Festival Artists

Recognised as many of New Zealand’s finest musicians – each of whom have proven their excellence off shore and generously share their experience and artistry through the Whakatipu Music Festival.

Madeleine Pierard

Soprano

Read More
Back to page

Madeleine Pierard

Soprano

Lyric soprano Madeleine Pierard excels in adventurous repertoire and is noted for her outstanding vocal dexterity. A native New Zealander, she studied at the Royal College of Music and the National Opera Studio, garnering numerous awards including the Lexus Song Quest, Lies Askonas and Royal Overseas League prizes, and was a Jette Parker Young Artist with The Royal Opera, Covent Garden.

For The Royal Opera, Madeleine has sung Contessa di Folleville (Il Viaggio a Reims), Musetta (La Boheme – London/Istanbul), Lisa (La Sonnambula), Berta (ll Barbiere di Siviglia), Sandmann (Hänsel und Gretel), Sacerdotessa (Aida), Noémie (Cendrillon), Wood Nymph (Rusalka) and Costanza in Haydn’s L’isola disabitata in Hobart; and covered the roles of Kát’a Kabanova, Violetta, Donna Anna, Marfa (The Tsar’s Bride), Elettra (Idomeneo) and Leila (Les Pêcheurs de Perles).

Other recent roles include Lady Macbeth with English Touring Opera; Violetta, Pat Nixon (Nixon in China) and Musetta with NZ Opera; Anne Trulove and Marzelline with the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra; Musetta in Francesca Zambello’s La Boheme at the Royal Albert Hall; Louise (Louise), Elettra (Idomeneo) and Cecilio (Lucio Silla) for The Buxton Festival, Female Chorus (The Rape of Lucretia) under Muhai Tang in Tianjin, China, Woman (Erwartung) with Shadwell Opera and the title role of Régine in Rufus Wainwright’s Prima Donna.

Madeleine’s recent concert appearances include Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Royal Philharmonia at The Barbican, Britten’s War Requiem at the Cadogan Hall; numerous appearances and recordings with the NZSO including Haydn’s Creation and Handel’s Messiah under Nicholas McGegan; an opera gala with l’Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne; Ross Harris’ Symphony No. 2 with the Orchestre Symphonique de Strasbourg and Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire with Stroma. She has also featured as a soloist with The Royal Ballet in Fauré’s Requiem and Poulenc’s Gloria, in Carmina Burana with the Birmingham Royal Ballet at The London Coliseum.

A noted recitalist, she has appeared alongside Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, and at the Wigmore and Cadogan Halls and has toured New Zealand and Germany in recital. Madeleine has also sung numerous recitals at The Royal Opera House.

Recent appearances include Miss Jessel (The Turn of the Screw) for New Zealand Opera, a concert of Brahms Lieder with Michael Houstoun in the Hawke’s Bay Festival, a series of Classical concerts at the Royal Albert Hall and the Mrs Julian (Owen Wingrave) with Grange Park Opera in the UK.

Robin Wilson

Violin

Read More
Back to page

Robin Wilson

Violin

Internationally regarded pedagogue Dr Robin Wilson was born in Dunedin, New Zealand. Currently he is Head of Violin at the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne and regularly serves on the faculty of the Keshet Eilon International String Mastercourse in Israel and Valdres Festival in Norway and in 2022 will also teach at Morningside Music Bridge at The New England Conservatory in Boston. Previously he held appointments at the University of Sydney and the Uni- versity of Queensland. Robin is regularly invited to give masterclasses in Australasia, Asia, Israel, the UK and the USA and his students are major prizewinners of international competitions, hold principal positions and regularly perform as soloists in Australia and overseas. In 2018 he received a National Award from the Australian String Teachers Association for outstanding services to the string community in Australia.

Robin has performed at major venues and festivals throughout Australia, USA and the UK and has recorded solo and chamber music for Decca, ABC Classics, Vexations840 and VDE-Gallo. A mem- ber of the acclaimed Ironwood ensemble, he is a former leader of the ARCO Chamber Orchestra and has appeared as guest violinist with many leading Australian ensembles. Robin’s research into the historically informed performance of Brahms’s music was awarded the prestigious Geiringer Prize from the American Brahms Society and he has presented lectures and recitals at international conferences and institutions including Stanford and Yale Universities, City University of New York, University of Colorado, Leeds University, Royal College of Music London and the Royal Northern College of Music Manchester.

