TVNZ’s arts programme visits the 6th annual Young Composers Workshop held at the Nelson School of Music (May, 1987). It allows 20 promising young composers to hear their music performed and to compare notes with their peers — an opportunity that wasn’t available two decades earlier for budding composers like workshop organiser Ross Harris. Solo instrumental works, ensemble pieces and electronic music are featured — with inspiration found in everything from poems by James K Baxter and Sylvia Plath to slipping and falling while walking down a hill.
I completed a Bachelor of Music at Canterbury without hearing any of my music played at all and that made me feel very insecure about being a composer. I really didn’t really know whether I could even consider myself to be one.– Workshop organiser Ross Harris on being a young composer 20 years earlier