Mark your diaries and plan to spend Queens Birthday Weekend in Queenstown where you can immerse yourself in music performed by New Zealand’s leading artists, the exciting next generation of musicians who will one day take their place, and Central Otago’s outstanding community talent.

LUMA Southern Light Project runs concurrently – a sensory experience bringing together illuminated art, light sculpture, performance and community on the shores of Lake Wakatipu.

Tickets for Wakatipu Music Festival are on sale now. Book direct via Eventfinda and look out for the blue button! 

Get your culture fix in Queenstown!

Queenstown Memorial Centre

Thomas Brown Gallery, 568 Speargrass Road, Arrowtown

Public Talk
1 – 1:45pm
A vision for classical music education in Queenstown

With Kinga Krupa, local classical pianist and piano teacher, Committee Member of Otago Branch, Institute of Registered Music Teachers NZ.

Kinga will paint a vision for classical music education in our region, sharing her experiences of the Eastern and Western European education systems, the pros and cons of each and how we can use the best of both worlds to enrich our cultural environment. This presentation will explain the vital foundations for quality music education, the importance of students understanding classical music and how to support their instrument learning with musical skills and in-depth education (ear training, theory of music, history of music, harmony, listening to classical music etc.). There will also be a practical aspect, comparing orchestral and piano scores of some well-known pieces – classical music is fun!
Suitable for anyone who is interested in furthering the conversation around classical music in the region.

Register here 


Public Talk
2:00 – 3:45

Jazz Improvisational Tutorial
with Christchurch jazz tutor Wytze Hoekstra (piano) and local legend Alex Yevstifeev (saxophone)

The tutorial provides an intensive learning experience for musicians of all abilities and focuses on the “how to” of jazz.
Participants will come away with an understanding of how to:

– Play jazz rhythms and learn how to swing
– Interpret a chord chart
– Understand the sounds of jazz
– Improvise a melody over a chord sequence
– Get started with a jazz combo

You will be encouraged to actively participate but there is no need to bring your instrument.

Topics covered will include: Listening, Improvisation, Demo Songs, Jazz Styles and Blues, Lead sheets, Jazz Rhythm and Harmony. You will receive useful handouts to put the tutorial material into practise at home.

Register here


Queenstown Memorial Centre, 1 Memorial Street

5:30 Craigs Investment Partners Festival kick-off reception
By invitation or with the purchase of a Festival pass


7:00 Concert
Waiatatia – local ensemble share a few waiata

NZTrio with guest clarinetist Jonathan Cohen

Clarinetist Jonathan Cohen joins the celebrated NZTrio for a meditative journey through one of Messiaen’s earliest masterwork and the perennial Beethoven Gassenhauer Trio.

Presented in partnership with Chamber Music New Zealand

Tickets available here

Queenstown Memorial Centre

9:30 – 12:00 Local Musician Showcase

Turn up the Music Trust takes to the stage with a programme featuring their talented teachers, students and ensembles. Students from Dunstan High School make their way from Alexandra to entertain us, and closing off the concert are the Remarkable Vocals, led by Sue Patterson, to perform some well-known choral works.

Tickets available here

1:00 – 2:00
 Conversations for the Curious

Can Science understand the Arts and should it? 

Professor Cathy Stinear and Neil Jacobstein 

The Aspen Institute New Zealand presents an in-depth conversation with international experts exploring the intersection of the arts and sciences.

This cross disciplinary and interactive discussion will consider claims around science and the arts, creativity and neuroscience including work by the Aspen Institute and Johns Hopkins University on the emerging field of Neuroarts.

Register your attendance here

2:30 – 6:00
 Young Artist Recitals

Six beautifully-crafted performances by New Zealand’s next generation of international talent.

KiHei Lee, violin, with Liam Wooding, piano – Works by Mozart, Brahms and Szymanowski

Hyein Kim, cello, with Liam Wooding, piano – Works by Schumann, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff

Benedict van Leuven, clarinet, with Tony Yan Tong Chen, piano – Works by Brahms, Messager and Widmann


Cecile McNeill, viola, with Noelle Dannenbring, piano – Works by Schubert, Hindemith, Penderecki and De Falla

Eli Holmes, bassoon, with Liam Wooding, piano – Works by Telemann, Schumann and Brahms

Christine Lee, violin, with Noelle Dannenbring, piano – Works by Beethoven, Franck, Bach, Tchaikovsky and Gareth Farr

Tickets available here


7:00 Concert
Anna Leese, soprano, Jonathan Cohen, clarinet and Stephen De Pledge, piano

Consummate artists lead the audience through a gorgeous concert based upon all four seasons.  Presented in partnership with CMNZ

Tonight’s concert made possible by Nockies Palette Wines.