Robin studied in Sydney with Alice Waten and Janet Davies, and with James Buswell at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. He plays on a violin made by the Gagliano family in Naples in 1784.

Andrew Joyce

Cello

Read More
Back to page

Andrew Joyce

Cello

Before joining the NZSO in September 2010, Andrew spent five years freelancing in London, during which time he worked regularly with the London Symphony & London Philharmonic Orchestras, touring and performing in the world’s great concert halls. He also played as Guest Principal with Northern Sinfonia, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.  A dedicated chamber musician, Andrew co-founded the Puertas Quartet who have performed in both the UK and New Zealand to great critical acclaim, and recorded two CDs for Atoll Records.

He performs regularly in a trio with pianist Diedre Irons and NZSO Concertmaster, Vesa-Matti Leppanen.

Born in Norwich, England, at 11 he went to London to pursue his musical studies at the Purcell School of Music where his teachers were Amanda Truelove and Michal Kaznowski.  He continued his studies at the Royal College of Music with Alexander Boyarsky and the Musikhochschule Lübeck with Troels Svane, as a holder of the coveted DAAD Scholarship.  He has performed in masterclasses with the late Bernard Greenhouse, Alexander Baillie, David Geringas, Alexander Rudin, Natalia Gutman, Karine Georgian, Leonid Gorokhov, the Takacs Quartet and the Kopelman Quartet. Violinist, and Artistic Director of the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Gordan Nikolitch, also played a very important role in his artistic development and continues to be a source of inspiration.

He plays a beautiful old English cello by Thomas Dodd, c.1800, kindly loaned to him by Old and New Strings Ltd.

Bridget Douglas

Flute

Read More
Back to page

Bridget Douglas

Flute

Bridget is Section Principal Flute of the NZSO and an Artist Teacher in Flute at the New Zealand School of Music – Te Kōkī. She graduated from Victoria and Otago Universities before travelling to the USA for postgraduate study with the assistance of a Fulbright Graduate Award. While in New York, Bridget won the New York Flute Club and Artists International Competitions resulting in debut recitals at Carnegie and CAMI Halls.

Bridget mentors young musicians throughout NZ and is passionate about collaborative ways of making music. She is a founding member of the contemporary music ensemble Stroma and enjoys playing a diverse range of chamber music.

Bridget is actively involved in performing and commissioning NZ composers to create music that is unique to Aotearoa. She has released several CDs of both New Zealand and international music, three of which were shortlisted for Best Classical Album by the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. In 2020 she was awarded the CANZ (Composers Association of NZ) KBB Citation for Services to NZ Music.

Phil Boniface

Tararua - Doublebass

Read More
Back to page

Phil Boniface

Tararua - Doublebass

Phil is a New Zealand/Canadian bassist, composer and educator. As a double bassist and graduate of The New Zealand School of Music he has performed with leading contemporary jazz artists in New Zealand and abroad.

Having spent more than a decade residing in North America; he performed, recorded and studied with many of Canada’s finest jazz musicians, including private study with US jazz bass legend John Clayton, as well as multiple performances in the Vancouver International Jazz Festival leading his own groups.

As a composer, his debut released album ‘BaixaBlue’ was funded by ‘Factor’ and engineered in Canada. His first album as a band leader features leading west coast Canadian jazz musicians and exemplifies his abilities as a composer, arranger, performer, and improviser.

As an educator he holds a Masters of Teaching & Learning from Massey University, has written a bass method book and continues to teach music and audio technology.

Since returning to New Zealand in 2016, Phil has collaborated on numerous projects with Rattle Records including the acclaimed ‘Ponguru’ (2018) and ‘Panthalassa (2019). He has performed and toured extensively with Chamber Music New Zealand, headlined jazz and art music festivals in New Zealand and Australia and has been awarded creative music grants from the Lilburn Trust, Creative New Zealand, as well as The Earle Creativity and Development Trust.

