The Composer

John Wells is one of New Zealand’s busiest composers. Recent works include Kokako Fanfare and March for organ (2010) and his Organ Symphony (2010), commissioned for the inauguration of the new organ in the Auckland Town Hall.   His output includes a work in the Tongan choral tradition; Maori influences appear in other pieces.   His Second Organ Suite, arranged for 8 cellos, is to be performed in St Mary’s Cathedral, Parnell, in late February.   A full list of compositions is given in ‘Publications’.

…one of the most striking and immediately enjoyable examples of contemporary writing…” [NZ Herald review of Quartet for violin, clarinet, cello and piano, 1974]

“I praise (this) unique achievement… a historic moment… the work will be a treasure.” [Tamas Vesmas on The Well-Tempered Piano, 2007]

“John has done a fantastic, large-scale setting that’s like a rocket going off, one of those moments when everything clicks into place.” [Dr Indra Hughes on the Musica Sacra Canticles, Set 1 at their Christchurch Cathedral premiere, October 2008]

“[The Organ Symphony is] no mere showpiece for this particular organ, but a work that is worthy of repeated hearing, combining inventive musical ideas and compelling development with great stylistic variety . . .” [David Burchell in Organz News, December 2010′

Recent Keyboard Works
The Well-Tempered Piano 2001-2007; 30 Preludes and Fugues in all keys
Fifth Suite for organ, commissioned 2005; recorded and broadcast 2006
Sixth Suite for organ, commissioned 2006; premier  2007; recorded for broadcast 2007
Partita on Wolvercote for organ, commissioned 2007

Recent Choral Works
Jade and Gold (second Choral Suite for SATB choir and piano)
Evening Canticles (Set One) for organ and choir;
Evening Canticles (Set Two) for unaccompanied double choir

Works in progress
Unfinished Business (six new works for piano solo)

January 2011


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