Alexander Pavlovsky
Alexander Pavlovsky
Sergei Bresler
Sergei Bresler
Ori Kam
Ori Kam
Kyril Zlotnikov
Kyril Zlotnikov

Jerusalem Quartet

Sponsored by Laurie and Peter Rothenberg

"Passion, precision, warmth, a gold blend: these are the trademarks of this excellent Israeli string quartet." Such was the New York Times' impression of the Jerusalem Quartet. Since the ensemble's founding in 1993 and subsequent 1996 debut, the four Israeli musicians have embarked on a journey of growth and maturation. This journey has resulted in a wide repertoire and stunning depth of expression, which carries on the string quartet tradition in a unique manner.

The ensemble has found its core in a warm, full, human sound and an egalitarian balance between high and low voices. This approach allows the quartet to maintain a healthy relationship between individual expression and a transparent and respectful presentation of the composer's work. It is also the drive and motivation for the continuing refinement of its interpretations of the classical repertoire as well as exploration of new epochs.

The Jerusalem Quartet is a regular and beloved guest on the world's great concert stages. With regular bi-annual visits to North America, the quartet has performed in cities such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Washington, and Cleveland as well as in the Ravinia Festival. In Europe, the quartet enjoys an enthusiastic reception with regular appearances in London's Wigmore hall, Tonhalle Zürich, Munich Herkulessaal, Theatre des Champs-Elysées, as well as special guest performances at the Auditorium du Louvre Paris, the Laeiszhalle Hamburg and festivals such as Salzburg, Verbier, Schleswig-Holstein, Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, Rheingau, Saint Petersburg White Nights and many others.

The Jerusalem Quartet records exclusively for Harmonia Mundi. The quartet's recordings, particularly the albums featuring Haydn's string quartets and Schubert's "Death and the Maiden", have been honored with numerous awards such as the Diapason d'Or, the BBC Music Magazine Award for chamber music, and the ECHO Classic. In 2018, the quartet released two albums, the first features Dvořák's String Quintet Op.97 and Sextet Op.48, and the second includes the celebrated quartets of Ravel and Debussy. In the 2017/18 season, alongside its regular programs, the ensemble will present a celebration of Dvořák's chamber music in collaboration with artists such as Gary Hoffman and Yura Lee.

The season's European tours will bring them to cities including Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam, Brussels, London, Florence, Madrid, and Munich. After touring Asia in January, the quartet will visit North America with concerts in Los Angeles, Seattle, Houston, and Montreal, among others.

Alexander Pavlovsky - Violin

First violinist of the internationally acclaimed Jerusalem String Quartet, Alexander Pavlovsky has established his reputation as a highly accomplished chamber musician and soloist.

He has performed as soloist with many orchestras, including the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the Kiev Chamber Orchestra and the Israel Camerata, under the direction of David Shallon, Lawrence Foster, Asher Fish, Roman Kofman, Avner Biron and Mendi Rodan. In 2004 he founded the Duo Montefiore together with the pianist Ella Pavlovsky and appears regularly in recitals in Israel and Europe.

Alexander Pavlovsky has given masterclasses at the Royal Academy of Music in London, National Academy of Music in Melbourne and Sydney Conservatorium, Zeist Chamber Music Course in the Netherlands and Valladolid Auditorium in Spain. In 2007 he was a jury member at the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition. Since 2008 he has been a faculty member at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. In 2009 Alexander has been appointed as Artistic Director of the Zeist Chamber Music Festival and Masterclasses in Netherlands.

Alexander Pavlovsky is a graduate of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance in class of Prof. Matvei Lieberman, and of the Young Musicians Group of the Jerusalem Music Centre, founded by Isaac Stern. Winner of the Ilona Kornhauser Award and first prize of the Braun-Roger-Ziegel National Competition. Between 1992-97 he was a recipient of scholarships of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation.

Mr. Pavlovsky plays a J.F.Pressenda violin dating from 1824, kindly lent by the Jerusalem Pressenda Syndicate.

Sergei Bresler - Violin

Sergei Bresler was born in Ukraine in 1978 and started to play violin in age of 5 with prof. A. Leschinsky. In age of 12 gave his first recital and in the same year played with Kharkov Symphony orchestra Wienyavsky Violin concerto No 2.

In 1991 immigrated to Israel were he continued his studies in the Jerusalem Rubin Music Conservatory with prof. M. Liberman. From 1991 has been a recipient of the America-Israel Culture Foundation scholarships.

Sergei got several prizes including second price in Clairmont competition for young violinists.

In 1996 continued his studies in Jerusalem Music Academy with Prof M. Liberman and after with Haim Taub.

As a student Bresler participated in several festivals and masterclasses like Keshet Eilon (Israel), Tuachan (USA), Zeist (Holland) with such a prominent musicians as Isaac Stern, Miriam Fried , Georgy Kurtag, Tabea Zimmermann to name few.

Sergei has performed as a soloist with Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Young Philharmonic Orchestra and Ludwigsburg Symphony Orchestra.

Sergei is a 2nd violin and the founding member of the internationally acclaimed Jerusalem Quartet which performs regularly in the most famous venues in the world including Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall ,Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Berlin Konzerthaus etc.

As a chamber music teacher Sergei has given masterclasses in many famous venues as Royal Academy of Music in London, Sydney conserivatory, Melbourne Australian Academy of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, Zeist summer course (Holland),Valladolid (Spain) and Jerusalem Music Center.

Sergei Bresler plays on 1770 Lorenzo Storioni violin kindly lent by the America-Israel Culture Foundation. This violine was donated to Foundation by Isaac Stern.

Ori Kam - Viola

Hailed by the New York Times as "an attractive, engaging presence on stage," violist Ori Kam has performed as soloist on some of the world''s premier stages. After his debut at the age of 16 with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Zubin Mehta, he was immediately re-engaged. Since then, he has performed with every orchestra in Israel, the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, the New Jersey Symphony, the Manhattan Philharmonia, and Sinfonia Varsovia to name a few.

Mr. Kam is a frequent recitalist and has performed extensively throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Israel. His recital appearance at Carnegie Hall''s Weill Recital hall received reviews such as "(Kam is) a rare viola soloist," and "Mr. Kam''s playing (was) at once mature and youthfully exuberant."

As an avid performer of chamber music, Mr. Kam is the violist of the Jerusalem Quartet. Independently. he has collaborated with artists such as Daniel Barenboim, Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Pierre Boulez, Gil Shaham, and Emmanuel Pahud. He has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and was guest artist in the numerous festivals including Salzburg, Verbier, Tangelwood, Aspen, Santa-Fe, Schleswig-Holstein, La Jolla, the Schubertiade, and the Jerusalem Chamber Music Festival to name a few.

