CANZ Composers Workshop

Thursday 31 Aug – Sunday 3 Sep 2023

Attention all composers, sonic artists, improvisers, electroacoustic musicians, and composer-performers! The renowned CANZ Composers Workshop is back, and this year it’s going to be a little different. We have some exciting updates to share with you!

Click here to access the registration form!!!

Firstly, we are thrilled to announce that the workshop will be hosted in Christchurch. Although this change was necessitated by the competitive nature of arts funding, we are determined to make the most of the situation and deliver a condensed version of the workshop in the beautiful Garden City. While it is with a heavy heart that we break the tradition of workshopping in Nelson, we believe that adapting and continuing the workshop is of paramount importance.

The annual CANZ Composers Workshop holds a significant place in the New Zealand music scene. It offers invaluable opportunities for composers to enhance their craft, gain insights into the industry, build connections with colleagues and peers, and contribute to our vibrant community. Whether you are a senior secondary student, a university student, or a freelancer, we welcome all composers who are passionate about their art to join us.

This year, we are introducing fixed ensembles with a twist to make the most of the condensed format. Participants will have the opportunity to collaborate with dedicated ensembles, allowing for more focused and productive workshopping. Additionally, we encourage the submission of unfinished pieces and works in progress, as we believe in fostering creativity and growth throughout the compositional process. Selected participants will have the opportunity to have their work rehearsed, workshopped, and performed to a professional standard. These performances will be professionally recorded, with the documentation will be provided to each participant after the workshop. Additionally, each participant is paired with an experienced composer as a mentor who will offer guidance during rehearsals and facilitate post-performance discussions, enriching the learning experience for all. In addition to the performances and mentorship, the workshop will feature daily lectures, engaging discussions, instrumental demonstrations, inspiring concerts, and ample opportunities for networking and socializing. We also extend a warm welcome to observers and non-participants who are interested in attending and immersing themselves in this creative atmosphere.

While we may be venturing into new territory this year, we are committed to delivering an exceptional experience for all participants. Join us at the CANZ Composers Workshop in Christchurch and be a part of this unique and transformative event. Don’t miss out on this extraordinary opportunity to grow as a composer, contribute to the vibrant New Zealand music community, and explore the potential of your unfinished works. Register now and secure your place at the workshop that will redefine your artistic journey!


VENUE: The Arts Centre, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch

DATES: 12pm start, Thursday 31 August – Sunday 2 September, ending approx. 12 noon, followed by an informal lunch

MENTORS: Our line-up of mentors varies from year to year. Recent mentors include Peter Adams, David Chisholm, Chris Cree Brown, Tristan Carter, Eve de Castro-Robinson, Reuben de Lautour, Simon Eastwood, Samuel Holloway, Leonie Holmes, Amy Jean Barnett, Martin Lodge, Celeste Oram, Gemma Peacocke, John Psathas, Antony Ritchie, Charlie Sdraulig, and Elliot Vaughan. 2022 mentors will be announced closer to the time. We will continue with our new initiative in performance mentoring by welcoming a performer-curator to the 2022 Nelson Composers Workshop.

COST: There is no tuition or participation fee. Participants and observers are required to cover the cost of their own accommodation, meals, and travel.

ACCOMMODATION: The workshop facilitates accommodation at Urbanz Backpackers in dorms shared with other participants of the workshop. Staying at Urbanz enables a greater amount of socialising and discussion with your peers, and is highly encouraged. Participants are free to arrange their own accommodation if they wish.

MEALS: A simple breakfast is provided for those staying at Urbanz at no additional cost. Lunch and fully catered dinner options are also available through the workshop. As with accommodation, participants are free to make their own arrangements.

TRAVEL: Participants are expected to make their own travel arrangements to and from the workshop. If you are planning on flying to Christchurch, we strongly advise that you book early. If you are concerned about transport from Christchurch Airport to the City, please let us know your arrival details and we will attempt to put you in touch with other participants on the same flight where possible. Otherwise, take the Teal Green Bus into town for $2.10!

