Adam Summer Celebration 2022
We are delighted to welcome all our wonderful artists to this years Summer Celebration.
New Zealand String Quartet
Helene Pohl (violin l), Monique Lapins (violin ll), Gillian Ansell (viola), Rolf Gjelsten (cello)
Sponsored by Laurie and Peter Rothenberg
Celebrating its 35th season in 2022, the New Zealand String Quartet has an established international reputation for its insightful interpretations, compelling communication, and dynamic performing style. The Quartet is known for its imaginative programming and for its 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 Bartok, Mozart to Berg, in addition to theatrical presentations encompassing spoken word and dance, from Haydn’s Seven Last Words to Schoenberg’s Transfigured Night. The Quartet have proudly championed New Zealand music since their inception, commissioning over 150 New Zealand works, alongside collaborations with taonga pūoro players Rob Thorne, Alastair Fraser, and the late Richard Nunns.
The Quartet’s extensive discography includes complete quartets by Mendelssohn, Brahms, Bartok and Berg, numerous New Zealand compositions, works by Ravel, Debussy, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Dvorak, 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. A follow up album of all-NZ music has just been released. Their recordings on the Naxos label include Asian Music for String Quartet, the complete chamber works for strings by Douglas Lilburn, and all the Brahms string quartets as well as his string and clarinet quintets. Their most recent recording,Janacek String Quartets Nos. 1 and 2 / Sonnets, was released in February 2021.
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, and made many visits to Australia, including the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville and Canberra International Music Festival. Much-loved by audiences in New Zealand, the country’s premier chamber ensemble presents a vast array of concerts in venues large and small, alongside mentoring and education projects with Sistema programmes all over the country each year.
The New Zealand String Quartet is renowned for its versatility and has enjoyed collaborating with musicians and artists from all over the globe, in a range of classical, jazz and world music and dance genres. Collaborations have included performances with Piers Lane, Kathryn Stott, Martin Roscoe, Denes Varjon, Peter Nagy, James Campbell, Nobuko Imai, Hariolf Schlichtig, Gao Ping, Anton Kuerti, Alexander Lonquich, Peter Cropper, Colin Carr, Frans Helmerson, Christoph Richter, and Joel Quarrington, the Lafayette, Lindsay, Michelangelo, Prazak and Goldner Quartets, BBC Scottish Symphony, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Collective Aotearoa, Royal New Zealand Ballet, The Song Company and Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir.
Devoted teachers as well as performers, all members of the NZSQ teach at New Zealand School of Music – Te Kōkī where the NZSQ is Quartet-in-Residence, as well as running the Adam Chamber Music School in Nelson and the NZSM Queen’s Birthday Chamber Music Weekend in Wellington for up-and-coming chamber musicians
Helene Pohl (Violin I)
Born in Ithaca, New York to German parents, Helene Pohl spent her childhood on both sides of the Atlantic. At 17 she began tertiary study at the Musikhochschule Cologne. She continued 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. The Fidelio Quartet was prize-winner in the 1991 London International String Quartet Competition and Quartet-in-Residence at both the Tanglewood and Aspen Music Festivals.
Helene joined the New Zealand String Quartet as first violinist in February 1994. In 2001 she became Artistic Director, with fellow quartet member Gillian Ansell, of the Adam Chamber Music Festival. In 2014 she was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for her outstanding services to music in New Zealand.
In her spare time she enjoys cooking and baking, getting out into nature and playing concertos with orchestras around New Zealand, including Nelson Symphony Orchestra.
Helene plays a Pietro Guarnerius violin made in Venice in 1730.
Monique Lapins (Violin II)
Monique Lapins began her violin studies at the age of six with the Suzuki method and continued her studies at Australian National Academy of Music under William Hennessy, and at Singapore’s Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music under Professor Qian Zhou.
She was a finalist twice in the Asia Pacific Chamber Music Competition and has performed in festivals throughout France, the Czech Republic, Holland, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia and at the Open Chamber Music Seminars in Prussia Cove directed by world-renowned cellist, Steven Isserlis. Monique has toured extensively in collaboration with the Australian Chamber Orchestra Collective, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and Singapore Symphony Orchestra. She has performed with artists including conductor Seiji Ozawa in Japan, conductor Philippe Herreweghe in France, Jerusalem String Quartet in New Zealand (Adam Chamber Music Festival - ACMF), pianist Dénes Várjon in New Zealand (ACMF) and as a soloist with French violinist, Oliver Charlier in Japan.