Mr. Kam was born in La Jolla, California, and grew up between the United States and Israel. He started his musical Education at the age of 6, and began playing the viola at 15. In Israel, he studied with Renowned Teacher Chaim Taub, and between 1994 and 1997, studied with Pinchas Zukerman and Patinka Kopec at the Manhattan School of Music in New York. Later, he concluded his studies with Wilfried Strehle at the University for the arts in Berlin. Mr. Kam has been the winner of several awards and prizes including The Swiss Prize at the Geneva Int''l Music Competition, The "Pagannini" Prize in the Int''l Lionel Tertis Competition, and in ''95 was the winner of the concerto competition at the Manhattan School of Music. From 1990 to 2000, he has been a recipient of scholarships from the America-Israel Culture Foundation.Before joining the Jerusalem Quartet, he was a member of the Berlin Philharmonic, and is now on the faculty of the Geneva University of Music.

In 2007, He released his first commercial recording under the "Berlin Classics" label of the Bruch Double concerto for viola and clarinet by Max Bruch, which he recorded with his sister Sharon. in 2012 he released his first solo CD for the same label of Telemann''s 12 fantasies for solo viola. He can also be heard on the Naxos Label, AVI-Music, and on Harmonia Mundi, which exclusively records the Jerusalem Quartet. A DVD of Pierre Boulez''s chamber works conducted by the composer and Daniel Barenboim will be released in 2013.

Ori Kam plays a viola made in 2009 by Hiroshi Iizuka.

Kyril Zlotnikov - Cello

Born in Minsk, Belarus to a family of professional musicians, Kyril Zlotnikov began his studies at the Belarusian State Music Academy with Prof. Vladimir Perlin. He continued his studies in Israel with Prof. Uzi Wiesel and Hillel Zori, completing his musical education under the direction Prof. Michael Khomitzer in Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music and Dance. While a student, Kyril Zlotnikov participated in master classes and courses with such prominent musicians as Isaac Stern, Yo-Yo Ma,Natalia Gutman, Boris Pergamenschikov, Aldo Parisot and Georgy Kurtag.

Since 1991 Kyril Zlotnikov was a recipient of a scholarship for musical achievements from the America-Israel Culture Foundation, won prizes in many contests including the Clairmont Competition, the Braun-Roger Siegl Competition, the Pierre Tarcali Prize is the most recent one.

He is a founding member of the recognized for its artistic creativity, one of the most dynamic and exciting young quartets currently performing - The Jerusalem Quartet. The musicians have been giving multiply performances all over the world and become the Israel''s leading string quartet. Since 2002 the Jerusalem Quartet records exclusively for Harmonia Mundi.

Along with his extensive chamber music appearances Kyril Zlotnikov has performed and been broadcast as a soloist with internationally renowned orchestras, such as the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the Ludwigsburg Symphony Orchestra, The Gulbenkian Orchestra, West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Jerusalem Camerata and enjoys artistic collaboration with acclaimed conductors including Daniel Barenboim, Zubin Mehta, Pierre Boulez, Lawrence Foster, Asher Fish, Simone Young. He has a wide repertoire covering the important cello works of the baroque, the classical period, romantic and the contemporary music.

Kyril Zlotnikov is a regular guests at major chamber music festivals such as the Proms Festival, the Bartok Festival, the Vancouver, the Menton, the Ravinia "Rising Stars", the Schleswig-Holstein, the Jerusalem and the Scwetzingen Festivals. A keen recitalist and chamber musician, Zlotnikov has shared the stage with the foremost artists of today such as Daniel Barenboim, Jessye Norman, Pierre Boulez, Elena Bashkirova, Mitsuko Uchida, Natalia Gutman, Tabea Zimmerman, Miriam Fried, Hagai Shaham, Michael Tree, Asher Fish, Nikolaj Znaider, Lang Lang and Richard Stoltzman.

Since 2003 Kyril Zlotnikov has been a principal cellist and a teacher of the cello group at the "West-Eastern Divan Orchestra" under Maestro Daniel Barenboim. He also frequently takes part in special projects and tours of the Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra as a principal cellist.

Zlotnikov has recorded the complete Mozart piano trios with Maestro Daniel Barenboim and violinist Nikolaj Znaider. The two CDs were released by EMI in April 2006.

Kyril Zlotnikov plays a 1710 Giovanni Battista Ruggieri cello which was loaned generously to him from a private collection.

Helene Pohl
Helene Pohl
Monique Lapins
Monique Lapins
Gillian Ansell
Gillian Ansell
Rolf Gjelsten
Rolf Gjelsten

New Zealand String Quartet

Celebrating its 30th season in 2017, the New Zealand String Quartet (NZSQ) has been the Quartet in Residence for all nine Adam Festivals.

The NZSQ has an international reputation for its insightful interpretations, compelling communication and dynamic performing style; along with its imaginative programming and powerful connection with audiences of all kinds.

Over the decades the Quartet has cultivated a rich repertoire, including a wide variety of New Zealand music, composers' cycles from Beethoven to Bartók, Mozart to Berg, in addition to theatrical presentations on musical topics ranging from Haydn’s Seven Last Words to Janáček'S Kreutzer Sonata.

The group's extensive discography includes all the quartets by Mendelssohn, Janáček and Berg, many New Zealand compositions, works by Ravel, Debussy, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Dvořák, Wolf, and the premiere recording of the remarkable Zoltan Szekely quartet.

In 2011 the Atoll Records’ release Notes from a Journey, a collection of works by New Zealand composers, won Classical Recording of the Year at the NZ Music Awards. The NZSQ’s most recent recordings on the Naxos label include Asian Music for String Quartet and a disc featuring the complete chamber works for strings by Douglas Lilburn. Their current project, also for Naxos, includes all the Brahms string quartets as well as his string and clarinet quintets.

Acclaimed performances in London's Wigmore Hall and the City of London Festival, in New York at the Frick Collection, and in Washington's Library of Congress Coolidge Auditorium have led to regular touring in the UK, Europe and North America. The Quartet has also toured in Mexico, Curaçao, Japan, Korea, and China. They formed a ground-breaking collaboration with the Forbidden City Chamber Orchestra, China's foremost traditional instrument ensemble, touring a programme of seven new works by Chinese and New Zealand composers in both China and New Zealand.

The NZSQ is committed to the development of young musicians and composers through its work as Quartet in Residence at the New Zealand School of Music at Victoria University, where three of the members are Associate Professors. They also enjoy giving master classes worldwide and run the annual Adam Summer School for Chamber Music in Nelson.

Helene Pohl – first violin

In February 2017 Helene celebrates her 23rd anniversary with the NZSQ as first violinist, and her 9th Adam Chamber Music Festival as co-artistic director. While she has always been a quartet fanatic at heart, she has not spurned other opportunities that came her way over the years, including concertmaster positions with New World Symphony, Boston Philharmonic and Nashua Symphony, and in recent years, concerto performances in various cities around New Zealand. In October 2016 she was honoured to be the dedicatee and first performer of the violin concerto by Louise Webster, In Hollowed Bone I Hear the Seas Roar. She has also twice been on the international jury of the Michael Hill International Violin Competition.

