2011 marked the 70th birthday of Dame Gillian Karawe Whitehead, one of our most distinctive composers, with a body of work that ranges from solo pieces, chamber music and songs to choral and orchestral works, opera, and cross-cultural collaborations, including most notably the taonga puoro (Maori traditional instruments).
She is also one of our most travelled composers, from beginnings in Whangarei, to study in Auckland and Sydney and then going on to base herself for 15 years in Europe and the UK. She returned to this side of the world to take up a post at the Sydney Conservatory, ending up as head of composition there.
And finally she returned to NZ in the mid-90s, holding numerous residencies and positions including President of CANZ (the Composers’ Association of NZ). Gillian Whitehead is also a governor of the Arts Foundation after having been one of their inaugural Artist Laureates, and she was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2008.
WHITEHEAD: Moon tides and Shoreline – Waiteata WTA003
WHITEHEAD: Missa Brevis - Waiteata WTA003
WHITEHEAD: Fantasia on 3 notes - Kiwi SLD 19
WHITEHEAD: Tristan and Iseult - RNZ
WHITEHEAD: Stump, from Camelot – ISBN 978-1-877577-04-8
WHITEHEAD: River, from Camelot – ISBN 978-1-877577-04-8
WHITEHEAD: Resurgences - RNZC
WHITEHEAD: Napier’s Bones - RNZ
WHITEHEAD: Hine Raukatauri - Atoll ACD 107
WHITEHEAD: Taiohi Taiao - Trust MMT 2065
WHITEHEAD: Bright Silence - Waiteata WTA 011
WHITEHEAD: The Improbable Ordered Dance - RNZ