Nelson Composers Workshop

Wednesday 6 July-Sunday 10 July 2022

A key event in the Aotearoa New Zealand music scene, the annual CANZ Nelson Composers Workshop provides opportunities for emerging composers to learn about their craft and industry, to make connections with colleagues and peers, and to support our community. The CANZ Nelson Composers Workshop is open to all composers, sonic artists, improvisers, electroacoustic musicians, who are not yet professionally established, including senior secondary students, university students, and freelancers. Selected participants have a work rehearsed and performed to a professional standard. Performances will be recorded and filmed, and documentation sent to the participant after the workshop. We assign each participant an experienced composer, to act as mentor, to help in rehearsals and in guiding post-performance discussions. The workshop also comprises daily lectures and discussions, instrumental demonstrations, concerts, and opportunities for socialising. Observers/non-participants are also welcome to attend.


VENUE : Nelson Centre of Musical Arts, 48 Nile Street, Nelson

DATES 1pm start, Wednesday 6 July-Sunday 10 July, ending approx. 12 noon, followed by an informal lunch

MENTORS Our line-up of mentors varies from year to year. Recent mentors include David Chisholm, Chris Cree Brown, Tristan Carter, Eve de Castro-Robinson, Reuben de Lautour, Simon Eastwood, Leonie Holmes, Martin Lodge, Celeste Oram, Gemma Peacocke, John Psathas, and Antony Ritchie. 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 the Nelson YHA in dorms shared with other participants of the workshop. Staying at the YHA 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 the Nelson YHA 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 Nelson, we strongly advise 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 can join and pay their annual CANZ membership fee. For further information, see



We will announce a call for applications, and set deadlines, in early 2022. Watch this space.

In the past, we’ve invited applicants wishing to attend the workshop to submit up to two works, one of which may be selected for performance. Please note that there will be a limit on the number of participants. Late applications will not be considered.

If you are submitting more than one work, we ask that you list them in order of preference (which piece you would most like to be performed). When applying, you’ll be asked to email us pdfs of scores and parts, and any other files.

Please 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 30-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.

Please do not feel you have to submit a complete work. We encourage excerpts and sketch ideas for this setting. The only criteria is that if instrumental works are unfinished, score and parts should be tidy and presentable.



We welcome applications of works from a range of musical artforms, including sonic arts, improvisation, installations, and electroacoustic/electronic music, including works for live performer/s, amplification, fixed media, and live processing. Accepting these works is subject to technical requirements and available resources. Please contact CANZ so we can do our best to accommodate you. Composers and sonic artists submitting works in these forms should submit audio or video documentation.

For instrumental works, we will announce possible instrumentation when we announce the call.



  • 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.



Please contact CANZ with queries you may have concerning the workshop at We are more than happy to assist. 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.



Nelson Composers Workshop gratefully receives funding from:
Te Rōpū Kaitito Puoro o Aotearoa / Composers Association of New Zealand (CANZ)
Creative New Zealand
Nicholas Tarling Charitable Trust
Lilburn Trust

Image result for lilburn trust logo