Born in New York to German parents, Helene Pohl spent her childhood on both sides of the Atlantic. She began violin at age four with the Suzuki method. At 17 she began tertiary study at the Musikhochschule Cologne, continuing her studies with members of the Cleveland Quartet at the Eastman School of Music and at Indiana University with Josef Gingold.

As first violinist of the San Francisco based Fidelio String Quartet (1988-1993), Helene performed extensively in the USA, Germany, England, Italy and South America.

In 2014 she was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her outstanding services to music in New Zealand.

Monique Lapins – second violin

Australian Monique Lapins began her violin studies at the age of six with the Suzuki method and continued her studies at the Australian National Academy of Music under William Hennessy, and at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music under Professor Qian Zhou.

As a chamber musician, she has twice been a finalist in the Asia Pacific Chamber Music Competition and has participated in chamber music programmes and festivals in France, the Czech Republic, Holland, Japan, Hong Kong and Australia and at the prestigious Open Chamber Music Seminars in Prussia Cove in the UK.

A former Emerging Artist with Australian Chamber Orchestra, Monique has toured extensively in collaboration with Australian Chamber Orchestra Collective, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and Singapore Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed under the baton of Seiji Ozawa in Japan and under Philippe Herreweghe in France.

Monique took up her position in the New Zealand String Quartet in May 2016, replacing Doug Beilman who stepped down at the end of 2015. She plays a 1784 Storioni violin, generously loaned by David Duncan Craig and the Lily Duncan Trust.

Gillian Ansell - viola

Gillian Ansell was born in Auckland, New Zealand and began violin and piano lessons at an early age, making her concerto debut at 16 with the Auckland Symphonia (now the Auckland Philharmonia).

An Associated Board Scholarship to study violin, viola and piano took Gillian to the Royal College of Music in London where she won several prizes. She then took up a German Academic Exchange (DAAD) scholarship for further study in Germany at the Musikhochschule Cologne with Igor Ozim and the Amadeus Quartet.

After working professionally in London she returned to New Zealand in 1987 to become a founding member of the NZSQ. She was second violinist for two years before taking up the position of violist of the group. She has been co-artistic director of the Adam Chamber Music Festival since 2001.

In 2008, Gillian was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to music.

Rolf Gjelsten - Cello

Rolf Gjelsten’s musical experiences began at the age of five in his native Victoria, Canada, performing folk songs from Norway taught to him by this Norwegian father, leader of a touring folk dance group. At the age of 10, Rolf began the accordion, joining his sisters playing Scandinavian music, and twice placed first in the U.S. Northwest Accordion Championships, playing classical repertoire. At the age of 13 he started cello with James Hunter and later Janos Starker, and made his concerto debut with the Victoria Symphony when he was 18.

At 22, he became the youngest member of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, returning a year later to North America to study intensively with Zara Nelsova. As a founding member of the Vermilion Quartet, he worked with the La Salle, Hungarian, Cleveland and Emerson String Quartets.

As a member of the Laurentian Quartet for almost a decade, he toured internationally, made numerous recordings, and taught cello at the prestigious Sarah Lawrence College in New York.

From 1990 Rolf furthered his studies at Rutgers University with the great Casals protégé and Beaux-Arts Trio cellist Bernard Greenhouse, receiving his Doctor of Musical Arts degree.

Rolf joined the New Zealand String Quartet in 1994 and was named a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2014. Rolf's is keen on running, tennis, getting tips from great soloists via Digital Concert Hall and repairing things around the house.

Dénes Várjon
Dénes Várjon

Dénes Várjon

Sponsored by the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

His sensational technique, deep musicality, wide range of interest have made Dénes Várjon one of the most exciting and highly regarded participants of international musical life. He is a universal musician: excellent soloist, first-class chamber musician, artistic leader of festivals and highly sought after piano pedagogue.

Widely considered as one of the greatest chamber musicians, Dénes works regularly with pre-eminent partners such as Steven Isserlis, Tabea Zimmermann, Kim Kashkashian, Jörg Widmann, Leonidas Kavakos, András Schiff , Heinz Holliger, Miklós Perényi and Joshua Bell. As a soloist he is a guest at major concert series, from New York’s Carnegie Hall to Vienna’s Konzerthaus and London’s Wigmore Hall.

He is frequently invited to work with many of the world’s leading symphony orchestras including Budapest Festival Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchestra, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Russian National Orchestra, Kremerata Baltica, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Among the conductors he has worked with are Sir Georg Solti, Sándor Végh, Iván Fischer, Ádám Fischer, Heinz Holliger, Horst Stein, Leopold Hager and Zoltán Kocsis. Dénes appears regularly at leading international festivals from Marlboro to Salzburg and Edinburgh.

He also performs frequently with his wife Izabella Simon playing four hands and two pianos recitals together. In the past decade they organised and led several chamber music festivals, the most recent one being kamara.hu at the Franz Liszt Music Academy in Budapest.

Dénes has recorded for the Naxos, Capriccio and Hungaroton labels with critical acclaim. Teldec released his CD with Sándor Veress’s Hommage à Paul Klee (performed with András Schiff, Heinz Holliger and the Budapest Festival Orchestra). His recording Hommage à Géza Anda, (PAN-Classics Switzerland) made important international echoes. His solo CD with pieces of Berg, Janáček and Liszt was released in 2012 by ECM. In 2015 he recorded the Schumann piano concerto with the WDR Symphonieorchester and Heinz Holliger, and all five Beethoven piano concertos with Concerto Budapest and András Keller.

Dénes Várjon graduated from the Franz Liszt Music Academy in 1991, where his professors included Sándor Falvai, György Kurtág and Ferenc Rados. Parallel to his studies he was regular participant at international master classes with András Schiff. He won first prize at the Piano Competition of Hungarian Radio, at the Leó Weiner Chamber Music Competition in Budapest and at the Géza Anda Competition in Zurich.

He is professor at the Franz Liszt Music Academy in Budapest and was awarded with the Liszt and Sándor Veress Prize.

Anthony Marwood

Anthony Marwood

British violinist Anthony Marwood, awarded an MBE in the Queen’s 2018 New Year Honours list, is known worldwide as an artist of exceptional expressive force. His energetic and collaborative nature places him in great demand as soloist/director with chamber orchestras worldwide. He is Principal Artistic Partner of the celebrated Canadian chamber orchestra, Les Violons du Roy, a post he took up in 2015. He was Artist in Residence at the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra in the 2016-17 season, and enjoys regular collaborations with with Australian Chamber Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta in Helsinki and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, among others.

His renown as a soloist has led to collaborations with celebrated conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Sir Andrew Davis, Thomas Søndergård, David Robertson, Douglas Boyd, Jaime Martin, and Bernard Labadie, with orchestras across the globe, from the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Boston Symphony to the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Sydney Symphony.

The 2018/2019 season include a collaboration with Amsterdam Sinfonietta, in a programme incl. the Enescu Octet and the Mendelssohn Double Concerto with Alexander Melnikov, returns to New Zealand to perform the Adès concerto with the Auckland Philharmonia, and to the US for play/direct engagements incl. the Beethoven violin concerto with the St. Louis Symphony and the New Century Chamber Orchestra. Furthermore Anthony will be involved in chamber music projects with the New World Symphony, as well as with pianist Aleksandar Madžar and across the UK with cellist Steven Isserlis.

