<< -- 2 -- Howard Smith MUSIC'S CONNECTIVE TISSUE
Stroma; a brainchild of principal NZSO flute Bridget Douglas, graduate
of Victoria University (Wellington) and the University of New York at Stony
Brook, was developed together with co-founders, NZSO bassoonist Hamish McKeich,
plus local composers Michael Norris and Philip Brownlee.
McKeich became the group's conductor and he proposed its name Stroma
(defined as a supporting framework of connective tissue -- Chambers). The
word alluded to a cross-fertilisation of composers, musicians, and audiences
frequently starved of modern music. In her early days at Dunedin's 'University
of Otago' Douglas had completed a degree in microbiology and she greeted
the proposed name, Stroma, with great enthusiasm.
In any event, on 17 November 2001 at a Wellington concert titled 'Iannis
Xenakis In Memoriam' the audience listened to Stroma give a New Zealand
première of the late composer's 'Waarg' (1988) scored for flute,
oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, two violins, viola,
cello and double bass.
New Zealand composer Hayden Chisholm heard his commissioned Magnificat
3 (2002) in a Stroma world première on 7 April this year (2002)
at the Wellington-based NZ School of Dance and Drama. The concert was titled
'Digitalia'. Magnificat 3 is scored for flute, two bass clarinets,
oboe, trombone, two percussion, cello, double bass, boy soprano, vocals/saxophone
Copyright © 6 December 2002
Howard Smith, Masterton, New Zealand