–70. For the next seven years she continued freelance composing, principally based in the UK. From 1978–80 she was Composer in Residence for Northern Arts attached to Newcastle University. In 1981 she returned to Australasia to join the staff of the Composition School at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and was for four years Head of Composition there before taking early retirement in 1996.
She currently divides her time as a free-lance composer between Sydney and Dunedin, New Zealand. In 1999 her opera, Outrageous Fortune won the SOUNZ Contemporary Award and she was honoured with membership to the New Zealand Order of Merit. In 2000 she became one of the inaugural Artist Laureates of the New Zealand Arts Foundation and is now a governor of the organisation. During 2000 and 2001 she was Composer in Residence at the Auckland Philharmonia and her major orchestral work, the improbable ordered dance written during the Residency won the 2001 SOUNZ Contemporary Award.
Gillian Whitehead has written a wide range of music including works for solo, chamber, choral, orchestral and operatic forces, most of them direct commissions from performers and funding organisations. A number of her works have been recorded for commercial release, including a CD of her chamber works by Waiteata Press and a recording of her opera, Outrageous Fortune.
GillianWhitehead is a prolific composer whose steady stream of works span some 40 years and include operas, orchestral works, works for choir and orchestra, vocal and instrumental chamber pieces along with solo works, and works involving improvisation.
In 2005 Gillian has just completed a commission for the New Zealand Trio and is writing a piece for Canada's ERGO ensemble, who will present four pieces of hers in two concerts in Toronto in November, and several performances of Hine-pu-te-hue are taking place in the USA.
Gillian took up her position as Composer-in-residence at Victoria University in July 2005, and is first resident at the Lilburn House in Thorndon, Wellington.
Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Want to know more? Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:
Press Releases |
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m