Monique joined the NZSQ in May 2016.
Monique plays a 1784 Lorenzo Storioni violin, kindly loaned by Mr David Duncan Craig, as trustee of the Lily Duncan Trust.
Gillian Ansell (Viola)
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 NZSQ, in 2021 she appeared as concerto soloist with Hawkes Bay Orchestra and Dunedin Symphony Orchestra. She is an Associate Professor at 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. Gillian plays on a 1619 Nicolò Amati viola, generously loaned by the Adam Foundation.
Rolf Gjelsten (cello)
Rolf Gjelsten began cello studies in his native city Victoria, Canada, with James Hunter and Janos Starker at the age of 15. At 22 he became the youngest member of Berlin Symphony Orchestra. Rolf returned to North America to study with Zara Nelsova which led to further study with the members of the La Salle, Hungarian, Vermeer, Cleveland and Emerson string quartets.
As a member of the Laurentian Quartet for almost a decade he toured internationally, made five CDs and taught cello at Sarah Lawrence College in New York. During this time he was also a member of the New York Piano Trio.
Rolf furthered his studies from 1990 with the great Pablo Casals protégé and Beaux Arts Trio cellist Bernhard Greenhouse at Rutgers University, where he received his doctoral degree in cello.
He has performed with such eminent artists as Menahem Pressler, Anton Kuerti, Piers Lane, Tasmin Little, Nobuko Imai and Gervaise de Peyer.
Rolf joined the New Zealand String Quartet in May 1994 and in 2014 he was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for his outstanding services to music in New Zealand.
Rolf plays a Francesco Gofriller cello made in Venice in 1705.
Amalia Hall (violin), Ashley Brown (cello), and Somi Kim (piano)
Sponsored by Ruth Bonita and Robert Beaglehole
Described as a ‘national treasure’ and ‘New Zealand’s most indispensable ensemble’ (William Dart, NZ Herald), NZTrio is renowned for its eclectic repertoire, outstanding talent and warm kiwi stage presence. Any preconceptions of classical music being stuffy or intimidating are smashed by edgy repertoire, venue ambiance, and post-concert manaakitanga. Bringing together three incredibly accomplished artists: Amalia Hall (violin), Ashley Brown (cello) and Somi Kim (piano), every NZTrio performance powerfully reaffirms the importance and cathartic nature of a live musical experience in today’s digital world.
A respected ambassador of new compositional works, NZTrio has championed over 75 new commissions to date (more than two thirds from NZ composers) and showcases these around the country and overseas. They enthusiastically welcome collaborative opportunities, with many projects past and future spanning the arts spectrum of contemporary dance (BalletCollective Aotearoa, 2021; New Zealand Dance Co., 2012/13), indie/alternative (Finn Andrews, 2021), taonga pūoro (Horomona Horo, 2019), animated film (David Downes, 2009), theatre (Massive Co., 2013), voice (Simon O’Neill, 2016) as well as cross-cultural musical works with masters of Chinese guzheng and Cambodian traditional instruments. The group has also established two mentorship programmes that reach out to high school musicians and tertiary composers nationally as well as an ever-expanding catalogue of recorded work. Critical acclaim includes a Tui for Best Classical Artist at the 2017 Vodafone NZ Music Awards, two citation awards: the KBB Music/CANZ citation (2012) and the Lilburn Trust Citation (2017) – both for outstanding services to New Zealand Music.
Amalia Hall (violin)
Noted by The Strad for her ‘blazing insight and dazzling virtuosity’, Amalia Hall is equally accomplished as a soloist, as Concertmaster of Orchestra Wellington and violinist of NZTrio. Amalia's career extends internationally, having won the 1st prize at five international competitions, plus numerous laureate prizes including Joseph Joachim International Competition and International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians. As a teenager she won all of the major national awards in New Zealand. Since her solo debut aged 9 with Auckland Philharmonia, Amalia has concertised around NZ and internationally as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. Solo appearances include I Virtuosi Italiani, NDR Radiophilharmonie, National Symphony Orchestra of Uzbekistan and Mexico State Symphony Orchestra. She has performed throughout Europe, USA, South Africa, Australia, China, Mexico, Argentina and Uzbekistan, and recorded for BIS, Bridge and Atoll Records. Amalia studied at the Curtis Institute of Music with Pamela Frank and Joseph Silverstein.