CANZ MEMBERSHIP: Membership to the Composers Association of New Zealand is compulsory for all participants. Successful applicants who are not already members can join and pay their annual CANZ membership fee. For further information, see


This year we are encouraging the submission of unfinished works, excerpts, and sketch ideas. The only requirement for instrumental works is that score and parts should be presentable, even if the piece is unfinished. In order to maximize our condensed schedule, we have introduced fixed ensembles and soloists that we want you to write for (more details below)

Click here to access the registration form!!!

Please note that there are limited spots available for each ensemble, and registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis. In order to ensure fairness and provide equal opportunities, we will advertise the call for participants prior to the opening of registrations.

Please email pdfs of scores and parts, and other files to For larger files, we recommend the use of a service such as WeTransfer.

Bear in mind that this is a workshop setting and, as such, the maximum duration of scored/notated/improvised/live electronic works is 10 minutes. Your work will be allocated a 20-minute session, incorporating a performance and discussion. Read: if your work is on the concise side and/or for fewer performers, you could have more time for discussion, or potentially a second run at the performance.

The deadline for completing this application form and submitting your work/s for consideration for performance is 5pm, Monday 12 June. If selected, you will have until 5pm, Monday 31 July to send through the final workshop-ready scores/versions/files.


This workshop prioritizes workshopping and we are not expecting “finished” pieces! Works can be at any stage of the creative process so long as they fit the criteria.

We want you to write something new, or adapt something you already have, for one of our Base Ensembles listed below. There are limited slots available for each ensemble, so if you register sooner, you will have more ensembles to choose from! You can also customize your ensemble by adding a Violin/Viola, Taonga pūoro, or Electronics.

We recognize that this is not the usual open instrumentation, but over 800 unique combinations can be made if you take into account the wind doublings and percussion!!

Our Performers for 2023:

Flute: Hannah Darroch
Clarinet: David McGregor
Violin/Viola: Mark Menzies
Viola: Johnny Chang
Cello: Jeremy Garside
Percussion: Justin DeHart
Piano: Reuben De Lautour
Taonga puoro: TBC

The following base ensembles are available:

Ensemble 1: Flute & Percussion
Ensemble 2: Flute, Percussion & Cello
Ensemble 3: Clarinet, Viola, & Piano
Ensemble 4: Clarinet Viola, Piano & Cello
Ensemble 5: Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Viola, Cello, Percussion & Piano
Solo 1: Violin/Viola
Solo 2: Taonga pūoro
Stereo Loudspeakers

You can then customize your ensemble by adding any of the following:

Violin or Viola
Taonga pūoro

You also have the following Doubling Options:

Flute: Piccolo, Alto Flute, and Bass Flute (available on request)
Clarinet: Bb Clarinet, A Clarinet, Eb Clarinet, and Bass Clarinet


Please ensure that you follow these guidelines when submitting instrumental scores:

  • For each instrumental work submitted, please supply a full score and individual parts.

  • Scores should preferably be computer typeset, and may be neatly handwritten. As performers have limited rehearsal time, it is essential that your parts are as clear as possible.

  • Where non-standard or unusual notation is used, provide performance directions for the performers.

  • Proofread your scores and parts carefully.

  • Ensure that you include the title, your name, and the instrument name on the front page of each part.

  • Remember to check for initial and all subsequent tempo markings in every part.

  • Ensure parts are correctly transposed and that you are using the correct clef for each instrument’s range.

  • Check that page turns/changes are in convenient places.

  • Include bar numbers at the beginning of every stave, not every bar. Use rehearsal marks if the work is long.

  • Please bring at least one printed copy of the score and each part for the selected work with you to the workshop. Access to a printer or photocopier cannot be guaranteed.



Your convenors for the 2023 workshop are:

Fergus Fry | 0279152262

Ihlara McIndoe | +64 27 5767046 (Whatsapp only)

Please contact us with queries you may have concerning the workshop and your application. We are happy to assist where possible. Updated information about the workshop will be made available on the CANZ website, instagram, and facebook page closer to the time. You will be notified of the success of your application by email.

CANZ President, Simon Eastwood and Hannah Darroch will be assisting as the CANZ representative and performer curator respectively.