Joshua Pearson is our 2020 NZSO National Youth Orchestra Composer-in-Residence. Joshua will write a 10-minute work for NYO’s Leningrad programme which will be performed in Wellington on July 9, and Auckland, July 10, 2020.


Joshua Pearson (b.1995) is a young New Zealand born Samoan transdisciplinary artist who works in a wide range of creative fields.

He is known as an adventurous sonic artist, a daredevil composer-performer. a self-taught visual artist, a futurist, an extreme vocalist, a self-proclaimed Xerox photographer, and a sensitive poet.

Joshua is a recent graduate in Music Composition and Sonic Arts at the University of Auckland, specialising in Vocal/Instrumental and Sonic Arts (Electroacoustic music) under the tutelage of renowned composers Eve de Castro-Robinson, Leonie Holmes, and sonic artist John Coulter.

Joshua works across with his voice, live electronic processing, live electronic sensors, face tracking, installation, choreography, video, xerox photography, poetry, and other forms of creative media. 

His creative work has been described as 'highly individualistic, deeply original in intent and realisation, and often powerfully moving in performance.'  

Joshua has worked with international artists, including conductor, composer Sir James MacMillan, conductor Benjamin Northey, Mark Menzies, Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick, and Barbara Patterson. he has his music compositions played by the NZSO New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the APO Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. He has also received a University of Auckland Blues Awards for Music Composition in 2017. He has also won the Performance award at the 2018 Douglas Lilburn Composition Concert Prize for his piece, ‘No ro hunu ake’ (Sprung from the Earth) for Performance Artist, Dancer, and Multimedia.

Are you a young composer looking for the perfect opportunity to showcase your creativity and collaborate with other young musicians?

Apply now for the National Youth Orchestra Composer-in Residence position in 2021.

Please send your cover letter (including contact details and date of birth), and, a short proposal outlining your idea for the commission which can be expressed in an abstract, or by musical notation. Please note, this commission is an opportunity to write full orchestra (3333 4331 Timp+2 Hp Strings) and cannot include soloists, amplification, or electro-acoustic elements.

If your application is successful you will be commissioned to write a 10-minute piece for orchestra which will open the 2021 NYO concert.

Applicants must be a New Zealand resident and 30 years of age or younger on 31 December, 2021.

Email applications will be received at until July 20, 2020.