Music Teacher Claims First Prize in Composition Contest

Congratulations to Mr Chris Artley for claiming first prize in the 2015 Cincinnati Camerata Composition Contest.

One of New Zealand’s leading choral composers, Chris' works have received worldwide attention from performers including The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra, Graduate Choir of NZ, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Amadeus Choir of Toronto, Lutheran Youth Choir of North America, Metropolitan Chorus of Tokyo, National University of Singapore Choir and Age of Discovery, Auckland.

Chris has won several international composing competitions and had numerous choral pieces published by Helbling Verlag in Austria and Pana Musica in Japan. He is also a fully registered composer with SOUNZ.

He has a classical piano background, but has always enjoyed improvising and playing jazz. He also sings baritone in the Graduate Choir of New Zealand.

Speaking about his winning composition, Qui Creavit Caelum, Chris said:

"Finding an inspiring text is always an important starting for me. I have written a number of choral pieces in Latin and was immediately taken with the text in Qui Creavit Caelum. The natural rhythm and flow of the words, together with their medieval origins, suggested a lilting modal melody.

I experimented with different harmonisations of the melody so that each verse would have its own character. I was also keen to explore different textures, ranging from traditional homophonic, polyphonic, call and response, through to more contemporary effects, such as the layered voice effects in verse 3.

I have written a number of similar choral works such as O Magnum Mysterium, Ave Maria and Agnus Dei, which utilise traditional choral writing, infused with hints of jazz."