Anthony’s passionate advocacy of contemporary music is reflected in his diverse programming, alongside more traditional repertoire. Among those new works composed for him is Thomas Adès’ Violin Concerto “Concentric Paths”. Anthony first performed the concerto in Berlin and at the BBC Proms, with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe conducted by the composer. This concerto inhabits a uniquely popular standing among contemporary violin concerti and Anthony continues to perform it with leading orchestras worldwide. Also composed for Anthony were Steven Mackey’s “Four Iconoclastic Episodes”, premiered in 2009 with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, as well as the violin concerti by Sally Beamish (1995) and Samuel Adams (2014).

Anthony Marwood’s most recent release – his 50th on the Hyperion label – is a recording of Walton’s Violin Concerto with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Martyn Brabbins. The disc has received critical acclaim, including a 5-star review in The Guardian and Classical Source and a ‘Recommended Recording’ in The Strad Magazine, whilst the Sunday Times hailed Marwood as “a thrilling, virtuosic soloist”. Anthony also recorded Schumann and Brahms’ violin sonatas with Aleksandar Madžar on the award-winning Wigmore Live label.

Anthony is co-Artistic Director of the Peasmarsh Chamber Music Festival in East Sussex, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2018. He performs annually at the Yellow Barn Festival in Vermont and enjoys a close association with the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne. He was appointed a Fellow of the Guildhall School of Music in 2013. He plays a 1736 Carlo Bergonzi violin, kindly bought by a syndicate of purchasers, and a 2018 violin made by Christian Bayon.

Nikki Chooi
Nikki Chooi

Nikki Chooi

Canadian violinist Nikki Chooi has been described as “richly expressive and technically assured” (Calgary Herald) and “vigorous and colorful” (New York Times).

Nikki is a First Prize Winner of the 2013 Michael Hill Internationaly Violin Competition and the 2009 Klein International Competition, a Laureate of the 2012 Queen Elisabeth Violin Competition, and a winner of the 2013 Astral Artists' Auditions.

His Concerto Engagements in recent years have included performing with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Victoria Symphony, the Edmonton Symphony, National Orchestra of Belgium, Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, the Peninsula Symphony, the Santa Cruz Symphony, the Winnipeg Symphony, the Calgary Philharmonic, the West Virginia Symphony, the Louisville Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic, the Auckland Philharmonia, and the St.Petersburg State Symphony in Russia.

His Recital Engagements have included: the Vancouver Recital Series, Debut Atlantic Canada Recital Tour, Canadian National Arts Debut Series, Caramoor Rising Stars Series in New York, Chamber Music Tulsa, Dame Myra Hess Series in Chicago, La Monnai "Concertini" in Belgium, Chicago’s Harris Theatre, Australia's Musica Viva, and Carnegie’s Zankel Hall.

Passionate in Chamber Music as well, Nikki has performed in many international festivals including Marlboro Music Festival, Ravinia Festival, Dresden Music Festival in Germany, Montreal Chamber Fest, Chamber Music Northwest, Napa Valley’s Music from the Vineyards, and Music from Angel Fire. He has collaborated in performances with Pamela Frank, Gary Graffman, Kim Kashkashian and with members of the Guarneri String Quartet, Juilliard String Quartet, Vermeer String Quartet and Orion String Quartet. In 2009, Nikki was a core member of the Curtis on Tour to Europe ensemble performing with Roberto Diaz and Robert MacDonald and in 2014, he toured with Musicians from Marlboro. He frequently performs with his violinist brother, Timothy Chooi.

He has served as Concertmaster of New York's Metropolitan Opera Orchestra during the 2016/2017 season and has appeared as Guest Concertmaster with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Houston Symphony, and the Moritzburg Festival Orchestra.

During the 2015-2016 season, Nikki was a member of the genre-breaking ensemble, Time for Three, performing internationally with highlights in Barbados, Grand Teton, La Jolla SummerFest, and with the Hong Kong Philharmonic.

James Crabb
James Crabb

James Crabb

James Crabb was born in Dundee, Scotland in 1967 and started playing the accordion at the age of four. He studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen with classical accordion pioneer Mogens Ellegaard from 1985-92. He was 2nd Prize Winner of the Gaudeamus Interpreters competition, 1989 in Holland, and was awarded the Carl Nielsen Music Prize, Denmark in 1991. During his studies he received scholarships from The Countess of Munster Musical Trust, Martin Musical Scholarship Fund, Tillett Trust and Sir James Caird Trust. He gave over 150 performances for the Live Music Now series.

James Crabb’s acclaimed London debut in the Park Lane Group series at the Purcell Room in 1992 catapulted him to the international concert platform. Since then, he has performed worldwide, pioneering the classical accordion. He has appeared at festivals including Edinburgh, the London Proms, Belfast, Lucerne, Sydney Millennium, Cheltenham, Aldeburgh, Kuhmo, Brisbane Biennale, ISCM World Music Days and the Gulbenkian Foundation’s Nordic Days.

Critics internationally have praised his virtuosity and versatile musicianship. He is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading exponents and ambassadors of his chosen instrument.

James has performed with conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Elgar Howarth, Martyn Brabbins, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Gunter Schüller, Markus Stenz, Michael Schønwandt, Susanna Mälkki and Peter Eötvös. He has been soloist with many orchestras including the BBC Scottish, the Philharmonia, London Philharmonic, Sydney, and Melbourne symphony orchestras; and ensembles such as the London Sinfonietta, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Paragon Ensemble, Almeida Ensemble, Nash Ensemble, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic and the Kuhmo Virtuosi. He has had several successful chamber-music collaborations with the violinist Dimitry Sitkovetsky.

James’ great passion and acclaimed authority for the music of Astor Piazzolla have been highlighted by several concert performances with the original members of Piazzolla’s Quintet, Horacio Malvicino, Hector Console and Fernando Suarez-Paz. He is also featured on the film portrait of Astor Piazzolla. (BBC/Opus Arte OA0905)
In 2003, his highly acclaimed recording as soloist and arranger of the works of Astor Piazzolla with the Australian Chamber Orchestra was released. (Song of the Angel, Chandos CH10163)

James also appeared as soloist with the ACO in Japan and Europe. With the orchestra’s leader Richard Tognetti, he performed at the opening ceremony of the 2003 Rugby World Cup in Sydney, to a stadium audience of 83.000 and an estimated 2 billion TV viewers worldwide.

His second recording of Piazzolla’s music in its original quintet instrumentation with Tognetti, Vassilev, Bibeau and Martin, was released in 2005 (Tango Jam Vol.1, Mulberry Hill Recordings MHR-C001).

