A life in music: The contribution of John Ritchie (1921-2014) to the Christchurch musical community as a composer, performer, educator and administrator.
Johnson, J. A. (2019). A life in music: The contribution of John Ritchie (1921-2014) to the Christchurch musical community as a composer, performer, educator and administrator. (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/12831
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/12831
This thesis is a study of the life of New Zealand composer John Ritchie (1921-2014) from his ancestry and early years, and his development throughout formative teenage years to adulthood. Interviews conducted with Ritchie himself were a significant part of the primary research for the study, and, in conjunction with existing documents and personal papers, reveal a biography in which the musical aspects of Ritchie’s life are highlighted. Participant interviews with people associated professionally with Ritchie, as well as Ritchie family members, provide supporting evidence and a diversity of further views. Ritchie’s early and later years are each portrayed as parts of a linear story. The middle years are covered in a series of chapters that deal with the substance of his musical and academic life. These sections follow a separate chronological path that allows the provision of greater detail about Ritchie’s creative, administrative and educational work. Cameo biographies of other participants are interspersed into the story as they appear in a part of Ritchie’s life, in themselves a separate thread that offers a vignette of each individual. Participant interviews were transcribed and the material integrated to fit the chronology. The final chapters detail Ritchie’s later years as he continued to compose and his works were regularly performed. Awards and acknowledgement of his long service to the University of Canterbury, his widespread contribution to music in Christchurch and New Zealand, and the successful outcome of establishing the John Ritchie String Orchestra are outlined. An analysis of Ritchie’s orchestral work Papanui Road, together with consideration of its biographical elements, completes the study.
The University of Waikato
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