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Salina Fisher (b.1993) is an award-winning New Zealand composer based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington. Her highly evocative music often draws on her Japanese heritage, as well as a fascination with the natural world. With a background as a violinist, Salina finds lyricism in unusual timbres and extended tonalities, with a sensitivity to detail and gesture. Her music has been commissioned by ensembles including New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, Marmen Quartet, New Zealand String Quartet, NZTrio; and performed worldwide, at venues including Lincoln Center, Philharmonie Berlin, Melbourne Recital Centre, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and The Kennedy Center. In 2022-2023 her music has been programmed by orchestras including Seattle Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, Stavanger Symphony, New Zealand Symphony, Auckland Philharmonia, and Ulster Orchestras, with conductors Tianyi Lu and Gemma New.

In 2016 Salina became the youngest ever recipient of the SOUNZ Contemporary Award for her orchestral work Rainphase, written as NZSO National Youth Orchestra Composer-in-Residence. Rainphase has since been performed by a number of major orchestras including National Symphony Orchestra (USA) and Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Her string quartet Tōrino – echoes on pūtōrino improvisations by Rob Thorne, commissioned by New Zealand String Quartet, won the 2017 SOUNZ Contemporary Award and has since been performed by Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and published by Wai-te-ata Music Press. Her piano trio Kintsugi commissioned by NZTrio in 2020 was performed at The Lincoln Center in 2022. 

Salina is the recipient of awards from Fulbright, The Arts Foundation (New Generation Award), Creative New Zealand/Edwin Carr Foundation, and Composers Association of New Zealand (Trust Fund Award). Her short film score for 'Misimpressions' won 'Best Score' (International Category) at the 2017 Canberra Short Film Festival. Her music has been performed by ensembles/musicians including International Contemporary Ensemble, New Zealand Symphony, Auckland Philharmonia, Christchurch Symphony, National Symphony (USA), Dallas Symphony, Albany Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Toledo Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Hamilton Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber and Lapland Chamber Orchestras; Stroma, New Zealand String Quartet, NZTrio, Amici Ensemble, Marmen Quartet, Kyo-Shin-An Arts, Emily Carr String Quartet, Lands End Ensemble, Vimadean Duo, Alexi Kenney, Matthew Barley, and Stephen de Pledge. Many of her works have been recorded by RNZ Concert and broadcast internationally, including on BBC Radio 3, NHK FM, and ABC Classic.

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 since 2020 has been a Teaching Fellow in Composition, lecturing in instrumentation, orchestration, and composition. 

Short bio (150 words)

Salina Fisher (b.1993) is an award-winning New Zealand composer based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington. Her highly evocative music often draws on her Japanese heritage, as well as a fascination with the natural world. Her music has been commissioned by ensembles including New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, Albany Symphony, New Zealand String Quartet, NZTrio; and performed worldwide, including at Lincoln Center, Philharmonie Berlin, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and The Kennedy Center. She won the SOUNZ Contemporary Award for Rainphase (2016) and Tōrino – echoes on pūtōrino improvisations by Rob Thorne (2017), and has received awards from Fulbright, The Arts Foundation, Creative NZ, and CANZ. She is a graduate of Manhattan School of Music, New York, and New Zealand School of Music – Te Kōkī, Victoria University of Wellington, where she was Composer-in-Residence in 2019-2020, and is currently Teaching Fellow in Composition. 

Sept 2022