His best-selling accordion duo debut recording in 1996 with his colleague Geir Draugsvoll of transcriptions of Stravinsky’s Petrouchka and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition (EMI Classics 569072) was re-released in 2002. The duo performs regularly worldwide and collaborates frequently with the Tero Saarinen Dance Company from Finland. Recent performances of Petrouchka with Saarinen include the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, broadcast live on Finnish national television and in St Petersburg as part of a cultural gift to the city from the Finnish Government.
James Crabb has recorded for several labels including NMC, Classico, DaCapo, Simax and ABC Classics, and makes regular radio and TV broadcasts. He gave the first ever solo recital recording for the Sky TV Digital Arts Channel.

World premiere performances and recordings include works by Harrison Birtwistle, Thomas Adès, Luciano Berio, John Casken, Sofia Gubaidulina, Django Bates, Sally Beamish, Elena Kats-Chernin, Gordon McPherson and Lyell Cresswell.
Recent projects have included concerts and recordings with pop stars Martin Hall, Neil Finn and Patti Smith.

He has an ongoing collaboration with multi-media sound designers Ian Dearsden and David Sheppard alias ‘Sound Intermedia’, highlighted by their recent critically acclaimed work ‘Helix’ and has recorded the music for Arc Dance Company’s production of Hamlet composed by Ian Dearsden.
Highlights of 2004-2005 included performances with the Scottish Ensemble, Paragon Ensemble, London Sinfonietta, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Via Salzburg and the English Sinfonia.

In 2005 he directed from the accordion two very successful new opera productions in Denmark; firstly the world premiere of Andy Pape’s Simsalabad, and secondly Astor Piazzolla’s Maria de Buenos Aires, which was the Royal Danish Opera’s production marking the opening of the chamber scene of the new opera house in Copenhagen.
James was involved in comic music-theatre for several years with the Danish percussionist and entertainer Thomas Sandberg. Described as a fusion of Monty Python, Spike Jones and Jacques Tati, Standard (2000) and Dask (2003) productions have both been awarded the prestigious Danish Theatre Prize.

James Crabb has been professor of classical accordion at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen since 1995 and held a guest professorship at the University of Music and Dramatic Arts in Graz, Austria from 1995-2002. He has also given master-classes at music institutions including the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Rotterdam Conservatorium and Toronto University.

James Crabb plays on a Pigini Mythos No.4 model (1992) instrument, tuned and prepared by Leonid Setrakov.

Izabella Simon
Izabella Simon

Izabella Simon

Pianist Izabella Simon graduated at Franz Liszt Music Academy in Budapest as a student of György Kurtág, Ferenc Rados, and Jenő Jandó. After graduating she has been a regular participant of the most prestigeous international festivals, like the Ittingen Festival led by András Schiff and Heinz Holliger, the Prussia Cove Festival founded by Sándor Végh, the Maribor, and the Marlboro Festival. Recently she has performed at the Cheltenham, the Heidelberg, the Hitzacker, the Davos, and the Kempten Chamber Music Festivals, and played at the Schwetzingen Festspiele, with partners like Heinz Holliger, Steven Isserlis, Miklós Perényi, Christoph Richter, and Radovan Vlatkovic. She particularly enjoys working with singers, which is underlined by her appearances with Sylvia Sass, Andrea Rost, Judit Német, Éva Bátori, Ruth Ziesak, and Hanno Müller-Brachmann.

As a soloist, besides the Hungarian orchestras, she has performed with the Kremerata Baltica, the Camerata Bern, and the Camerata Zürich. She frequently plays piano four hands, and piano duets both in Hungary and abroad with her husband, Dénes Várjon, like the highly successful concert with the Winterthur Orchestra led by Thomas Zehetmair in 2012. Izabella has made records with Sylvia Sass (Lisz and Schubert lieders), and Andrea Rost (Kodály and Ligeti lieders). Besides her concerts in Hungary she will perform in the next season in the Zürcher Festspiele, the Wigmore Hall in London, the Salzburger Festspiele in Austria, the Normandy Festival in France, the Prussia Cove Festival in England, and the Marlboro Festival in the United States. After her very successful concert at 92 Y in New York she was invited to the famous Bard College as a guest professor. To popularise chamber music she has invented The Night of the Chamber Music, with participants like Steven Isserlis or Ferenc Rados.

Wilma Smith
Wilma Smith

Wilma Smith

Born in Fiji, Wilma studied at Auckland University and had an early professional experience with the Auckland Symphonia (now Philharmonia) and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. She then continued her studies in Boston at the New England Conservatory with Dorothy DeLay and Louis Krasner, playing in masterclasses for many others including Josef Gingold, Yehudi Menuhin and Sándor Végh. Wilma was the founding first violinist of the Lydian String Quartet, prizewinners at Evian, Banff and Portsmouth International Competitions and winners of the Naumburg Award for Chamber Music. Although the Lydian String Quartet was Smith's professional focus in Boston, she also worked regularly in the Boston Symphony Orchestra and led the Harvard Chamber Orchestra, the Handel and Haydn Society and Banchetto Musicale, a period instrument baroque orchestra.

An invitation to form the New Zealand String Quartet took her back to Wellington in 1987 and she was first violinist of the quartet until her appointment as Concertmaster of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in 1993. During her years with the quartet they toured New Zealand and Australia extensively and performed at the Tanglewood Festival. Prior to her departure for Melbourne, the NZSO honoured her with the title of Concertmaster Emeritus.

Wilma Smith became Concertmaster of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) in 2003. The MSO's Chief Conductor Sir Andrew Davis has stated that, of all the performances of Ralph Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending he has conducted, Wilma Smith's was "unquestionably the most beautiful". He describes her as "an exceptional musician with whom [he] felt an immediate rapport". In June 2013 she announced her retirement from the MSO from the end of the 2014 season

Wilma has enjoyed a longstanding duo partnership with pianist Michael Houstoun, and since moving to Melbourne has formed the Munro/Smith/Berlin Trio with Ian Munro (piano) and David Berlin (cello) with whom she has performed regularly in New Zealand and Australia. In the last two years she has been a frequent guest with another Melbourne group, Ensemble Liaison, whose core is clarinet, cello and piano but who expand with other instruments to perform a widely varied and eclectic repertoire. The 2008 International Festival of the Arts in Wellington provided an opportunity for three concerts of chamber music collaboration with Steven Isserlis (cello), Melvyn Tan (piano), Houstoun (piano) and Carolyn Henbest (viola). The connection with Isserlis continued in 2009 with Smith's participation in his Open Chamber Music Seminar at Prussia Cove in Cornwall, England.

Ian Munro
Ian Munro

Ian Munro

Ian Munro has emerged over recent years as one of Australia’s most distinguished and awarded musicians, with a career that has taken him to thirty countries in Europe, Asia, North America and Australasia. His award in 2003 of Premier Grand Prix at the Queen Elisabeth International Competition for composers (Belgium) is a unique achievement for an Australian and follows on from multiple prizes in international piano competitions in Spain (Maria Canals), Italy (Busoni), Portugal (Vianna da Motta) and the UK, where his second prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition in 1987 established his international profile.

