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Philip Norman composer


Composer, conductor, author, speaker, educator and publisher Philip Norman has been entertaining Aotearoa New Zealand audiences for forty-five years. His output of over 250 compositions ranges from orchestral, chamber music and opera (A Christmas Carol)  through secular and sacred choral and vocal works, to musicals with playwright Roger Hall (including Love Off the Shelf and Footrot Flats – still New Zealand’s best selling musical) and ballets for the Royal New Zealand Ballet such as the highly successful Peter Pan (toured New Zealand three times). 


Philip holds a PhD in musicology and is the award-winning author of Douglas Lilburn: His Life and Music and the compiler and publisher of John Ritchie at Ninety: a festschrift.  He was invested as a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for services to music and music theatre in 2015. He was the recipient of the 2017/2018 Creative New Zealand Michael King Writers' Fellowship and is currently writing a history of composition in New Zealand.

Upcoming Events


// Performance

Risingholme Orchestra
Mathew Marshall, guitar
Philip Norman, conductor

Featuring international guitarist Matthew Marshall as soloist in Joaquín Rodrigo’s celebrated Concierto de Aranjuez. Other works include cornerstones of the orchestral repertoire by 19th and 20th-century composers including Ravel and Rimsky-Korsakov; together with the world premiere of
Kenneth Young’s Two Sentimental Pieces for guitar, harp and strings.

Sunday 23 June, 2024 | 2.30pm 

The Piano, Christchurch

// Performance
not tonight


Jubilate Singers
Philip Norman, conductor

Featuring European music in the time of Napolean from c. 1800

Saturday 17 August, 2024 | 2.30pm 

Knox Church, Christchurch

// music
Circus Tricks
& Unlikely 


Trust Waikato Symphony Orchestra
Charlie Garcia Gil, xylophone
Joe Harrop, conductor

Jugglers, lizards, gladiators and more ... these are our unlikely friends! Join a guest juggler and the Trust Waikato Symphony Orchestra for an afternoon of fun, laughter, storytelling and great music that’s perfect for the young and young at heart.

Featuring Philip's works Snake and Lizard and The Juggler Overture. Presented by
Orchestras Central.

Saturday 24 August, 2024 | 4.00pm 

Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, Hamilton

Occasional Writing by Philip Norman

A hugely entertaining collection of articles, lyrics and talks from five decades of writing in Aotearoa New Zealand. An accidental autobiography, Wit & Wisdom reveals an energetic and productive life as a composer, lyricist, writer and conductor. 

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Wit & Wisdom can be purchased for $30, plus postage and packaging ($7)

A 21-chapter salute to a cultural icon. Winner of the Montana New Zealand Book Awards 2007 biography category, this book offers fascinating insights into the world of  New Zealand music, literature and fine art through the eyes and ears of one of New Zealand’s most creative sons, ‘the father of New Zealand composition’,  Douglas Lilburn.

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Douglas Lilburn: His Life and Music

can be purchased for $40,

plus postage and packaging ($7)

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