25 Jan 2018

Andrew PERKINS: Three Spanish Songs

From NZ Composer Sessions, 12:00 am on 25 January 2018

These three Spanish songs were written at the request of mezzo-soprano Vivien Dickson.

Originally written for mezzo and string quartet during 2015, the composer created the orchestral version in 2017 which utilises delicate timbral combinations and aspects of orchestral pointillism. The three poems were written by the composer in English during a visit to England during 1989 - 91, and were translated into Spanish by the famous vocal teacher and accompanist, Andrea Katz. The three poems Luna (Moon), Violetas azules (Blue Violets), and En el rio Stour (On The River Stour) each deal with separate aspects of human life utilising imagery from nature: Luna is about accepting and finding peace in solitude; Violetas azules deals with the human conditions of pride, vanity, and of momento mori; En el rio Stour explores acceptance of adversity and, in dealing with it and then letting go, eventual peace.

Andrew Perkins

Andrew Perkins Photo: SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music


Andrew Perkins was born in Warkworth, New Zealand. In 1985, he graduated from Auckland University with a Masters degree in Music. In 1986 he was elected to represent New Zealand at a peace conference in Baghdad, Iraq. The music he heard during this trip sparked a life-long interest in the music of the Middle East, India, and Asia.

During 1992 he was appointed Auckland Philharmonia’s third Composer In Residence, composing Symphony ‘Der Bote’, and Songs of Light and Life. Since then Andrew Perkins has had many works performed in New Zealand and internationally. In 2013, Andrew completed his PhD (Music Composition) at Melbourne University where he was employed as a sessional tutor and lecturer during his candidature and afterwards until the end of 2016 when he returned to live in Dunedin, New Zealand.

His major work Christchurch Vespers (Vespers for the Feast of Pentecost) was performed in 2012 by Gina Sanders with the Bach Musica choir and orchestra, conducted by Rita Paczian and received a standing ovation. Perkins’ Concerto Grosso was performed in 2016 by flautist Adrianna Lis, harpsichordist Rosemary Barnes with the Auckland Chamber Orchestra conducted by Peter Scholes to a capacity audience and also received a standing ovation. Previous works recorded by NZSO include Waltz-Fantasia, and The Radish and the Shoe.

Recorded by RNZ Concert for the 2018 NZ Composer Sessions.

Producer: David McCaw

Engineer: Graham Kennedy

Get the RNZ app

for easy access to all your favourite programmes