After completing his early training in Melbourne under the guidance of Roy Shepherd, a pupil of Alfred Cortot, and furthered his studies in Vienna, London and Italy with Noretta Conci, Guido Agosti and Michele Campanella, his international career began in the UK, where he has performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia, English Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players, BBC Concert Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and broadcast widely for the BBC. Elsewhere, he has performed with orchestras in Poland, Italy, Portugal, Russia, the USA, China, New Zealand and all the major orchestras in Australia in over sixty piano concerti. A widely experienced chamber musician, Ian joined the acclaimed Australia Ensemble in Sydney in 2000.

Ian has recorded CDs for ABC Classics, Hyperion, Cala, Naxos, Marco Polo, Tall Poppies and the UK label Warehouse. Recent discs the collected music by Tasmanian composer Katharine Parker and the piano concerto by Elena Kats-Chernin, commissioned for Ian Munro by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. During the last few concert seasons Ian has performed concerti by Ravel, Munro, Mozart, Kats-Chernin, Gershwin and Edwards, toured to the UK, Russia, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Uzbekistan and throughout Australia and New Zealand in recitals, chamber music and concerto performances. Increasingly in demand as a composer, he was Featured Composer for Musica Viva in 2011. His flute concerto and song cycle ‘Three birds’ receive their premieres in 2016 with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Australia Ensemble respectively.

Ian Munro has emerged over recent years as one of Australia’s most distinguished and awarded musicians, with a career that has taken him to thirty countries in Europe, Asia, North America and Australasia. His award in 2003 of Premier Grand Prix at the Queen Elisabeth International Competition for composers (Belgium) is a unique achievement for an Australian and follows on from multiple prizes in international piano competitions in Spain (Maria Canals), Italy (Busoni), Portugal (Vianna da Motta) and the UK, where his second prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition in 1987 established his international profile.

Since 2003, his works have been frequently heard all over Australia, with broadcasts on the ABC and BBC. Commissions from the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra through a Symphony Australia residency led to ‘Blue Rags’ (2005), ‘Drought & Night Rain’ (2005) and ‘O Traurigkeit’ (2006), written for soloist Sue-Ellen Paulsen (cello). In 2011 he was Featured Composer for Musica Viva’s international season, in which his piano trio ‘Tales from Old Russia’ (2008), String Quartet no.1, Clarinet Quintet and Piano Quintet no.2 were toured by the Eggner Trio, Brentano Quartet, Sabina Meyer and the Modigliano Quartet, and the Goldner Quartet with Munro as soloist. Other works have been written for Gondwana Voices, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Chorale, Flinders Quartet, Huntington Festival and Plexus.

In 2016, his flute concerto, commissioned by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, receives its premiere in November with soloist Prudence Davis. The song cycle ‘Three birds’, commissioned by Norma Hawkins for the Australia Ensemble, will be played in August with Sara MacLiver as soloist.

Most of my works are available for purchase at the Australian Music Centre. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, drop me a line.

Anna Pokorny
Anna Pokorny

Anna Pokorny

Anna graduated as a cello student of Howard Penny from the Australian National Academy of Music in 2012. She holds a Bachelor of Music from The University of Western Australia where she studied with Dr Suzanne Wijsman, and in 2013-14 undertook further postgraduate performance study at the International Menuhin Music Academy in Switzerland with Professor Niall Brown.

Throughout her study Anna performed in master classes with David Geringas, Steven Isserlis, Mischa Maisky, Maxim Vengerov, the Borodin String Quartet, Doric String Quartet, Brodsky String Quartet and Eggner Trio. In 2012 she was an Australian Chamber Orchestra Emerging Artist.

Since 2012 Anna has had the pleasure of performing with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, ACO Collective and West Australian Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician she has appeared in concert series and festivals across Australia including the Perth International Arts Festival, Metropolis Music Festival and Bangalow Music Festival.

She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Pauline Steele Prize for Bach, ANAM Prize for Most Outstanding Performance in a Recital, Woodside Concerto and ANAM Chamber Music Competition Winner, Ian Potter Cultural Trust Scholarship, and the Ernest V. Llewellyn Memorial Fund Travel and Study Scholarship.

Anna Fraser
Anna Fraser

Anna Fraser

Born in Sydney and a graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (2000) and New England Conservatory (2002) in Boston, Anna Fraser has gained a reputation as a versatile soprano specialising predominantly in the interpretation of early and contemporary repertoire. In 2002, before returning to Australia, Anna attended the Britten-Pears Young Artist Program under the expert tutelage of the late Anthony Rolfe-Johnson and was a featured soloist in Handel's Dixit Dominus and the masque Acis and Galatea directed by Richard Egarr at the Aldeburgh Festival.

In Australia, Anna performs extensively with a number of Sydney's professional ensembles including Pinchgut Opera, Cantillation, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Sydney Symphony, Ironwood, Salut! Baroque, ACO Voices, Sydney Consort, Ondine Productions (Caccini’s La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall’isola d'Alcina) and Thoroughbass and, as a permanent member since 2008, the Song Company with whom Anna regularly performs in national tours, most recently with Tura New Music joined by William Barton (didgeridoo) travelling through remote and beautiful areas of Western Australia and the Northern Territory in 2011, as well as abroad, to destinations such as the Flanders Festival in Gent (2009), the Royal Northern College, Manchester and Switzerland (2008), the Shanghai World Expo, China and a national tour with Chamber Music New Zealand (2010). Anna has also been featured with the Song Company, Cantillation and Pinchgut Opera in numerous recordings for ABC Classic and independent labels release as an ensemble singer and a soloist.

With Sydney’s Pinchgut Opera, Anna has been performing with the specialised opera company in their annual productions since 2004, with roles in Monteverdi's L'Orfeo (Speranza), Rameau’s Dardanus (Une Phrygienne) and Cavalli’s L’Ormindo (Mirinda and Melide) and most recently in their 2012 production of Rameau’s Castor et Pollux (Cléone, Une Suivante, Une Ombre): “Anna Fraser, who took on a variety of smaller roles, had the most thrilling sound – big and effortless.” Bachtrack

Earlier in 2012 Anna had the pleasure of collaborating as a soloist with Elizabeth Wallfisch (violin) and the Wallfisch Band in various programmes at the Canberra International Music Festival including Bach’s B minor Mass and Mozart’s Davide Penitente. Anna was delighted to join them again in London to perform in their Bach Unwrapped programmes at Kings Place over the 2013 New Year period to much acclaim.

