The Dunedin Concerto Competition has been launched to provide the young Classical musicians of Otago and Southland with an opportunity to develop their performing skills.
At a Preliminary Round in Marama Hall, University of Otago on 5, 6 -7 March 2021 three finalists will be chosen to perform in a concert in Dunedin Town Hall on 7 May.
This final concert is held in partnership with the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and the Dunedin Youth Orchestra (DYO) in a unique musical collaboration. The DYO will provide the first half of the concert, and in the second half the Concerto finalists will perform with the DSO and selected members of the DYO.
Leading New Zealand musicians Diedre Irons, Bridget Douglas and Donald Maurice have agreed to be adjudicators.
The Dunedin Concerto Competition would not take place were it not for the generous patronage of the Hodgson Towers Family Trust.
'For many years, the Hodgson Towers Family Trust has considered a concerto competition to be very important to allow young musicians to demonstrate their developing talent at the highest level.
We are very proud to support the establishment of the Dunedin Concerto Competition.'
Bruce and Rae Hodgson
Diedre Irons is one of New Zealand’s most distinguished performing musicians. Born in Winnipeg, Canada, she made her debut with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra at the age of 12 playing the Schumann Piano concerto. She graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and was subsequently invited by her teacher, Rudolf Serkin, to join the faculty of that prestigious conservatory where she taught for the next seven years. During those years she toured Canada and the United States as a soloist and as a chamber music player.
Since moving to New Zealand in 1977 she has performed many times with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonia, the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra and the Christchurch Symphony, toured frequently under the auspices of Chamber Music New Zealand, and recorded extensively for Radio New Zealand. With the Christchurch Symphony and conductor Marc Taddei she has recorded the complete Beethoven Piano Concerti on the Trust label.
She has to date presented concerts in 25 countries, was awarded an MBE in 1989 and an ONZM in 2011 for services to music and, in 2007, received the degree 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’.
She taught at the University of Canterbury from 1992-2003 and at the New Zealand School of Music from 2003-2012.
Photo credit : Debbie Rawson
Dunedin born, Bridget completed her undergraduate music studies at Victoria University of Wellington studying flute with Alexa Still. Bridget went to study in the USA with the assistance of a Fulbright Graduate Award and Creative NZ Music Scholarship. On completion of a MMus at the State University of New York at Stony Brook (studying flute with Samuel Baron) Bridget was a member of the Chicago Civic Orchestra for a season.
While in the USA, Bridget won several competitions including the New York Flute Club Young Artist’s Competition and an Artists International Award, resulting in recitals at New York’s CAMI Hall and Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall. She was 3rd placegetter in the Tilden Prize in New York and a semi-finalist at the International Flute Competition in Markneukirchen (Germany).
Bridget returned to NZ in 1997 to join the NZSO as Associate Principal Flute and was appointed Section Principal Flute in 2000. She is an Artist Teacher in Flute at the New Zealand School of Music.
She is a member of the harp/flute duo Flight, wind quintet Zephyr, contemporary ensemble Stroma and performs regularly with taonga pūoro player, Alistair Fraser. Bridget is actively involved in performing and commissioning new NZ music and has released four CD’s, three of which feature NZ works: Syrinx French music for flute and piano; Taurangi music by New Zealand composers (both with pianist Rachel Thomson on the Trust Records label); Flight music for flute and harp with Carolyn Mills and Zephyr NZ Wind Quintets (both on the Atoll CD label). Three of these CD’s were shortlisted for Best Classical Album by the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards.
Bridget performs regularly as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Australasia and is regularly featured on Radio NZ Concert.
Donald Maurice is professor of music at Victoria University of Wellington. He has performed internationally for four decades as a solo violist and chamber musician and has given world premieres and New Zealand premieres of many works. He has presented at twenty International Viola Congresses.
He was awarded the Silver Alto Clef by the International Viola Society in 2000, was made an Honorary Life Member of the American Viola Society in 2007, and in 2009 he gave the William Primrose Memorial Concert in Utah. He has performed for New Zealand diplomatic missions in Washington DC, New York, Ottawa, Berlin, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Warsaw. In 2014 he was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Donald has books published on Béla Bartók and Alfred Hill. “Bartók's Viola Concerto - The Remarkable Story of his Swansong” (Oxford) is recognized as an authoritative text. The award-winning CD of his live 2008 performance of Boris Pigovat's "Holocaust Requiem" has received high acclaim in Europe and North America. He gave the German premiere of this work in Wuerzburg in 2011. He is producer of Lacrimosa, a documentary film about the composer and the Requiem.
Donald’s solo and chamber music discography spans 18 CDs on Naxos, Tantara, Acte Prealable, Atoll, and Kiwi Pacific. He is featured playing viola d’amore on a documentary film made in Poland about the baroque composer Christoph Graupner. His most recent viola d’amore CD with Archi d’Amore Zelanda (Atoll) features trios by New Zealand composers David Hamilton and Michael Williams.
In 2018 Donald founded Sinfonia for Hope, an orchestra of professional musicians who donate their time to raise funds for humanitarian causes. They have undertaken three projects so far, including Cello for Africa in 2019, which featured Dunedin cellist, Dr Heleen du Plessis.