The Festival Team

Helene Pohl

Artistic Director - Helene Pohl

Born in Ithaca, New York to German parents, Helene Pohl spent her childhood on both sides of the Atlantic and began her musical studies at age four. After attending the Musikhochschule in Cologne she continued her studies with members of the Cleveland Quartet at the Eastman School of Music and at Indiana University with Josef Gingold.

She toured internationally as first violinist of the San Francisco based Fidelio String Quartet 1988-1993 and joined the New Zealand String Quartet as first violinist in February 1994. She has performed concertos with orchestras around the country, and as Associate Professor teaches violin and chamber music at the NZ School of Music Te Koki at Victoria University of Wellington.

She is also Patron of Arohanui Strings, a Sistema string teaching project in the Wellington region. In 2014 she was awarded the MNZM for her services to music in New Zealand.
Gillian Ansell

Artistic Director - Gillian Ansel

Born in Auckland, New Zealander Gillian Ansell made her concerto debut as violinist with the Auckland Symphonia (Auckland Philharmonia) at 16 years of age. She was awarded an Associated Board Scholarship to the Royal College of Music, London where she won several prizes on violin and viola. After further study on a German Academic Exchange DAAD scholarship at the Musikhochschule in Cologne with Igor Ozim and the Amadeus Quartet, she worked professionally in London for three years before returning to New Zealand in 1987 to become a founding member of the New Zealand String Quartet.

Apart from her work in the NZSQ, in 2021 she appeared as concerto soloist with the Hawkes Bay Orchestra and Dunedin Symphony Orchestra. She is an Associate Professor at the New Zealand School of Music Te Kōkī at Victoria University of Wellington, where she has teaches viola and chamber music. In the 2008 New Year's Honours list she became a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for her services to music in New Zealand.

In 2019 she was made an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Registered Music Teachers. Gillian and Helene have been Artistic Directors of the Adam Chamber Music Festival since 2001.
Collen Marshall, Adam Music Festival Trust Chair
Colleen Marshall

Nelson Music Festival Trust

The Adam Chamber Music Festival is produced by the Nelson Music Festival Trust which was established in 1994 and became registered as a Charitable Trust in 2009.

Chairperson Colleen Marshall was born and educated in Nelson and went on to further study at Christchurch Teachers' College and Canterbury University. Until retirement, she was Head of Music at Nelson College for Girls. She was Chair of the Nelson Arts Council for 12 years and a member of the Board of Creative New Zealand with the specific tasks of chairing the Music Panel.

Colleen Marshall is currently Chair of the Nelson Music Festival Trust which administers the Adam Festival of Chamber Music. She was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2014 Queen's Birthday honours list.

Other trustees include David Knight, Alastair Kerr, Lissa Cowie, Adrian Secker and Roger Taylor.
Sophie Kelly, Manager, Adam chamber Music festival
Sophie Kelly

Manager - Sophie Kelly

Sophie Kelly is a dedicated arts advocate with an extensive background in event curation and management including Nelson Arts Festival, Summer Events programme, Opera in the Park, Te Ramaroa Light Festival and Upsurge Bay of Islands Arts Festival. As well as managing the Adam Chamber Music Festival she is also the Artistic Director of the Wānaka Festival of Colour.