Richard Mapp (pno), New Zealand SO/Matthias Bamert. Recorded by RNZ Concert, 28 September 2001.
Edwin Carr attended the first Cambridge Music Summer School in 1946, at which Douglas Lilburn was his composition tutor. Various bursaries and scholarships enabled him to further his composition studies in London, Rome, and Munich, with teachers including Carl Orff, Benjamin Frankel, and Petrassi. In 1973–1974 he was University of Otago's Mozart Fellow, and then taught composition at Sydney Conservatorium. He returned to New Zealand in 1984 as a freelancing conductor and composer, and was based on Waiheke Island from 1991 until his death in 2003.
Concerto Balabile was commissioned by the NZSO in 2001, to mark the occasion of Edwin Carr’s 75th birthday. The title comes from the Italian word for a dance tune, and in classical ballet a balabile is a dance for the whole company. This four-movement piano concerto reflects Carr’s ongoing affinity with ballet and other dance forms. The work is shot through with references to music for dancing: ragtime, foxtrots, waltzes, and many others. The pianist Richard Mapp gave the premiere with the NZSO in 2001.