Michael Norris, Composer

Michael Norris holds composition degrees from Victoria University of Wellington and City University, London, and is currently Senior Lecturer and Programme Director of Composition at the New Zealand School of Music. He is recipient of the 2001 Mozart Fellowship, the 2003 Douglas Lilburn Prize, the 2012 CANZ Trust Fund Award and has been nominated for the SOUNZ Contemporary Award four times, winning it in 2014 with his work Inner Phases for string quartet and Chinese instrument ensemble.

Michael maintains strong links to Austria, Germany and the Asia-Pacific region. He was commissioned by the SWR (Sudwestdeutsche Rundfunk) to write a new chamber orchestra work, Sgraffito, which was premiered at the Donaueschinger Musiktage 2010. He has also had works performed and recorded by the Vienna Saxophonic Orchestra, Pierrot Lunaire Ensemble Wien, Radio Kamer Filharmonie, Ensemble SurPlus, NZSQ, NZTrio, NZSO, Dunedin Symphony Orchestra, Stroma, 175 East, Stephen de Pledge and Michael Houstoun.

Gao Ping, Composer

Gao Ping (高平) is a composer and pianist born in Sichuan province. As a young pianist at the Sichuan Conservatory in Chengdu, Gao Ping was affected by China’s transformation from a collective to a market economy. This transitional phase between old and new - and the productive cultural clash between East and West - left traces that would later be evident in his music.

Gao Ping’s first chamber music release on Naxos was critically acclaimed, and described by a German critic as “music which wants to be heard with ears of a child, full of wonder and amazement…. deep and vulnerable.” His second chamber music album on Naxos was released in 2013.

In his recent works, Gao returns more fully to China as a creative theme. Works such as Piano Quintet “Mei Lan Zhu Ju”(2009) and Four Not-Alike for multi-function pianist and Chinese instruments (2012) reflect the appeal of Gao’s fusing of Western and Eastern idioms, as well as the expanding interest in his compositions dealing with China and its multiple pasts.

Dr. Gao is currently a Professor in Composition at Conservatory of Music - Capital Normal University in Beijing. He also holds a guest professorship at the China Conservatory. He previously taught composition at the School of Music at Canterbury University in Christchurch.