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Born in Auckland on 10 August 1926, author, composer, conductor, lecturer and teacher Edwin James Nairn ('Ted') Carr studied with Douglas Lilburn in New Zealand, with Benjamin Frankel in London, with Goffredo Petrassi in Rome and, later, with Carl Orff in Munich. He spent considerable periods of his life in Europe and in Australia.
Primarily a composer, Carr's eclectic music is in a diatonic-modal style, and has been performed internationally, and also recorded. Works include the Mardi Gras Overture (first prize-winner at the Auckland Festival), four symphonies, all available on CD, the opera Nastasya (based on Dostoyevsky's The Idiot) and The End of the Golden Weather (a New Zealand Symphony Orchestra commission, based on Bruce Mason's monologue).
In 1999 Carr became a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Edwin Carr, one of New Zealand's most original voices in music, died on 27 March 2003, aged seventy-six, at home on Waiheke Island, near to Auckland Harbour.