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Kintsugi for orchestra (2022)

for orchestra: 3222 / 4331 / 3 perc / hp / strings
duration: 8'

piano trio (2020) commissioned by NZTrio
orchestration (2022) commissioned by Manukau Symphony Orchestra with support from Nicholas Tarling Charitable Trust
NZSO recording coming soon

Programme Note


Kintsugi is the ancient Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold. All the pieces of a broken bowl or pot are carefully jointed back together with gold-dusted urushi (lacquer). Rather than hiding the damage, kintsugi celebrates all the cracks or 'scars' for the unique history that they represent. The object is more beautiful for having been broken. 

I am personally drawn to kintsugi for a metaphor for embracing 'brokenness' and imperfection as a source of strength. This piece – originally for piano trio – is my expression and exploration of kintsugi, and involves musical fragmentation, fragility, mending and finding beauty in the 'cracks.’ I am grateful to Manakau Symphony Orchestra for commissioning this orchestral version of Kintsugi, allowing me to reimagine the piece through a wide array of instrumental colours. 

Performance History

April 6, 2024

New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, conductor Gemma New (Auckland, New Zealand)

April 5, 2024

New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, conductor Gemma New (Wellington, New Zealand)

Feb 3, 2023

US premiere by University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, conductor John Nardolillo (Lexington, KY, USA)


Nov 19th, 2022

world premiere by Manukau Symphony Orchestra, conductor Uwe Grodd (Auckland, New Zealand)

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