Thomas Hutchinson
Thomas Hutchinson

Thomas Hutchinson

Praised for his “beautifully conveyed and languid oboe playing”as well as a “freshness and vitality”, New Zealand-born Thomas Hutchinson (b. 1992) has fast become recognized as one of the most exciting musicians of his generation. He was a winner of the 66thARD competition in Munich in 2017, also being awarded the special prize for the best performance of the commissioned work by Thierry Escaish. Laureate of many other competitions and prizes, he won the Australian National Academy of Music Concerto Competition and most outstanding recital prize, and was awarded prizes in the New Zealand Young Performer of the Year and the Gisborne International Music Competitions. He has made numerous appearances as soloist, including with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Münchener Kammerorchester, Münchner Rundfunkorchester, Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, Bach Musica NZ, Orchestra Victoria, and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. He has also toured extensively throughout New Zealand and Australia playing chamber music and recitals.In 2015 he was appointed to the position of associate principal oboe with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra under Sir Andrew Davis and also began teaching at the Australian National Academy of Music, University of Melbourne, and the International Oboe Summer School in Wellington, New Zealand.Thomas began his studies in Auckland and Melbourne before moving to Paris where he was unanimously admitted to the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris to study with Jacques Tys and David Walter, graduating in 2015
with highest honours. He also received invaluable advice and teaching from Maurice Bourgue, Gordon Hunt, Diana Doherty and Jeffrey Crellin.Thomas plays an oboe made for him by Dupin Manufactory in Luxembourg.

Jian Liu
Jian Liu

Jian Liu

Jian Liu has been gaining reputation as a well sought-after solo pianist, chamber musician, and educator across the globe. He has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. His artistry has been taking him to some of the most prestigious concert halls, including Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall in New York, Rose Hall of Lincoln Center, Sprague Hall and Woolsey Hall of Yale University, and Paul Hall of Julliard School, and as a featured soloist with orchestras including Symphony Orchestra of National Philharmonic Society of Ukraine, Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, and Yale Philharmonia, among others.

Jian has also been a prize-winner at Horowitz (Ukraine) and Missouri Southern (USA) international competitions and has performed at Auckland (New Zealand), Idyllwild (USA), Beijing (China), Lausanne (Switzerland) music festivals. Jian’s performances have been broadcast by various TV and radio stations including KPHO public radio, CCTV (China), Suisse Romande Radio, and Radio New Zealand.

As a dedicated and enthusiastic chamber musician, Jian is the founding pianist of Te Kōkī Trio, the resident trio at New Zealand School of Music, and the trio has appeared on various chamber series in Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. Jian has also performed as a guest pianist with some of the world-class musicians, including cellist Jian Wang, clarinetist David Shifrin, flutist Ransom Wilson, Boston Symphony Orchestra cellist Alexandre Lecarme, violinist Sarita Kwok, and pianist Boris Berman and Maria João Pires.

As a passionate performer, Jian is equally committed to education. Jian served for four years on the faculty of the Yale Department of Music, and he is currently the Head of Piano Studies at New Zealand School of music, as well as the honorary piano professor at Qingdao University in China. He has also taught master classes and lectures at the Central Conservatory of Music (China), Wellesley College and East Carolina University (USA), Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music and School of the Arts (Singapore), and Sydney Conservatorium, among others. Jian studied with Professor Jin Zhang from Central Conservatory in Beijing for six years, then with Dr. Caio Pagano at Arizona State University for eight years. He holds Master of Music, Doctor and Master of Musical Arts degrees from Yale School of Music, where he was a student of Claude Frank.

Samuel Jacobs
Samuel Jacobs

Samuel Jacobs

Samuel Jacobs is Principal horn of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having spent three years as Principal horn of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London. He has made numerous commercial recordings for the film and pop industries, including albums with Sting, Sam Smith and Florence & The Machine, and soundtracks for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Interstellar, The Martian and the latest Bond film Spectre, as well as scores for television and video games, including the Halo franchise. Samuel’s solo experience includes concertos by Haydn, Mozart, Hoffmann, Franz Strauss and Richard Strauss, as well as Schumann’s Konzertstuckon Principal horn. Samuel has recorded John Rimmer’s Horn Concerto with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and his performance of Mozart’s 4th Horn Concerto with Sinfonia Viva was broadcast on Classic FM.

Douglas News
Douglas News

Douglas Mews

Douglas Mews is a freelance musician based in Wellington, where he teaches organ and harpsichord at the New Zealand School of Music. He graduated from Auckland University M.Mus in organ and harpsichord, having studied with the late Anthony Jennings. This was followed by two years’ post- graduate harpsichord study with Bob van Asperen at the Hague Conservatorium.
As harpsichordist, he has given many recitals in New Zealand as well as performing with various visiting musicians, including baroque violinist Stanley Ritchie, early flautist Rachel Brown, singer Richard Wistreich, recorder player Peter Holtslag, and violist Nobuko Imai.

Joan Perarnau Garriga
Joan Perarnau Garriga

Joan Perarnau Garriga

Joan was born in Catalunya, Spain where he began playing the double bass. After finishing his initial studies, he moved to the UK where he graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London in 2005. Soon after that he moved to Japan as a founding member of the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra, where he was principal double bass.

In 2008 he was a member of the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra and the Lucerne Festival Academy under the direction of Pierre Boulez. From 2009 Joan has been a member of the prestigious Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra, touring around the world with world-renowned conductors and soloists.
Joan is currently principal double bass with the NZSO and teaches at the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington.

Rob Thorne
Rob Thorne

Rob Thorne

(Ngāti Tumutumu)

Composer, Performer, Improvisor, Collaborator, Anthropologist, Specialist
New Zealand Māori composer, performer and anthropologist Rob Thorne (Ngāti Tumutumu) is a diverse and original explorer in the evolving journey of Taonga Pūoro (traditional Māori instruments), fusing these ancient voices with modern sounds and technology. His debut solo album Whaia te Maramatanga (Rattle Records) is a deeply felt and highly concentrated conversation between the past and the present - a musical passage of identity and connection.

Using modern looping technology and traditional Māori flutes and horns made from stone, bone, shell and wood, Rob creates a transcendent aural experience that touches the soul with timeless beauty. Every performance of "Whāia te Māramatanga" is a stunning and very personal exploration of the spiritual and healing qualities of an ancient practise.

Rob’s combined musical and academic experience and skills are multitudinal. A musician with over 25 years performance experience in bands and solo, predominantly within alternative rock, free noise, experimental, and improvisational sound art, his work since 2001 with traditional Māori musical instruments (taonga pūoro) has seen him complete an MA in Social Anthropology, and since 2008, incorporate this diverse experience to create long, beautifully transcendent, ambient compositions using loops, intelligently blending the modern with the ancient: a format that is now being picked up and utilised by many taonga pūoro players.

His journey of identity has seen him travel the country to research museum collections, teach and lecture, present as keynote, demonstrate, collaborate and perform, working academically and musically with both traditional and sonic masters including Richard Nunns and Phil Dadson. His Post Graduate Diploma research became a museum exhibition "Kōauau: The Music Within", which successfully toured New Zealand regionally for 5 years and awoke many to the natural ease with which the instruments can be made and played.

In 2012 he received Creative New Zealand funding, and recorded his debut taonga puoro album “Whāia te Māramatanga” with Steve Garden of Rattle Records. He recorded with sonic artist Campbell Kneale, and also with producer and beats master Benny Tones under the moniker Uenuku. He participated in a New Zealand Pacific Studio cultural exchange and performance series as a Resident-at-Large with Korean dancer & drummer Saes Byeol Cha and Italian born guitarist Lorenzo Buhne, was awarded Manawatu Student City Musical Artist of the Year and opened Palmerston North's Christmas in the Park in collaboration with Warren Warbrick.

