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Anthony Ritchie profile photo

Professor and Head of the School of Performing Arts
MusB(Hons) PhD(Canterbury)
Joined the staff in 2002

Tel +64 3 479 8881

Anthony is an internationally respected classical composer who takes much of his inspiration from Aotearoa/New Zealand's history and wildlife. His music aims to connect emotionally with listeners while exploring innovative ideas and approaches.

More about Anthony's creative and research interests


Composition papers

Composition qualifications

Other papers

Background including creative and research interests

A prolific, adventurous composer, Anthony has composed pieces for a range of performers and situations – from small chamber groups, to choirs, to symphony orchestras.

Commissioned compositions include concertos for violin, viola, flute, guitar and euphonium, five symphonies, chamber music, and six operas.

His work has been performed by renowned ensembles such as The Ulster Orchestra and The Takacs Quartet, and soloists such as Bella Hristova and Alexa Still.

Since 2005 twelve albums of his music have been released, including his Symphony No.5 Childhood.

A few recent compositions

  • Symphony No.5 Childhood was written for The Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, to celebrate the re-opening of the earthquake-stricken Christchurch Town Hall. It uses childhood as a metaphor for regeneration, and creates sound images related to childhood – the sound of pots and pans for example!
    Listen to the symphony
  • Gallipolli to the Somme, for soprano, bass, choir and orchestra, aims to make a humanist statement about ordinary peoples' experience of World War I. Soldiers, nurses, lovers, and children from different nationalities are represented through diary entries, poems, traditional texts and songs, and even a military plan of battle. Gallipolli to the Somme was performed in Oxford and London in 2018, during WW1 commemorations. It was voted New Zealand's most popular classical music recording in the 2020 RNZ Concert programme 'Settling the Score', the first time a New Zealand piece had achieved this.
    Watch the video
  • Piano Trio Childhood was composed for the New Zealand Trio, and is based around the idea of a naïve style of music, informed by childhood memories as well as adult perceptions of childhood.
    Watch the video

SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music features a comprehensive collection of Anthony's works

Anthony's personal website

Anthony is committed to sharing his knowledge and expertise through his teaching and mentoring. He was Composer Mentor for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Todd Young Composers Awards on two occasions, is a regular judge for The Big Sing, and organiser of the Lilburn Trust Student Composers Competition. He has also mentored young composers at the annual Nelson Composers Workshop. Successful composers and conductors Anthony has mentored include Michael Norris, Tecwyn Evans, Holly Mathieson, Ryan Youens and Joshua Romero.

Postgraduate research supervision

Areas of research supervision:

  • Composition
  • 20th century music
  • New Zealand music

A selection of student supervisions

  • “Composing for Synthesizers in a Western Art Music Setting”, Alex Campbell-Hunt, Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)
  • “Dispelling the Myths of the Brass Wind Embouchure: Methods, Mechanics and Practices”, Steve Miles, PhD
  • “Polycyclic Comprovisation”, Trevor Coleman, Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)
  • “Retuning for a New Age: Extending Scordatura Options for the Viola”, Andrew Filmer, PhD

Other musical and community activities

  • Anthony has written journal articles and book chapters focusing on New Zealand music, including 'Gallipoli to the Somme: A Musical Witness to History' in Studies in History and Sociology of Music (2020) and 'Voices from Afar: The Influence of Minimalism on New Zealand Music' in Searches for Tradition: Essays on New Zealand Music, Past & Present.
  • In addition to this, Anthony has written reviews, programme notes, pre-concert talks and other community and schools presentations.
  • Anthony regularly curates new music concerts at the university, and occasionally performs on piano for new student compositions.
  • Anthony's practical music activities include conducting. He has conducted the Dunedin Youth Orchestra for many concerts since 1993, co-founded both the Southern Youth Choir and Southern Childrens' Choir, and also conducted schools' concerts for The Auckland Philharmonia and Dunedin Symphony Orchestra.

A selection of creative outputs

The following recorded compositions provide a snapshot of the work Anthony has been doing in the last 10 years, ranging from solo pieces and concertos to choral music and orchestral pieces.

These recordings also demonstrate the range of performers Anthony has worked with, including internationally acclaimed artists such as Bella Hristova.

  • Ritchie, Anthony D., Survivors: Choral Music by Anthony Ritchie [solo album], Aquarius Choir, Belgium. Atoll Records ACD 119, 2018.
  • Ritchie, Anthony D., Touched for piano. Recorded by Jian Liu, on Sarajevo: A collection of New Zealand piano works, Atoll Records, ACD217, 2017.
  • Ritchie, Anthony D., Violin Concerto, for Bella Hristova, 2012. Premiered by Bella Hristova and Dunedin Symphony Orchestra, May 2014; published as an online film by SOUNZ (Centre for NZ Music), 2014.
  • Ritchie, Anthony D., Symphony No.4, Stations, [solo album], Atoll Records, October 2014.
  • Ritchie, Anthony D., A Bugle Will Do: Symphonic Works by Anthony Ritchie. [solo album] The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, conductor Tecwyn Evans. Atoll Records, ACD 741, 2011.

Further creative outputs are listed in the 'Publications' section below.


Ritchie, A. (composer) (2014). Stations: Symphony No. 4 [CD-ROM]. Auckland, New Zealand: Atoll. [Film/Digital Recording/CD-Rom]. Film/Video/CD Rom

Ritchie, A. (2010). Symphony No 3. Premiered by the Southern Sinfonia and recorded for Radio New Zealand Concert, Otago Festival of the Arts. Composition / Musical Score

Ritchie, A. (composer) (2011). A Bugle Will Do: Symphony No. 3 and other Symphonic Works, performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Tecwyn Evans [CD-ROM]. Auckland, New Zealand: Atoll. Film/Video/CD Rom

Ritchie, A. (composer) (2011). Octopus: Chamber Music [CD-ROM]. Auckland, New Zealand: Atoll. Film/Video/CD Rom

Ritchie, A. (composer) (2013). Salaam, opus 172, for S.S.A.A.T.T.B.B. choir unaccompanied. Written for the Belgium choir Aquarius, on request from conductor Marc Michael De Smet, text (poems) by prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. [Composition/Musical Score]. Composition / Musical Score

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