Samuel Holloway


Samuel Holloway is an Auckland-based composer. He studied music and philosophy at the University of Auckland, and is currently a Senior Lecturer and Academic Leader in Creative Industries at Unitec Institute of Technology. Samuel is a committee member of the Composers Association of New Zealand and an APRA AMCOS Artist Ambassador. He has been a convener and mentor at the Nelson Composers Workshop and was co-convener of the 2014 CANZ Composers Conference at the University of Auckland.

Samuel’s work has been performed by prominent artists and ensembles in Asia, Europe and North America; these performers include Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Reconsil, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Stroma, NZTrio, the Miyata-Yoshimura-Suzuki Trio and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Samuel was the 2013 Mozart Fellow at the University of Otago, and a 2016 Civitella Ranieri Fellow in Umbria, Italy. He was finalist in the 2011 SOUNZ Contemporary Award for his work ‘Sillage’, a work that was also selected for the 2014 ISCM World New Music Days in Poland.

Composer website:

Featured Works

Matter, for violin, viola, cello, and piano.

During my research for this work (commissioned for a concert tour called ‘Einstein’s Universe’), I was struck by the extremities of the scale of the phenomena considered by physics, from elementary particles to universes, the infinitesimally small to the unimaginably huge. I became fascinated too by the notion of a correspondence between the micro and the macro, an idea that has preoccupied many, from the Neo-Platonist philosophers and practitioners of Hermeticism, to William Blake (‘To see a world in a grain of sand’) – and perhaps even physicists in their ongoing search for a grand unifying theory. Recently I have also been thinking about Powers of Ten, the 1977 film by Charles and Ray Eames, an ‘adventure of magnitudes’ from which my piece takes structural cues … this work is a modest reflection on these things.

Featured in New Zealand Waves (Special 2018)