Composer wins high-profile fellowship

04:00, Dec 03 2012
TIME TO CREATE: Waikato University professor Martin Lodge will write a viola concerto while at Pah Homestead.
TIME TO CREATE: Waikato University professor Martin Lodge will write a viola concerto while at Pah Homestead.

A Waikato University professor and classical composer with international success has been awarded the highly coveted artist's residency at the Pah Homestead in Auckland.

Martin Lodge was asked to apply for the residency by Otago University, having held the Mozart Fellowship there, for what became New Zealand's longest composer residency in the early 1990s.

He said their letter arrived "out of the blue" but the timing was perfect so the decision was easy.

"These are highly desirable awards, so eventually to be awarded a residency at the Pah is wonderful," he said.

Dr Lodge will live in the artist's apartment at the idyllic Pah Homestead, with free accommodation, a car and his university salary paid in full from April to July next year.

His intention is to compose a new major work; a concerto for solo viola, orchestra and chorus. "Having three months of time set aside for creative work will provide the kind of clear thinking space I need to achieve a large-scale artistic work," said Dr Lodge.


The composer, originally from Tauranga, started out studying a Masters degree in English Literature at Waikato University, but went on to spend more than a decade as a freelance composer and musician in Wellington.

Described as "individual and eclectic", Dr Lodge's style draws on nature and combines Western and Maori classical music styles as well as some popular modern music.

He has been commissioned to compose for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonia, the Ogen Trio and the New Zealand Chamber Soloists, as well as leading performers in other parts of the world.

His work has been performed in Ireland and the US, been made into CDs and featured on a movie soundtrack.

Now, as well as being an associate professor at Waikato University's Conservatorium of Music, and director of composition studies in the department, Dr Lodge still composes for commissions and writes and advises on music.

The residency is funded by the Wallace Arts Trust which operates out of the Pah Homestead with the aim of promoting contemporary artists across New Zealand and providing the wider public with a cultural and historical resource of contemporary New Zealand art.

Waikato Times