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Rosa has an “incredible way with haunting melodies, matched perfectly with choral colours.”

Isaac Stone - Voices NZ Associate Conductor

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Rosa Elliott is a Christchurch-based composer, chorister and choral conductor who holds a Master of Music in composition from the University of Auckland. Rosa is passionate about music that speaks of and to the New Zealand identity. Her works frequently explore historical, social, and environmental issues pertinent to the New Zealand audience.

After completing a Bachelor of Arts in English and Bachelor of Music at the University of Canterbury, Rosa’s compositional research has centred upon the evolutionary relationship between language and music, with a particular interest in vocal music. Rosa’s passion for composition was kickstarted by winning the SOUNZ Big Sing Composition Competition in 2015. She has since had works performed by the New Zealand Secondary Students’ Choir, New Zealand Youth Choir, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. In 2021, Rosa was awarded the inaugural composer-in-residence position for Choirs Aotearoa as well as the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra Rising Star residency.

In addition to composing, Rosa has conducted choirs at Avonhead Primary School, Villa Maria College and Christchurch Girls’ High School, two of which were selected for the NZ Choral Federation Big Sing Finale. Rosa continues to enjoy singing as a chorister in the Christchurch Youth Choir and NZYC.  

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Cry the Wounded Land

Rosa Elliott

Commission for the New Zealand Secondary Students' Choir.

Lyrics and karanga by Hinekoia Tomlinson.

Directed by Sue Densem. 

Soloist - Lesieli Katoa
Performed by the New Zealand Secondary Students' Choir, 5th October 2019, at St Mary's Pro Cathedral, Christchurch, New Zealand.

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In the News

2020 NZ Composer Sessions

May 14, 2020

I am honoured to have been selected for the NZSO NZ Composer Sessions this year for my three orchestral songs.

Supertonic celebrates female composers

May 18, 2018

RNZ interview with Rosa Elliott and Isaac Stone about Supertonic's female-composer focused concert, and the three new commissions by Rosa Elliott.

Wellington choir celebrates music of women hidden from the spotlight

May 18, 2018

Isaac Stone discusses Supertonic's upcoming choral concert, including three new works by Rosa Elliott.

New Zealand Youth Choir on RNZ

September 10, 2017

Listen to the New Zealand Youth Choir perform Rosa's 'Those Others', alongside other works in their concert at the Sacred Heart Cathedral, Wellington, 2017.

NZYC Concert Review

Arpil 30, 2018

Rosa Elliott's 'Those Others' is described as a "fine composition with delicate accompaniment."

Songs for Sisters - Concert Review

May 20, 2018

Lindis Taylor reviews Supertonic's concert featuring three works by Rosa Elliott. Taylor says: "By the end I was won over by the unusual character of this trio of songs, their confident, surprisingly grounded feeling. I think they have a life."

WORD Christchurch: Free Radicals Review

August 20, 2018

Brett Johansen reviews the Free Radical's performance, including Rosa's work 'In Feminea Forma' for choir and fixed media. Johansen describes the piece as one that "moves between beauty and chaos, and draws the range of ideas and feelings evoked by the diverse parts of the concert together into one piece."

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Feel free to contact me regarding commissions, performing works, access to scores, or other inquiries.

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