Ashley Brown (cello)
Acclaimed as a ‘virtuosic’ performer of ‘unimpeachable artistry’ (NZ Herald), Ashley Brown is one of New Zealand’s leading soloists, collaborators, chamber musicians and recording artists. He is a founder of NZTrio and a passionate advocate for New Zealand music. His teachers have included Alexander Ivashkin, Aldo Parisot and William Pleeth helping him to success in auditions, competitions and awards, both local and international. His musical curiosity has led him from an Artist Diploma at Yale to a Doctorate of Musical Arts exploring the collaborative relationship between composer and performer, and onward to sharing the stage with artists as diverse as Gillian Whitehead, Moana Maniapoto, Michael Houstoun, Krzysztof Penderecki, Anika Moa, Mstislav Rostropovich and Neil Finn, and he continues to enjoy a career that leaves no colour of the musical spectrum unexplored. Ashley plays the 1762 William Forster ‘Liberte’ cello.
Somi Kim (piano)
Hailed for her ‘breath-taking range of colour, tone and inflection’ (The Times), South Korean born New Zealand pianist Somi Kimhas established herself as one of today's most versatile young pianists, with a string of competition successes and extensive concert experience. Somi is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she graduated with an Advanced Diploma in Performance and Master of Arts with Distinction, a DipRAM, and the HRH Princess Alice the Duchess of Gloucester’s Prize. A winner of the Royal Over-Seas League Li Accompanist Prize and the Gerald Moore Award for accompanists, Somi is sought after as a chamber musician, song accompanist and répétiteur. She is an official pianist and coach at the International Holland Music Sessions, International Vocal Competition ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Gisborne International Music Competition and the New Zealand Opera School. Somi’s future appearances include Het Concertgebouw, Slovak Philharmonic and Wigmore Hall.
Sponsored by Turnovsky Endowment Trust
An internationally celebrated concert pianist, chamber musician, and educator, Dr. Jian Liu has performed and taught throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. His artistry has taken him to some of the world’s most prestigious concert halls, including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. He has also recorded many CDs, one of which, Debussy Sonatas and Piano Trio, has been nominated as Best Classical Artist in the New Zealand Music Awards. His performances have been broadcast by various TV and radio stations including KPHO public radio (USA), CCTV (China), Suisse Romande Radio (Switzerland), Krakow Radio (Poland), Kan Radio (Israel) and Radio New Zealand.
Having premiered and recorded many New Zealand compositions, Dr. Liu is also a champion for New Zealand music. He is currently working on a project to publish two volumes of piano music by over 20 New Zealand composers in China, in collaboration with Shanghai Music Publishing House. It will be the first official publication of New Zealand music in China.
Dr. Liu is currently the Programme Director of Classical Performance and Head of Piano Studies at New Zealand School of Music. Dr. Liu holds Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Yale School of Music, where he was a student and assistant of Professor Claude Frank.
The Morton Trio
Cantabrian husband and wife duo, Alex and Arna Morton of Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, have collaborated with outstanding pianist, and fellow Kiwi, Liam Wooding, establishing New Zealand's premier permanent Horn Trio ensemble.
Since 2017, The Morton Trio has recorded NZ-composer Kenneth Young’s Horn Trio following a national tour with Chamber Music New Zealand as well as performed in a series of UK concerts in 2019 as recipients of the Pettman/Royal Overseas League Chamber Music Scholarship.
While the canonic classics of Brahms and Ligeti continue to be crowd favourites, The Morton Trio is committed to discovering and performing lesser known works from the genre, as well as expanding the horn trio repertoire through commissions and their own arrangements.
Alex Morton (horn)
Alex is a horn player & music educator who is in demand across Australia and his native New Zealand as a soloist, chamber, and orchestral musician, currently performing as Tutti Horn in Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. After finishing his Bachelor of Music at the New Zealand School of Music in 2013, Alex moved to Melbourne, Australia, where he completed his studies at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM), under the tutelage of Sydney Symphony Principal Horn, Ben Jacks, and Los Angeles Philharmonic Principal Horn, Andrew Bain.
Alex has held contracts with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra (Associate-Principal Horn) and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (Tutti Horn), and freelances regularly with all the major orchestras throughout Australasia, including the Sydney, Queensland, and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras, including as Guest Principal with Orchestra Victoria.
As a chamber musician, Alex has performed at both the Ukaria Festival in Adelaide and the Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music.
In 2020, Alex co-founded The HIIP Method™ Online Course to coach budding musicians in the art of efficient and effective practice and is currently teaching brass through Christchurch School of Music as well as offering premium horn lessons out of his Christchurch-based home music studio.
