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Living Composer: Kirsten Strom

Updated: May 9, 2023

Our Living Composer for December is Kirsten Strom - a young composer, conductor, and creative writer from New Zealand.

Composer Kirsten Strom

Though she was born in New Zealand, she spent her youth in three continents. Her award-winning music has been performed internationally and aired on national radio. Her work often draws from mixed media, music with a conscience and the divine beauty of nature.

International highlights include being mentored by eminent composer Kaija Saariaho at Etchings Festival, France, having her work “Trees” selected by Ligeti Quartet at Sounds Like THIS Festival, and working with CHROMA Ensemble for the Sound and Vision Festival 2020. Her choral work 'Ktisis' was internationally selected and premiered by Taipei Chamber Singers in the stunning National Theatre and Concert Hall, Taipei for Asian Composers League Festival 2018.

Composer Kirsten Strom

Back in New Zealand, in 2017 she was named the Young Composer-in-Residence with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra for 2018. Her commission 'Wake-Up Call' for orchestra and smartphones brought the house down under the deft batons of Ray Chan and Tianyi Lu. Another orchestral work "Ice" has received multiple performances and recordings by the APO and NZSO, being selected for the APO Our Voice, NZSO Todd Recordings, and NZ Composer Sessions 2019. It won the NZSO Orchestra's Choice Award in 2017.

Kirsten also has experience as a contemporary vocalist and sound artist, attending the 2018 Madeira Live Electronics Residency as an improviser-composer. Her début album was released online with SDL Music in 2019. She is a graduate of the University of Auckland and is undertaking a Master of Music with the Royal Academy of Music in London, UK.


Kirsten's compositions:

  • Ice

  • Time Is Money

  • Album "Wavering Lines"

For more information about Kirsten and her music, please visit


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Kirsten's top 5 classical music picks:

  • Mozart: Requiem

  • Shostakovich: Piano Trio No. 1 in C Minor

  • Stravinsky: The Firebird Suite: Berceuse and Finale

  • Mussorgsky (orchestrated by Ravel): Pictures at an Exhibition: Baba Yaga

  • Rachmaninoff (/Rachmaninov): Piano Concerto No. 3


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