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Salina Fisher

Salina Fisher’s Biography

Last Updated:
14/05/2019, 2:18 pm
New Generation 2017
"Salina Fisher's prize-winning Rainphase was an evocative curtain-raiser for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra's concert...Rainphase was more than just exotic sonorities, which included water percussion, pitch bending and ghostly exhalations from wind instruments; progressing through fluctuating time signatures, Fisher's intricate scoring and taut structure revealed an exceptional craft on display." William Dart, NZ Herald.

Salina Fisher (b.1993) is a New Zealand composer and violinist currently based in New York. Her work explores the musical traditions of Japan and New Zealand, with experiments in timbre and colour. Her music has been performed throughout New Zealand and in the USA, UK, Germany, Russia, Australia, Canada, Malta, and China, with performances and/or commissions from ensembles including the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand String Quartet, Stroma, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, NZSO National Youth Orchestra, St Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra (USA), Vimadean Duo (Russia), Emily Carr String Quartet (Canada), Mimosa Ensemble, and Lazarus String Quartet.

In 2016 Salina became the youngest ever winner of the SOUNZ Contemporary Award, New Zealand’s premier composition prize, for her work Rainphase, written as the 2015 NZSO National Youth Orchestra Composer-in-Residence. In 2017 she won the prestigious award again for her work Tōrino – echoes on pūtōrino improvisations by Rob Thorne commissioned in 2016 by Chamber Music New Zealand for performance by the New Zealand String Quartet. Tōrino has been selected to represent New Zealand at the ISCM World Music Days in Vancouver, November 2017. She is also interested in film scoring, and in 2016 composed the score for New Zealand short film Misimpressions, awarded 'Best Score' in the International Category, 2017 Canberra Short Film Festival.

Salina was the Overall Winner of the NZSO Todd Young Composer Award in both 2013 and 2014, and also received the Orchestra’s Choice Award for her work Blushing Skies (2014). In 2014-2015 she was Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra’s ‘Rising Star’ Young Composer-in-Residence, and was the winner of the 2014 New Zealand School of Music Composers Competition for her work Komorebi for violin and vibraphone (published by Promethean Editions in 2017). In 2015, violist Bryony Gibson-Cornish’s performance of her work Reflect for solo viola was awarded the ‘Best Performance of a New Zealand Work’ award at the Gisborne International Music Competition. In 2008 she attended the Beijing International Congress on Women in Music, where she was the youngest featured composer.

As a violinist, Salina has frequently performed as a casual player in the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra since 2012, including in the complete Beethoven Symphonies tour and ‘The Hobbit’ 2 & 3 soundtracks. She has been a member of the NZSO National Youth Orchestra since 2010 and was Concertmaster in 2012-2013. She has had lessons with violinists including Nicola Benedetti, Pietari Inkinen, and Pinchas Zukerman, and was a finalist in the 2013 New Zealand School of Music Concerto Competition. She also holds an ABRSM Diploma in Piano Performance.

Salina studied composition and violin performance at the New Zealand School of Music, and completed a Postgraduate Diploma (Distinction) in 2014 with supervisors John Psathas (2003 Laureate) and Michael Norris. She is currently studying at Manhattan School of Music, New York (Master of Music in Composition) with composer/performer Susan Botti. Salina is extremely grateful to have her studies supported by Manhattan School of Music, Fulbright New Zealand, Creative New Zealand / Edwin Carr Foundation, and the Dame Malvina Major Foundation.

In 2017, Salina received an Arts Foundation New Generation Award. Visit Salina's website for a full list of works, news and events.