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New Zealand Chamber Soloists

The New Zealand Chamber Soloists perform traditional classical repertoire and “new” music, unique to their Asia Pacific identity. One of New Zealand’s premier chamber music ensembles, James Tennant (cello), Lara Hall (violin) and Katherine Austin (piano) perform regularly within New Zealand and abroad whilst retaining a close association with the Conservatorium of Music at the University of Waikato. Primarily exponents of piano trio repertoire, they collaborate with composers and musicians alike to produce vibrant and electrifying festival and concert performances, juxtaposing the old and new worlds that meet in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Formed in 2006, the trio have represented New Zealand music in the USA, Colombia, the UK and France in 2009/2010 and more recently in China, Singapore and on tour in Europe through Greece, Italy and France. Frequently commissioning new material, recent tours have included works by local composers and more traditional repertoire. Four New Zealand composers feature prominently in their work, Gareth Farr, Michael F Williams, Martin Lodge and John Psathas. This has led to notable premiers in China and Singapore and the world premiere of “Corybas” and “Aegean” by Psathas on Crete.

The NZCS was the fulfilment of a vision to bring together some of New Zealand’s leading soloists and contemporary composers. In the seven years since its formation, the ensemble has undertaken a diverse spectrum of work in performance and recording. Their debut album, “Elegy” reached No. 1 on the NZ classical charts for a total of six weeks and was the flagship recording for Atoll Records’ international release programme of its 100 album catalogue of New Zealand work.

The triple concerto, Convergence, written for the trio by Michael F Williams, has been described as a landmark in New Zealand music. Premiered with the Opus Orchestra it was later performed with the New Zealand Symphony. Other collaborations have included Messiean's “Quartet for the End of Time”, Schumann and Dvořák Piano Quintets, Bartók's Contrasts (violin, clarinet, piano), Baroque concerts (baroque violin, recorder, harpsichord, cello) and concerts of works for flute, piano and violin.

The NZCS continue to engage in new performance and recording projects. In January 2013 the trio joined with Amalia Hall and Robert Ashworth to record the complete chamber works that include piano, by Psathas, in July they will record Bartók, followed by a tour to Vietnam, including newly commissioned repertoire. The following year (2014) will see a return to the UK and Europe.

The trio would like to acknowledge the generous funding and support from donors that enables such extensive participation in this art-form.

New Zealand Chamber Soloists: Katherine Austin, James Tennant and Lara Hall