Tickets available here

Queenstown Memorial Centre

9:30 – 12:00 Local Musician Showcase

Open your eyes and ears to the best local classical and jazz music from the district. Wakatipu High School’s jazz combo starts the concert off in style, followed by top classical piano students of Kinga Krupa Music and from the Institute of Registered Music Teachers Otago Branch. Wānaka music students from Mount Aspiring College perform a classical music selection. Professional jazz pianist Wytze Hoekstra and local legend Alex Yevstifeev round off the showcase.

Tickets available here

1:00 – 2:00
 Public Talk     
held at Starkwhite Gallery, 45 Beach Street

At the Intersection of Art and Music 

In 1991, photographer Bill Henson was commissioned by the Paris Opera House to produce new work inspired by the operatic experience. He turned his lens not to the action on stage but to the opera’s audience, choosing to show how we respond to music and the feelings it stirs.

Register to attend here


2:30 – 6:00 Young Artist Recitals

Six beautifully-crafted performances by New Zealand’s next generation of international talent.

Tony Yan Tong Chen, piano – Works by John Psathas, Tan Dun, Bach, Scriabin and Chick Corea

Will King, baritone, with Liam Wooding, piano – Works by Monteverdi, Mozart, Schubert, Britten and JS Bach

Isabella Gregory, flute, with Liam Wooding, piano – Works by Karg-Elert, Dutilleux and Prokofiev


Stefenie Pickston, clarinet, with Liam Wooding, piano – Works by Debussy and Bassi

Dominic Lee, cello, with Noelle Dannenbring, piano – Works by Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Ligeti and Saint-Saëns

Diane Huh, violin, with Liam Wooding, piano – Works by Fauré, Mozart and Ravel

Tickets available here


7:00 Concert
Featuring the Festival’s Young Artists performing chamber music

Brahms Clarinet Trio in A minor, op 114
Stefenie Pickston, clarinet, Hyein Kim, cello, and Noelle Dannenbring, piano

Barber Dover Beach
Will King, baritone, KiHei Lee and Christine Lee violins, Cecile McNeill, viola and Dominic Lee, cello

Villa-Lobos Bachianas Brasileiras No 6
Isabella Gregory, flute, and Eli Holmes, bassoon


Schubert Quartettsatz in C minor, D 703

Christine Lee and KiHei Lee, violins, Cecile McNeill, viola and Dominic Lee, cello

Bartók Contrasts
Diane Huh, violin, Benedict van Leuven, clarinet, Tony Yan Tong Chen, piano

Tonight’s concert made possible by David Reid Homes

Tickets available here

9:30 – 12:00 Local Musician Showcase

Hometown favourites Mark Wilson, Margaret O’Hanlon, Tamaki Lida and Nancy Devlin take to the stage for a fun-filled session that will see the audience snapping their fingers and tapping their toes.

Tickets available here


1:00 – 2:00 Concert followed by Artists Celebration

The concert begins enveloped in a foggy blanket of sound with the dark, sumptuous depths of Rachmaninoff’s Trio élégiaque, quickly changing gear by the cosy, rustic nature of Haydn’s sunny G Major trio. Claire Cowan’s Ultra Violet shimmers through the spectrum with its millions of colours; in Reuben De Latour’s new commission, An Auscultation of Water, we sink into the undulations of an aquatic heartbeat. Finally, we ascend again, evaporating into the melancholy, linear architecture of the Chausson Trio, reminiscent of Aotearoa’s eponymous threads of clouds hugging the horizon.

Warm festivities to congratulate all of our wonderful artists and gather together the community for a last farewell.

Tickets available here


40 Jack Hanley Drive

4:30 – 6:30 Function at David Reid Show Home

While taking in the sounds of some of New Zealand’s finest classical musicians, why not take in some of the best architecture that Queenstown has to offer! 

David Reid Homes invites you to visit the David Reid Show Home in Hanley’s Farm.

Enjoy hearing from Wakatipu Music Festival Young Artists Stefenie Pickston (clarinet) and Eli Holmes (bassoon) as you take a look around and gain inspiration for your future home.


Artists and programme subject to change


Save 15% off Best Available Rates for accommodation at the 5 Star ‘The Rees Hotel, Queenstown’.

Proudly NZ Owned and Operated.

Valid for stays from 1 – 10 June 2021 across all room types.

Not valid in conjunction with any other offers.

Subject to availability at time of booking.

Not valid with non-refundable room type bookings.

Book via the Book Now Button on The Rees website here:

Enter Promo Code: VIOLIN21 to receive your 15% discount.