11 Jan 2020

Dorothy Buchanan - pioneering New Zealand composer

From Appointment, 9:30 pm on 11 January 2020
Dorothy Buchanan

New Zealand composer Dorothy Quita Buchanan (b 1945) pioneered the Composers-in-Schools scheme in Christchurch in the 1970s, and has been an active violinist, pianist, teacher and publisher.

In the 1990’s Dorothy was part of the Artistic Directorate for three Composing Women’s Festivals, events that showcased the music of New Zealand’s women composers across many genres, including classical, rock, jazz, Maori and Pasifika music.

Buchanan’s own music was performed at these Festivals, including at the first, during the Women’s Suffrage Centennial year in 1993, her major theatrical piece The Clio Legacy. This collaboration with writer Witi Ihimaera also involved working closely with Maori women, including cultural groups led by Keri Kaa and Tungia Baker.

In 2001 she was made an ONZM - recognising a lifetime's involvement in music.

Dorothy's popular choral work Peace Song is sung regularly by choirs all over the world. It's performed here by the International Festival Chorus, Singapore.

Related Stories

Three NZ Compositions Inspired by Birds

Dorothy Buchanan: From the Spring