Born 1952
Born 1952

Helen Bowater (b. 16 Nov 1952) is a New Zealand composer. She was born in Wellington into a musical family, and studied piano and violin with Gwyneth Brown. In 1982 she graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in music history and ethnomusicology from Victoria University of Wellington. She continued her studies in electroacoustic music with Ross Harris and in composition with Jack Body.[1]

Bowater played in the Gamelan Padhang Moncar at Victoria University and her composition Tembang Matjapat (1999) is scored for gamelan and western strings and percussion instruments.[2]

After completing her studies, Bowater worked as a singer, pianist and violinist with ensembles and choirs, and also worked in rock bands Extra Virgin Orchestra and pHonk and with the Victoria University Gamelan Padhang Moncar. She completed residencies at the Nelson School of Music and the Otago University in 1993, and was composer-in-residence with the Auckland Philharmonia in 1994, and at the New Zealand School of Music, Victoria University, in 2008-09.[3]

Bowater has published professional articles in journals including Music in New Zealand. Her music has been performed internationally.[4]

Honors and awards


Selected works include:


  1. ^ Sadie, Julie Anne; Samuel, Rhian (1994). The Norton/Grove dictionary of women composers. ISBN 9780393034875. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
  2. ^ Johnson, Henry (June 2008). "Composing Asia in New Zealand: gamelan and creativity" (PDF). New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies. 10 (1): 54–84.
  3. ^ Dees, Pamela Youngdahl (2004). A Guide to Piano Music by Women Composers: Women born after 1900.
  4. ^ a b "Helen Bowater". Retrieved 1 February 2011.