Waikato University Cello Student Wins National Concerto Competition

14 March 2016

Sam Lucas

Cello student Sam Lucas has taken out the top spot at the 2016 National Concerto Competition.

University of Waikato cello student Sam Lucas has won the 2016 National Concerto Competition, held recently in Christchurch. Sam performed Bloch's Schelomo with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.

This is the fourth consecutive time a University of Waikato cello student has placed first in the national competition.

The competition enters its 50th year this year. It is the renowned concerto competition in New Zealand, with the top monetary prize sought after by music students throughout the country. Many of the winners have gone on to have strong musical careers both in New Zealand and overseas.

The competition alternates each year between a concerto competition for pianists and a concerto competition for orchestral instruments.

University of Waikato students who have taken out the top spots in previous years include, cellist Mattheus Balzat (1st) and clarinetist Nathaniel Smorti (3rd) in 2014, pianist Andrew Leathwick (1st) in 2013, cellist Santiago Canon Valencia (1st) in 2012 and cellist Edward King (1st) in 2010. There was no competition held in 2011.

“Waikato’s Conservatorium of Music students have won five out of the past six National Concerto Competitions – the most highly contended competition in New Zealand. It bears clear witness to the outstanding level of teaching of Waikato's cellist and cello lecturer James Tennant. We are extremely proud of Sam’s achievement,” says Conservatorium of Music’s programme convenor Dr Mike Williams.

Mr Lucas is currently in his third year of studying a Bachelor of Music at the University of Waikato.