2013 included working with director Vanessa Stacey on her acclaimed Summer Shakespeare show 'The Tempest'; performing with Richard Nunns at Voices of Sacred Earth conference; recording for Dudley Benson's 'Forest' remix project; composing and performing for several theatre productions; and being invited to participate in Phil Dadson's exclusively curated, inaugural, island sound-art exploration "Sounding Tiritirimatangi”. He also travelled to the Peruvian Amazon to research and experience ancient indigenous sound-healing techniques. While in Lima he performed solo, collaborated with jazz drummer Steve Cournane, and lectured on his work with taonga pūoro.

In 2014 he released Whāia Te Māramatanga on the renowned Rattle Records label to critical acclaim, was nominated for Best Traditional Album at the Waiata Māori Music Awards, received nomination in the Taite Music Prize, and completed a highly successful NZ national tour. He collaborated by invite with NZ icon Phil Dadson & Chilean musician Enrique Sique in "X-Current" on a North Island tour, presented & performed at WINTEC SPARK Festival and performed & collaborated again with Phil Dadson in the second “Sounding Tiritirimatangi”, with taonga puoro master Richard Nunns, sonic pioneers Michael Morley and Stanier-Black 5, with singer Dudley Benson, and experimental saxophonist Jeff Henderson.

2015 saw Rob working collaboratively with Samin Son & Sarah Bingle as Fire Nation, other taonga puoro artists Ariana Tikao & Alistair Fraser in ARA, and Kent Macpherson and Joe Citizen at the Hamilton Fringe Festival in the dance production “{presence}”. In June, Thorne travelled with Charlotte Yates and Gil Eva Craig on a NZ Arts On Tour funded nationwide tour.

2016 was an outstanding year, seeing Rob travelling by invitation to compose and perform a commissioned world-premiere collaborative work with electronic revolutionary Fis at CTM/Transmediale Festival and record at Red Bull Studios in Berlin. A stunning sunrise and sunset performance at the Hamilton Gardens Festival in the traditional Māori garden Te Ara Whakatauki, and a return to Hamilton Fringe with Kent Macpherson, this time with NZSYO cellist Yotam Levy in the audio-visual extravaganza The Unseen Mechanised Eye. He was published in the Cantabrian Society for Sonic Artists print journal "Writing Around Sound: In Whose Tradition" alongside kiwi sonic luminary Bruce Russell, with an article that discussed past, present and future traditions. Through the year he worked closely with award winning composer Salina Fisher on her transcription based composition "Tōrino: echoes on pūtōrino improvisations by Rob Thorne" which was premiered by the NZ String Quartet in September, and went on to win the SOUNZ Contemporary Award at the national Silver Scrolls Awards in 2017. In October he took part in Melbourne's Liquid Architecture "Why Listen To Animals" project, performed at Monash University Museum of Art for the opening of the prestigious exhibition "Life Inside An Image", and participated in a group effort at The Unconformity Festival in Queenstown, Tasmania. In November he was the keynote lecture at the NZ Musicological Society conference, and returned to Tasmania by request of Brian Ritchie to perform five shows at Hobart's renowned MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) for the opening of their new On the Origins of Art exhibition.

Early 2017 he returned to Europe to release the much anticipated collaborative Fis album Clear Stones (Subtext Recordings on vinyl and CD) to stunning critical acclaim, performing at the experimental Borderline Festival in Athens Greece, Cafe Oto in London, Superbudda Creative Collective in Torino Italy, and Mondo Muzak Festival in Milan. While in Greece he recorded with pianist Tania Giannouli and only in London for one day and night he also managed to present at Westminster University, and record with Greek hip-hop artist Stereo Mike Exarchos.
Mid-year he took up the highly-regarded position as the Jack C. Richards Composer-in-Residence at the New Zealand School of Music at Victoria University in Wellington. While there he devised “Te Koki”, an electro-acoustic acousmatic composition that sonically imagined a pre-colonial Aotearoa/NZ dawn chorus with Kent Macpherson which was presented to full houses. His work with students at NZ School of Music has included composing and recording for film, and performing and recording both scored and improvised ensemble student works involving saxophone, double bass and drums, electric guitar, percussion and vocal quartet, live electronics, field recordings, analog synthesizer, and strings.
In October 2017 he attended WOMEX in Poland as an artist delegate supported by the NZ Music Commission, and in December presented a joint paper at the NZ Musicological Society conference ‘Performing History’ with Stereo Mike Exarchos on their collaborative glitch-hop/taonga pūoro work.

Commissioned for 2018 by the New Zealand String Quartet to write a new collaborative work with taonga pūoro, and by the New Zealand Festival to devise a show, he composed “Tomokanga”, a ten minute piece for pukaea, putorino, putatara and string quartet which was premiered in early March that year by the NZF to a full house at the stunning St Mary of the Angels Cathedral. The concerto styled show also included works by composers Gillian Whitehead, Gareth Farr and Salina Fisher, and poetry by Maori language expert Dr. Vincent Olsen-Reeder.
Also for March 2018, Fis and Rob Thorne were invited to showcase at SXSW Festival in Texas. In April, Rob collaborated with Austrian sonic pioneer Elisabeth Schimana in her renowned Virus project, before completing his year long residency at NZSM/Victoria University in June. In July he travels to Darmstadt Summer Courses to perform in the 3-hour commissioned show “Tautitotito” with New Zealand composers Celeste Oram and Alex Taylor. The highly anticipatedstunning new album “Rewa” that was recorded with Tania Giannouli in 2017 is set for release on June 21, and is greatly anticipated to be released mid year on Rattle Records.

Naoto Segawa
Naoto Segawa

Naoto Segawa

Naoto Segawa is a dedicated contemporary musician who specializes in marimba performance.

He won numerous awards in competitions including 14th KOBE International Music Competition, 6th Romania International Music Competition and JILA music competition.

Naoto actively seeks to perform the works of up-and-coming composers. He has premiered many new compositions, including pieces composed by Joshua Pangilinan, David Taylor, Tsu-Chin Hsu, Kongmeng Liew and Simon Eastwood. His previous teachers include Yoshiko Kanda, Sumire Yoshihara, Jonathan Fox and Kunihiko Komori.

2019 Adam Troubadours
2019 Adam Troubadours

2019 Adam Troubadours

The Adam Troubadour Quartet Programme is a two-year career development experience for four young string players. The programme includes learning and performance opportunities provided by Adam Chamber Music Festival, Adam Summer School and Chamber Music New Zealand.

The 2018/19 Troubadours are Claudia Tarrant-Mathews (Violin), Sofia Tarrant-Matthews (Violin), Grant Baker (Viola) and Olivia Wilding (Cello).

As well as performing in two free-entry concerts in the 2019 Adam Chamber Music Festival, the Troubadours will present a series of programmes in the community.