Creative Arts and Industries


School of Music staff and postgraduate students carry out a wide range of research projects in musicology, music analysis, biographical studies, performance and composition styles.


With some of the world’s most influential figures in 18th and 19th century music scholarship, the Intrada research centre was established in 2013 to serve as a catalyst for new research and research-informed performance of works composed during this era of unrivalled musical creativity. With a strong emphasis on research into the works of major contemporaries of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, Intrada promises to bring to life a wealth of historically important yet largely unknown music.

The project has its genesis in the outstanding mix of professional expertise in research, performance, publishing and recording resident at the School of Music. Add to this a valuable collection of early musical instruments, and Intrada creates a unique opportunity to explore the music of this critical period. 

Staff working in the field include:

  • Associate Professor Allan Badley: Highly regarded internationally for his work on major contemporaries of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, he has published several hundred important editions and his work has featured on over 50 CDs.
  • Professor Uwe Grodd: World-renowned as a flautist and conductor, he is widely recognised for a series of recordings of rare 18th and early 19th century works.
  • Associate Professor Dean Sutcliffe: A trailblazer in 18th century music research, his publications have covered Haydn, Mozart, Scarlatti, Gyrowetz, Boccherini and Sebastián de Albero. He is co-editor of the Eighteenth-Century Music journal published by Cambridge University Press.
  • Dr Nancy November: A specialist in the performance history, theory and practice of late 18th and early 19th century music, as well as its aesthetics, analysis and reception.
  • James Tibbles: A specialist in Historic Performance Practice and an internationally renowned performer on early keyboard instruments.

Early milestones for Intrada:

  • World premiere recordings of J N Hummel‘s arrangements for flute, violin, cello and piano of Mozart’s last six symphonies.
  • Recording of three of Dittersdorf’s 'Ovid' Symphonies [Hercule en Dieu, Jason, qui empire la toison d'or, Ajax et Ulysse] in the composer's own arrangement for fortepiano, with James Tibbles and the internationally renowned Dutch-Israeli forte pianist, Dr Michael Tsalka.
  • Publication of critical editions of six keyboard concertos by Leopold Hofmann (1738-93) for the prestigious series Denkmäler der Tonkunst in Österreich.  

Elecroacoustic Music (EAM)

John Coulter is a composer/researcher with special interests in octophonic electroacoustic music (EAM), EAM with moving images, and interactive installation. Since late 2010, John has been working on designing and constructing a 3D spatialiser for multichannel electroacoustic music.


Musicians' health

Rae de Lisle has enjoyed a long and successful career as a pianist, accompanist, educator and chamber musician, with appearances across North America, the UK and New Zealand. Her later performing career was curtailed by muscular skeletal injury however, inspiring a passion for injury prevention in musicians, and leading to doctoral research into focal dystonia, a neurological condition that is localised to a specific part of the body, and often affects people who rely on fine motor skills such as musicians, surgeons, artists and sports professionals.

Rae subsequently created a programme of rehabilitation for musicians, working with keyboard, woodwind and string players to restore movement or halt the onset of symptoms. Core to recovery is retraining the part of the body that is affected, learning to move in a new way, and possibly creating new neurological pathways as a result.


Socio-linguistics and voice science

Dr Te Oti Rakena is currently undertaking a project called "The Loss of the Pacific Quality: the Colonised Māori Voice", which brings together information from the area of socio-linguistics and from the voice science area, in particular the singing pedagogy literature. The project is interested in the voice practices and qualities of the wider South Pacific community and investigating the loss of the aesthetic value of some of these vocal qualities. The object of the project is to inform and reconnect Māori with the purpose of performance practice at a vocal function level,and discuss why they have been replaced by more western-derived aesthetic choices.
Read more about Dr Te Oti Rakena's research


Improvisational practice

Ron Samsom is exploring improvisational practice in the performance of collaborative musical works.


The culture and criticism of classical music

Davinia Caddy is an acknowledged expert in early twentieth-century French music and music criticism, and teaches the history, theory and analysis of music at the School of Music. Her research is focused on the cultural and intellectual history of this period, particularly the coupling of music and theatrical dance, and the genres of opera, ballet, modern dance and music-hall.

Davinia has recently written two books. The first, The Ballets Russes and Beyond: Music and Dance in Belle-Epoque Paris, is described as "an important and provocative revision in dance historiography". It was partly researched in Paris, thanks to an Early Career Research Excellence Award from the University of Auckland, a prize she won in 2012. Her latest book, How to Hear Classical Music, sets out to demystify classical music and make it accessible and inspiring to people who may see classical music as something "boxed into either the past or to a particular realm of grey-haired conoisseurs".
Listen to readings from How to Hear Classical Music



  • Dr Leonie Holmes has two main research interests: composition and music education. She has written works for orchestra, chamber, choral, vocal and solo instrument, and receives frequent commissions from both professional and community groups.   A particular interest is orchestral music, examples being Aquae Sulis, Frond, Ancient Rhythms, For Young Nick and Solstice, all of which have been recorded by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Many compositions for smaller groups are the result of requests and commissions from colleagues, students and friends, including is there anybody in there for bassoonist Ben Hoadley and the New Zealand Music for Woodwind concert series, through coiled stillness... for the University of Auckland Chamber Choir tour to England in 2011, A Tedious Brief Scene: Bottom's Dance for the award-winning University of Auckland Emerging Artist chamber group The Estrella Quartet, The Fourth Station for solo cello for an exhibition entitled “Stations of the Cross” at the Gus Fisher Gallery, and Fragment for String Quartet for the Jade Quartet.

    Stemming from her work as Composer-in-Schools in the 1990s, Leonie is interested in developing a musical language that will engage and challenge non-professional players.  She has written many works for school and community groups and is regularly invited to speak or direct workshops with secondary school students and teachers. Recent commissions from community groups include the orchestral works In the Lair of the Cave Weta and Tango Mangle for orchestra, The Journey for orchestra and massed choir, Silver Whispers Suite for choir and instrumental ensemble, and the choral works The Estuary and The Wanderer.
  • Associate Professor Eve de Castro-Robinson is one of New Zealand’s foremost composers, and has been commissioned and performed around the world. Notable performers of her work include the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Nash Ensemble of London, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Dutch HEX, Chamber Music New Zealand, the New Zealand String Quartet, NZ Trio, New Zealand Chamber Orchestra, and many soloists including Alexander Ivashkin, Jane Manning, Stephen De Pledge and Henry Wong Doe.

    Eve’s output ranges from large orchestral to vocal, chamber and electroacoustic works.  Recent works include The Glittering Hosts of Heaven, commissioned and premiered by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in 2013, and LEN LYE the opera, a 90-minute five-act multimedia chamber opera which ran a sold-out season at the Maidment Theatre in 2012.

    As well as supervising a range of doctoral research projects, Eve’s role at the School of Music encompasses the practice and study of composition, including coordination of composition workshops with local and international composers and musicians. In addition, Eve has oversight of the annual composition prize concerts.

Connecting Pedagogies: Viral video and music learning

Dr David Lines is investigating the professional development of early childhood arts teachers through collaborations with community artists. Another project looks at the use of online viral video for music learning through a collaboration with a film musicologist from the UK. David is also exploring new concepts that extend jazz music through collaborative performance projects with his regular group.