Arna Morton (violin)
Newly appointed as Principal 2nd Violin of Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Dr. Arna Morton is thrilled to be home performing for New Zealand audiences after completing her PhD in Violin Performance at the University of Melbourne, following the completion of both Bachelor and Master of Musical Arts degrees at the New Zealand School of Music under the tutelage of Associate Professor Helene Pohl.
Using a critical, reflexive approach, Arna's PhD research examined the development of a highly personal interpretive methodology that aimed to create personal authenticity in her musical interpretations and performances, with a significant focus on Britten’s Violin Concerto, which she performed with the University of Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in 2016 as winner of the 2015 MCM Concerto Competition.
Arna was also a prizewinner in the 2016 Gisborne International Music Competition and joint winner of the 2013/14 New Zealand National Concerto Competition, going on to perform both Szymanowski's First Violin Concerto and Ravel's Tzigane with Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.
Alongside teaching premium violin lessons out of her Christchurch-based private music studio, in 2020 Arna co-founded The HIIP Method™ Online Course to coach budding musicians in the art of efficient and effective practice.
Sponsored by The Turnovsky Endowment Trust
Michaela Cadwgan is a Wellington based soprano, who in 2020 completed her BMus(Hons) with First Class Honours under the tutelage of Dr. Margaret Medlyn, Wade Kernot, Dr. Jenny Wollerman and Bruce Greenfield, alongside completing a BA in German and Italian at Victoria University of Wellington. Michaela regularly takes part in performances, concerts and competitions throughout New Zealand.
In 2019 she performed the title role of Suor Angelica in the NZSM Puccini double bill, and was selected as a finalist in both the Wellington Regional Dame Malvina Major Aria Competition and New Zealand Aria where she performed with Maestro Giordano Bellincampi and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. In recent years, she has collaborated with New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO at Te Papa 2020), Kapiti Concert Orchestra, and many community choirs in Wellington.
Amongst her 2021 engagements she performed as soprano soloist in Dvořák's Stabat Mater with the Bach Choir of Wellington directed by Shawn Michael Condon, as one of the soprano soloists in Mozart’s Mass in C Minor with Cantoris and NZSM orchestra directed by Thomas Martin Nikora, and in the sold-out Wellington season of Sweeney Todd by WITCH Music Theatre. More recently she won the Wellington Regional Aria Competition and was soprano soloist for Palmerston North Choral Society’s performance of Messiah Highlights. In 2022 Michaela is looking forward to engagements with New Zealand Opera and Orchestra Wellington.
Diedre Irons is one of New Zealand’s most distinguished performing musicians. Born in Winnipeg, Canada, she made her debut with Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra at age 12 playing the Schumann Piano Concerto. She graduated from Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and was subsequently invited by her teacher, Rudolf Serkin, to join the faculty where she taught for the next seven years. During this time, she toured Canada and the United States as a soloist and as a chamber music player.
Since moving to New Zealand in 1977, Diedre she has performed with New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia, Dunedin Symphony Orchestra and Christchurch Symphony, toured frequently under the auspices of Chamber Music New Zealand, and recorded extensively for Radio New Zealand. she recorded the complete Beethoven Piano Concerti (Morrison Music Trust) with conductor Marc Taddei and Christchurch Symphony.
Diedre has presented concerts in 25 countries, was awarded an MBE in 1989 and an ONZM in 2011 for services to music and, in 2007, received a Doctor of Music (honoris causa) from Brandon University in Manitoba, Canada in recognition of outstanding contributions to the world of music through superlative achievement as a talented, dedicated and passionate pianist.
Diedre taught at University of Canterbury from 1992-2003 and at New Zealand School of Music from 2003-2012.
Sponsored by Brent Ferguson
Principal Harp with Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Helen Webby loves to come out of the back of the orchestra and play her amazing Concert harp, made by her brother Kim Webby.
Helen studied harp in Auckland, Netherlands and Germany, and was lucky to be mentored by several top European harpists: Edward Witsenburg and Maria Graf. Helen’s recordings are frequently heard on RNZ Concert, and her solo CD, Pluck (MANU) was nominated for Best Classical CD in the 2013 NZ Music Awards.
Helen is a favourite with Arts on Tour audiences around New Zealand, and she features in the recent documentary Central to the Soul by Dunedin film-maker Bill Morris, selected for the 14th International Doc Edge Festival in 2019.
