'Exciting' musical honour

Former Blenheim man Sam Logan has been chosen as the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra's youth composer-in-residence for next year.

The 23-year-old composer's work will be premiered during the NZSO National Youth Orchestra residency in August.

Each composer-in-residence writes a 10-minute to 15-minute work for the opening of the concert.

Mr Logan, who was born and raised in Blenheim, is promising some "big, bad and boisterous" music. He has achieved grade seven on both guitar and piano and has moved on to what he calls "80s-style electric guitar shredding".

"I learned by watching You Tube videos and I think I've played classical guitar in just about every winery in the Marlborough region," he said.

"The guitar and piano are not staple orchestral instruments, but they are definitely great composition tools."

After studying at the School of Music in Wellington in 2008, he is working toward a masters degree at Victoria University.

His CV includes appearing in a television commercial with Iggy Pop and having compositions played by the New Zealand String Quartet and the School of Music Orchestra.

This would be his most challenging opportunity to date.

"Writing music for any orchestra, and then getting the chance to hear your music back in the full force of 60 or more musicians, is a phenomenal experience," he said.

"I'm really excited and honoured to work with such a talented ensemble."

Music runs in the family, with Mr Logan's mother, Kate Logan, a music teacher in Blenheim. She and her husband, Greg, were incredibly proud of their son, she said yesterday.

"He has worked so hard for the past five years. He loves music, so this is a real bonus."

The couple are going to Wellington on Monday to hear the NZSO perform their son's first orchestral composition. Mr Logan won the chance to have it performed after entering the seven-minute Lost Island in the 2012 Todd Awards, a national competition for composers, co-ordinated by the NZSO.

Mrs Logan said her son should finish his degree by February and would most likely move to Auckland where the National Youth Orchestra was based. "It's very hard to make money as a composer," she said. "I think he's pretty chuffed to get this opportunity."

The Marlborough Express