New Zealand composer lands in Nelson

Gareth Farr arrives at Nelson airport for Sleeping with the Steinway. Acclaimed New Zealand composer Gareth Farr arrived at Nelson airport yesterday to lend a hand to the Nelson School of Music's all-night fundraiser, Sleeping with the Steinway.

Farr has composed a piece especially for the pianothon which will be performed with help from NSOM youth.

Sleeping with the Steinway creative director Sarah Lewis said she was excited to have Farr come to Nelson for the event.

Gareth Farr arrives at Nelson airport for Sleeping with the Steinway.

"It's incredible. He's composed and gifted this piece to us."

He has worked with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Royal New Zealand Ballet as well as being named an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to music and entertainment.

Farr was greeted at the airport with helium balloons and a convoy of Harley Davidson motorcycles to accompany the Mercedes that picked him up.

Gareth Farr leaving Nelson airport in style, met by a silver Mercedes convertible and three Harley Davidson motorbikes ...


He said he felt "very pampered" and had never been involved in an event like this before.

"There's just this excitement about the fact that it's an event, it's something monumental and also no one is brave enough to do something like this which makes it all the more exciting."

The piece Farr has composed, "Ripple Effect", will be played near midnight.

Gareth Farr arrives at Nelson airport for Sleeping with the Steinway.


"It's a new work, composition, I tell you the really exciting thing about it for me is that it's for young performers," he said.

"I'm really very lucky, I get to write for some of the best performers in the world and I can just send it to them and demand excellence and they will play it perfectly but there's something about youthful enthusiasm."

Performers on the night should not feel pressured by Farr's presence.

"I've written for young performers, I've written for youth orchestras and sometimes they play a wrong note or two - I don't care," he said.

"I mean when I perform I play wrong notes all over the place. It's about the enthusiasm and the excitement and wanting to play the piece and being nervous about it, nerves are good. Nerves mean excitement and anticipation."

Sleeping with the Steinway begins on Saturday at 5pm and ends on Sunday at 3pm.

 - Stuff