NZ choral veteran John Rosser awarded CNZM in New Year’s Honours List

In recognition of his lifelong contribution to choral music as both singer and conductor, the first Chair of the New Zealand Choral Federation, John Rosser, has been named a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM).

As a founding member of the New Zealand Youth Choir he toured with the choir to the UK and Europe in 1982, subsequently founding the innovative and highly successful chamber choir Viva Voce, which he continues to direct more than 35 years on. Rosser was the conductor of Auckland’s annual Symphony under the Stars from 1994 to 2009, and was Associate Conductor & Chorus Director for New Zealand Opera from 2000 to 2018.

He oversaw the rejuvenation of the New Zealand Choral Federation from his appointment to the then new Governance Board in 2006 and his election as the NZCF’s first Chair, a position he held for 10 of the following 14 years. In 2018 his contribution was recognised by NZCF with a Life Membership award and in 2020 he was elected to the Board of the International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM).

More recently, Rosser was the driving force behind bringing the World Symposium of Choral Music to New Zealand in 2020. 

The Covid 19 pandemic forced the cancellation of that event, but John Rosser’s leadership of an outstanding Symposium plan, to international acclaim, was a key component of NZCF subsequently winning the bid to host the World Choir Games in Auckland in 2024.