Dr Leonie Joyce Holmes



Dr Leonie Holmes is a senior lecturer in Composition and Music Studies at the School of Music.  A prominent New Zealand composer, she receives frequent commissions from both professional and community groups in the fields of orchestral, chamber, choral, vocal and solo instrumental music. Recent works have been commissioned and/or performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia, BBC singers, ensemble paladino, Aventa Ensemble Canada, Zephyr Wind Quintet, NZ Trio, Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir, Toronto Children’s Choir, Auckland Chamber Orchestra, Estrella Quartet, and Jade String Quartet.  Her orchestral music has been released on the Atoll CD Solstice, with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marc Taddei (#acd819). 

Stemming from her work as Composer-in-Schools in the 1990s, she is also interested in music education and 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 active as a speaker, adjudicator and teacher at all levels and age groups within the New Zealand music community.

Leonie has been Composer-in-Residence at the Nelson School of Music 1986, Composer-in-Schools 1989, Composer-in-Residence with the Auckland Philharmonia 1997, and Composer-in-Residence with the Manukau Symphony Orchestra in 2005. She was awarded the CANZ Trust Fund for Compositional Development in 1991, a Certificate for Contribution to Music in the Auckland Region from the NZSO and Symphony Friends in 1993, and the Philip Neill Memorial Prize in Composition, University of Otago in 2001. Leonie was a member of the Composers Committee, Centre for New Zealand Music (SOUNZ) 1996-1997, co-ordinator of the Nelson Composers Workshop 2001-2002, and is a member of the Composers Association of New Zealand (CANZ).

Research | Current

  • Composition

Teaching | Current

  • Composition
  • New Zealand Music
  • Materials of Music/ Musicianship skills
  • Composition and creative music studies in music education


  • NICAI Early Career Excellence in Teaching Award 2010
  • Philip Neill Memorial Prize in Composition, University of Otago 2001
  • Certificate for Contribution to Music in the Auckland Region, NZSO and Symphony Friends 1993
  • Composers Association of New Zealand Trust Fund for Compositional Development 1991

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Holmes, L. J."When expectation ends" for Piano Trio (violin, cello, piano). Commissioned by the New Zealand Trio (Justine Cormack, Sarah Watkins, Ashley Brown). (2014). Premiere performance City Gallery Wellington 29 October 2014. Repeated at Q Theatre, Auckland 2 November 2014..
  • Holmes, L. J.Aquae Sulis for orchestra. (2012).
  • Holmes, L. J.A Tedious Brief Scene: Bottom's Dance, for 2 pianos, 8 hands. (2011). Emerging Artist Series, 15 May 1011, School of Music, University of Auckland 2011.
  • Holmes, L. J.Through Coiled Stillness. (2011). Pre-Tour Concert, Music Theatre, School of Music 11 May 2011.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/10745
  • Holmes, L. J."is there anybody in there" for flute, clarinet/bass, bassoon, piano. (2010). New Zealand Music for Woodwinds Concert series, Ben Hoadley.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/10762
  • Holmes, L. J.Ancient Rhythms. (2010). New Zealand Symphony Orchestra-SOUNZ Readings. Related URL.
  • Holmes, L. J.The Fourth Station, for solo cello. (2008). Stations of the Cross Exhibition.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/10773
  • Holmes, L. J. Frond, for orchestra, 1/1/2007. [CD (MD3327)], (10'), Passing: Fresh orchestral sounds from 9 Australasian Composers.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/10746