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SOUNZ Commission for Orchestra

Posted February 15th, 2023

Te Tono Mahinga a SOUNZ mā te Rāngai Puoro me te Rāngai Puoro Taiohi a Sistema SOUNZ Commission for Orchestra and Sistema Youth Orchestra

SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music in collaboration with Orchestra Wellington and Arohanui Strings – Sistema.

In October 2023 Orchestra Wellington and Arohanui Strings will be performing together at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington. This commission is an opportunity for a composer to create a work of up to 4-5 minutes featuring the combined forces of Orchestra Wellington and Arohanui Strings. The resulting work will need to have separate parts at an appropriate level for Arohanui Strings.

Arohanui Strings is a Sistema-inspired music education programme based in Lower Hutt. The selected composer is expected to work closely with the group throughout the rehearsal process.

Nau mai, tono mai!

Call for proposals

We welcome proposals for the commission from Aotearoa New Zealand composers. We encourage all experience levels and backgrounds to apply, and proposals for compositions can include traditional melodies and musical forms. The proposals should be emailed to by 5pm Monday 3 April 2023.

All applications will be forwarded to a panel facilitated by SOUNZ, and the winning proposal will be announced in mid-April 2023.


• The composer must have an interest in musical pedagogy and writing for beginner players.

• The work should be no more than 4-5 minutes in length • The available instrumentation for Orchestra Wellington is approximately: Please note that the woodwind will not be doubling for this concert.

• Arohanui Strings is a full string orchestra (violin 1 & 2, viola, cello, bass) which follows the Sistema initiative. The actual numbers for each section are unspecified.

• Arohanui Strings parts should be up to grade 4-5 level

• The composer must visit and work with Arohanui Strings to establish an appropriate level for the players

• The deadline for the score and parts is 5pm on Monday 10 July 2023.

• The performance will be on Saturday 7 October 2023, at the Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington.

The composer will receive a commission fee of $2,000 and this will be split into two payments of $1,000 each – the first of which will be paid upon the awarding of the commission, and the final payment of $1,000 will be paid upon successful completion of the commission and delivery of all scores and parts by the due date. The composer will also receive one return airfare to Wellington from within New Zealand to attend a workshop with Arohanui Strings.

NB. There will be no additional reimbursement for travel and/or accommodation expenses.

The attached form must be accompanied with your application, which should include:

• a biography and CV of the composer

• a proposal for the commission, including an indication of how the composer intends to create a work which integrates the forces of Orchestra Wellington and Arohanui Strings

• an outline of how the composer will work with Arohanui Strings to compose a work which is at an appropriate level for the string orchestra, and which will integrate with Orchestra Wellington.

Composers are welcome to contact SOUNZ for further information in relation to this project at