Helen is passionate about sharing the magic and mystery of the harp: she teaches harp players of all ages in Christchurch and Dunedin, plays solo and chamber music, and pushes the boundaries of harp music with her friends in Café Operana.
Born in Washington State, USA, Edward was Section Principal Horn of NZSO from 1984 to 2011. Prior to this he was a member of Utah Symphony Orchestra (USA) for almost 20 years. He also has been guest principal horn with many other orchestras in New Zealand and Australia. As a soloist Edward performed with NZSO, NZ Chamber Orchestra and most of the regional orchestras in New Zealand. In 2012 he was awarded an MNZM for services to music.
Edward became the chair of the Martinborough Music Festival organising committee (now MMF Trust board) in 2018. As well as performing, he has taught music at several secondary and tertiary institutions.
Bob Bickerton has a long history in the New Zealand music industry as a performer, educator, sound engineer and manager.
His interest in the traditional instruments of Māori and his enthusiasm to explore and record their sounds resulted in him working closely with Richard Nunns on a number of projects including Green Fire Islands and North South (with Glenn Colquhoun), and several film scores for Kathleen Gallagher, which also featured Aroha Yates-Smith.
Encouraged by Hirini Melbourne, Bob presented education programmes featuring taonga puoro to over 300,000 students around the country over a 30 year period.
In recent years he has collaborated with Golden Bay artist Robin Slow and master carver Brian Flintoff to create exhibition soundscapes along with Ariana Tikao, Holly Tikao-Weir and Solomon Rahui. Their Ngā Hau Ngākau exhibition is currently touring New Zealand.
Now that Bob has retired from management engagements, he is focussed on making and taking taonga puoro to communities, including schools.
Bob was appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2015 New Year’s Honours list for services to music.
2021 Adam Troubadour Quartet
Grace McKenzie (first violin), KiHei Lee (second violin), Nathan Pinkney (viola), Bethany Angus (cello)
The Adam Troubadour Quartet Programme is a career development experience for four of NZ’s most promising young string players. The programme includes learning and performance opportunities provided by Adam Chamber Music Festival, Adam Summer Celebration and Adam Summer School. Our 2021 Troubadours are Grace McKenzie (violin), KiHei Lee (violin), Nathan Pinkney (viola) and Bethany Angus (cello).
Grace McKenzie (violin)
Grace McKenzie has a Bachelor of Music in Performance Violin (Honours) from The University of Auckland. Originally learning the Suzuki method, Grace learned from her primary violin teacher, Stephen Larsen, for over 10 years. As a music scholar at Rangi Ruru Girls School in Christchurch, Grace reached the finals of the NZCT Chamber Music Competition for two consecutive years, both as a violinist and pianist. She has a particular interest in chamber music and participated in the Castleman Quartet Programme in New York State. In 2018, Grace was Associate Concertmaster for NZSO National Youth Orchestra. As The Felice Duet, Grace and KiHei Lee were awarded the ROSL Pettman Scholarship to attend tutorials and festivals in the UK in 2021.
KiHei Lee (violin)
KiHei Lee Lee has a Bachelor of Music in Classical Performance (Honours) from The University of Auckland, under the tutelage of Stephen Larsen. KiHei competed in the 2016 NZCT Chamber Music Contest with the Domov Trio, winning first place in the Auckland regionals and reaching the national semifinals. In 2019 she participated in the Castleman Quartet Programme in New York State, encouraging her interest in chamber music. As The Felice Duet, KiHei and Grace McKenzie were awarded the ROSL Pettman Scholarship to attend tutorials and festivals in the UK in 2022.
Nathan Pinkney (viola)
Nathan Pinkney is completing a Bachelor of Music at The University of Auckland while he teaches violin and viola full time. Throughout his youth he was active in both the National Youth Orchestra and CMNZ Chamber Competitions reaching national finals in 2012. More recently, he won the Audience Choice Award at the 2020 Gisborne International Music Competition. The development and example gained from previous years at Adam Summer School proved influential in his decision to change careers goals from electrical engineering to musical development on violin and viola. He has studied with Zhongxian Jin, Donald Armstrong and Stephen Larsen.
Bethany Angus (cello)
Bethany Angus has a Bachelor of Music from Victoria University Wellington’s NZ School of Music, and in 2020 she studied with Rolf Gjelsten. Bethany has played in a number of orchestras and chamber groups and was Principal Cello in the 2019 National Youth Orchestra. Bethany is interested in historical performance and has performed on baroque cello and spinet.