CANZ Nelson Composers Workshop 2019

Tuesday 9 July – Saturday 13 July 2019

More information will be published here as it becomes available.

For over three decades, the annual CANZ Nelson Composers Workshop has been a key event in the New Zealand composition scene, providing opportunities for developing composers to learn about their craft and industry, to make connections with their colleagues and peers, and to support our community.

The CANZ Nelson Composers Workshop, in its 38th year, is open to all composers who are not yet professionally established, including senior secondary and university students. Participants will have a work rehearsed and performed to a professional standard. The performances will be recorded, a copy of which will be given to the composer during the workshop. Each participant will have an experienced established composer assigned to him or her, to act as mentor, to help in rehearsals, and to guide post-performance discussions. There will be daily lectures and discussions, instrumental demonstrations, a concert of new music, and ample opportunities for socialising.

People interested in attending the workshop as observers/non-participants are also welcome.

Attending the Workshop

Venue: Nelson School of Music, 48 Nile Street, Nelson

Dates: Tuesday 9 July – Saturday 13 July 2019

Mentors: Our line-up of mentors varies from year to year. The list of mentors for 2017 included John Psathas, Michael Norris, Gillian Whitehead, Jeff Henderson, Shen Nalin, Glenda Keam, Jim Gardner, and Phang Kokjun. The list of 2018 mentors will be announced closer to the time.

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

Accommodation: The workshop facilitates accommodation at the Nelson YHA in dorms shared with other attendees of the workshop. Attendees are free to arrange their own accommodation, but staying at the YHA enables a greater amount of socialising and discussion with your peers, and is highly encouraged.

Meals: A simple breakfast is provided for those staying at the Nelson YHA at no additional cost. Lunch and fully catered dinner options are available through the workshop, though, as with accommodation, attendees are free to make their own arrangements.

Travel: Attendees are expected to make their own travel arrangements to and from the workshop. If you are planning on flying to Nelson, it is strongly advised that you book early. If you are concerned about transport from Nelson Airport to the YHA, 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.

CANZ Membership: Membership to the Composers Association of New Zealand is compulsory for all participants. Successful applicants who are not already members will be able to pay their annual CANZ membership fee together with other costs. Further information about CANZ membership can be found on this website.

Convenors: The convenors for the 2019 workshop are:

Glen Downie anything@maxnet.co.nz
Pieta Hextall pieta.hextall@gmail.com

Please contact the convenors with any query you may have concerning the workshop and your application, as they are happy to assist where possible. Updated information about the workshop will be made available on this page, and on Facebook, closer to the time. You will be notified of the success of your application by email.

The 2019 Nelson Composers Workshop gratefully receives funding from:


If you are new to the Workshop, or wish to relive the experience, watch Chris Watson’s 2009 documentary, below, or the 1987 TVNZ Kaleidoscope documentary.