"...one of this country’s youngest and most widely lauded composers"
– The New Zealand Listener
"For those who know Salina Fisher for her lush and prize-winning orchestral scores, her new Mono no aware was a revelation, beautifully played by De Pledge and Barley, who introduced it from the heart. The young New Zealand composer's sensitivity to detail and gesture well evoked the transient pleasures of life, balancing hesitant dialogues of wonderment with outbursts of chilling vehemence"
– New Zealand Herald
"Firstly we heard a wonderfully atmospheric and technically stunning piece by composer in residence Salina Fisher. Rainphase gave us the most graphic representation of water imaginable; from soft percussion, delicate strings and woodwind, and quietly sonorous, and superbly blended, brass. The overall effect was astonishingly evocative"
– Dominion Post, Wellington
Award-winning composer Salina Fisher (b.1993) draws inspiration from her interactions and surroundings, and the natural world of her native New Zealand. A fascination with the sensuality of sound and the cultural traditions of her Japanese and New Zealand heritage inform her music. With experiments in unusual timbres, harmonies, and colour, Salina creates music that is "astonishingly evocative" (Dominion Post) with "an exceptional craft" (NZ Herald).
An accomplished violinist as well as a composer, Salina also brings an intimate understanding of the physicality of instrumental performance to her works, together with a deep knowledge of traditional chamber and orchestral repertoire. In 2016 Salina became the youngest ever recipient of the SOUNZ Contemporary Award for her orchestral work Rainphase, inspired by the beauty and chaos of Wellington rain. Rainphase has since been performed by a number of major orchestras including National Symphony Orchestra (USA) and Dallas Symphony Orchestra with New Zealand conductor Gemma New.
Salina has enjoyed collaborations with other artists, including taonga pūoro musician Rob Thorne, whose improvisations inspired her string quartet Tōrino (for which she won the 2017 SOUNZ Contemporary Award). She has also performed on traditional Japanese instruments including koto, which features in her 2019 work 'Between'. Salina has also written for film, scoring the short film ‘Misimpressions’ for which she won ‘Best Score’ at the 2017 Canberra Short Film Festival (International Category).
She is the recipient of awards from Fulbright, The Arts Foundation, Creative New Zealand/ Edwin Carr Foundation, and Composers Association of New Zealand. Her music has been commissioned and performed throughout New Zealand and internationally by ensembles including the International Contemporary Ensemble, New Zealand Symphony, Auckland Philharmonia, Christchurch Symphony, National Symphony (USA), Dallas Symphony, Albany Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber and Lapland Chamber Orchestras; New Zealand String Quartet, Emily Carr String Quartet, NZTrio, Stroma, Amalgama, and Vimadean Duo;
at festivals/venues including ISCM World Music Days, Banff Centre, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and The Kennedy Center.
Originally from Christchurch, Salina moved to Wellington in 2011 to study composition and violin performance at New Zealand School of Music – Te Kōkī, Victoria University of Wellington with composers including John Psathas and Michael Norris. Between 2017-2019 she studied in New York with Susan Botti at Manhattan School of Music (MMus), and won the Carl Kanter Prize for orchestral composition.
In 2019 she was appointed Composer-in-Residence at New Zealand School of Music, and currently lectures there in instrumentation and orchestration.