Category Archives: News

Official Announcements

Mallet – for Liam Mallet

Liam Mallet

Liam Mallet

Liam Mallet, a kiwi flautist based in Germany, commissioned a new work for his tour of the North Island in 2012.  He performed in in Hamilton, Kerikeri, Whangarei and Auckland in August 2012. I wrote him a percussive and technical work for solo flute titled Mallet. Here is an excerpt from the score.

MSO Concertino

I’m sorry that this post is six months late. I have some pictures from rehearsal and the Town Hall concert. Also, the review from the New Zealand Herald.

“Robin Toan’s Concertino, another MSO commission, has also been cleverly written to cater to orchestral strengths. There was an attractive mix between a quartet of spruce woodwind soloists (Melody Lin, Joy Liu, Julia Cornfield and Philip Sumner) and the players around them. Splashes of percussion with sprightly lines darting every which way revealed Toan’s expertise with an orchestral canvas.” -William Dart, NZ Herald review

Dress rehearsal at the Town Hall.

On stage to take a bow after the performance at the Town Hall.

At rehearsal in Manukau.

Ensemble Selisih

William Dart reviewed the Auckland concert. Here is what he said about my composition, Twitter,  in the NZ Herald on August 10th. “Robin Toan’s Twitter took to the great outdoors. Who might have thought walking the dog in a bird-filled park would occasion such invention?” To read the rest of the review follow this link.

Robin and Daniela

With Daniela Wahler

Robin and Liz

With Elizabeth Farrell

Robin and dieter

With Dieter Mack

Christchurch Symphony Concert

Christchurch Symphony The Christchurch Symphony Orchestra on May 2nd in the Christchurch Town Hall.

They performed the Schumann Piano Concerto Op. 54 in a minor with French pianist Emmanuel Despax,  Rautavaara’s Cantus Arcticus and Beethoven’s Symphony No 6 The Pastoral and Island of Wine by Robin Toan. They were conducted by Tom Wood.

Robin outside the Town Hall

Witch Scarers chosen for NZSO/SOUNZ readings

My latest composition written in at the end of 2007, Witch Scarers, has been selected for the May session of the 2008 NZSO/SOUNZ readings. Witch Scarers is about Antonio Gaudi’s chimneys on Casa Mila (La Pedrera), in Barcelona. The apartment building was built between 1906 and 1910 and the roof contained chimneys and air ducts that were so eerie that they were nicknamed espantabruxes (witch-scarers).

I’m really looking forward to spending a couple of days in Wellington listening to new works and meeting with lots of musical people!

Edwin Carr Foundation Scholarship

FANTASTIC NEWS!! I have just won the $20,000 Edwin Carr Foundation Scholarship. I’ve been sitting on this information in secrecy for weeks – now I can finally tell you all :) I was flown down to Wellington today to attend the official presentation at the Creative New Zealand Offices. Tony Carr (Edwin’s younger brother) flew over from Australia to present the scholarship. I made a little speech and played two of my pieces. ‘pizzicato’ from my String Quartet and Tu-mata-uenga “God of War, Spirit of Man” for Orchestra. I am going to use this scholarship to extend the overseas study I had planned with my APRA PD Award. I initially intended on spending 6 weeks visiting composers in the UK and Germany. I will now base myself in Europe for about 7 months to further develop my composing and to attend summer music festivals. I will post more details soon! – I also want to thank Rose, Mairead and Ruth at CreativeNZ for organising a great event. Click here to see a picture of me with Tony Carr, the brother of Edwin Carr and a trustee of the Edwin Carr Foundation, and Creative New Zealand Chief Executive Stephen Wainwright at the presentation in Wellington.

Asia Pacific Festival 2007 Young Composers Competition

–Breaking News—Breaking News–

I’ve just found out that my entry, Le Marteau du Destin has been selected as the New Zealand entry in the Asia Pacific Festival 2007 Young Composers Competition. The Festival runs from the 8th-16th of February in Wellington. Each country participating in the festival may enter one piece in this category. I will get flown down to Wellington for the duration of the festival by CANZ and ACL will provide me with accommodation, breakfast and lunch. An early version of this composition was played at the Nelson Composers Workshop in 2004. Some of you may have heard it then. For those of you who don’t know this piece. It’s for seven instruments; voice, clarinet/bass clarinet, trumpet, violin, cello, percussion and piano. I have set five Japanese Haiku to music. The first movement is based on a Haiku by Issa and goes like this… Before this autumn wind Even the shadows of mountains Shudder and tremble I’m currently inputting the score onto Sibelius so that I can make easy to read parts. Originally the score was hand written and graphically notated and it made things a bit chancy in performance!! For more information about the Festival and Young Composers Competition follow the link to the CANZ website at the bottom the page.

SOUNZ Community Commission – 2006 recipient

I’ve just been informed that I am the 2006 recipient of the SOUNZ Community Commission! I will be writing a fanfare for the Manukau City Symphony Orchestra to play in 2007. It will be a really exciting piece with strong cultural themes – I’ll be asking the orchestra to chant, use their instruments in extreme ways and all sorts of other crazy things. But, but, but… I really want it to be enjoyable for the audience and players too. Challenging…
Click here to read an article about it on the SOUNZ website.

New Zealand/France-Friendship Fund to PARIS

It’s official! Vanessa Tam, Charmian Keay and I are off to Paris on November the 20th with the help of the New Zealand/France-Friendship Fund. We are putting on a concert on December the 7th at the Cité Universitaire with a new string orchestra, Orchestre 2021 which will be conducted by Elizabeth Askren. She is Attachée Culturelle at the United States Foundation in Paris. I will be writing a fifteen minute work for String Orchestra over the next couple of months for the concert. Vanessa and Charmian will be playing their violins in the concert. They will also be doing some informal chamber music with Nigel Keay’s String Quartet during our 18 days there. I’m so excited!!