Young musicians tune up for chamber music contest

There’s something incredibly inspiring about having 1500 young students from all around Aotearoa, all tirelessly practising their violins, lugging around huge double basses, and warming up their oboes and bassoons.

Together, starting from June 5-15, these dedicated students are gearing up for the District Rounds for Chamber Music New Zealand’s annual and celebrated NZCT Chamber Music Contest, coming to a crescendo in the National Finals on August 3 and 4 in a showcase of what our talented youth have to offer in music.

Some 414 groups are entered nationally from Whangarei to Invercargill.

From string quartets, percussion quintets and piano trios to original compositions, New Zealand’s only secondary school Chamber Music Contest proves that the music-life among our students in Aotearoa is alive and kicking.

Pakuranga College has at least one entry – ‘Easterly Winds’: a wind quintet playing flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and French horn.

Botany Downs Secondary College and Howick College have a couple of entries – piano trios. There are also entries from Saint Kentigern College and Sancta Maria College.

Only 12 groups from around New Zealand will make it through to the national finals weekend held in Christchurch this August, so the stakes are high.

Last year’s winners of the Chamber Music Contest, Druz’ya Quartet received $6000 from the Wallace Foundation. “Winning the contest was amazing”(Lucas Baker, violinist).

Many past contest winners and alumni have gone on to have international careers in music in the NZSO, Gewandhaus Orchestra, The Philharmonia and Sydney Symphony to name but a few: the NZCT Chamber Music Contest is truly a springboard for Aotearoa’s musicians of the future.