Lucy Mulgan

Composer

Read More
Back to page

Lucy Mulgan

Composer

Lucy Mulgan (b. 1971) is a composer and bass player from Aotearoa New Zealand who works in a variety of musical styles.

Her compositions range from sweeping orchestral landscapes to quirky original songs and her music has been played across Europe and NZ. As a bass player, she works regularly in the worlds of opera and jazz, and as a community music workshop leader Lucy helps people explore their own voices through singing, composition and storytelling.

In 1992 she graduated from the Wellington Conservatorium of Music with a diploma in Jazz Performance and worked in NZ as a composer and bass player before moving to the UK in 1996. There she studied at York University, obtaining a PhD in composition in 2004.

Currently Lucy divides her time between London and the South Coast of the UK, while remaining connected to the New Zealand music community both as a participant and ambassador.

Lucy’s music has been performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, NZ Opera, Orchestra Wellington, BBC Philharmonic (UK) , Northern Sinfonia (UK), Saxcess, Ethos, juice vocal ensemble (UK), members of The Hilliard Ensemble (UK) and broadcast on BBC World (TV), BBC Radio 3 & 4, Concert FM and Radio NZ.

Current composition projects include:

Whakatipu Music Festival – Lucy has been commissioned by SOUNZ and the Festival to compose a new piece for community groups, young musicians and professional players involved in the Festival. Performance Easter 2022.

Red! – Lucy’s opera for children, originally commissioned by Barefoot Opera UK and performed in the UK in 2020. Further commissioned by Orchestra Wellington, it was performed in August 2021 at the Michael Fowler Centre by 350 local Wellington primary school children with NZ Opera & Orchestra Wellington featuring 3 professional singers and a 20-piece orchestra.  Future performances planned for 2022 / 2023 across NZ and the UK… “Opera like this is clearly for everyone” – Elizabeth Kerr.

Pygmalion – a reworking of Rameau’s one-act opera for The Weaver Dance Company (UK). Upcoming performance at Valletta Baroque Festival, Malta –  January 2022.

Barefoot Opera, UK – Lucy has been working with Barefoot Opera for several years as an outreach workshop leader running improvisation and composition projects with community groups including school children, community choirs, refugee groups, homeless charities.

Past highlights include:

Orchestral Manoeuvres (2017) – commissioned for recorder & marimba by Evelyn Nallen.

Bees (2014) – co-created with Kerry Andrew (voice) featured on BBC Radio 3 The Verb & BBC Radio 4 Pick of the Week.

Europes Last Dictator (2012) Composed and produced the soundtrack for this feature-length film. Narrated by Joanna Lumley – Winner best documentary at London Independent Film Festival 2012.

Voices of Exile (2009) – performed by juice vocal ensemble commissioned with funding from Creative New Zealand.

Lines, Dots & Squiggles (2005) performed by Ethos (2005), commissioned with funding from Chamber Music New Zealand.

Cape Reinga (2003) Finalist in the Douglas Lilburn Prize – “delicate, otherworldly textures, tinctured with gleaming colours and bravely expressive glissandi” (NZ Herald). Cape Reinga was first performed by the NZSO, recorded by Concert FM, and later by the Fulham Symphony Orchestra (UK).

Ruapehu (2002) performed by the BBC Philharmonic, conducted by James MacMillan – broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

Wrench! (1993) performed by Saxcess, recorded at the 1993 NZ Composing Women’s Festival was included in the SOUNZ education resource Ears Wide Open.

As well as ongoing work with various UK Opera companies, Lucy regularly plays bass, writes and arranges for:

DOLLYman (eclectic punk jazz ensemble) – described as ”A fractious Mingus-informed punky jazz quartet offers broken themes full of menace and mischief. Compellingly odd stew of sounds.” (UK’s Time Out magazine) – who play regularly at the National Portrait Gallery, Southbank Centre and Vortex Jazz Club in London.

London Gay Men’s Chorus. Lucy’s arrangements have been performed by the LGMC across Europe, the UK and the USA since 2007. in 2017 Lucy’s arrangements were performed by the LGMC with the Chicago and New York Gay Men’s Choruses on their USA tour.

Military Wives Choirs. Lucy’s arrangements for their core repertoire 2021 are being sung by 70+ choirs around the world.

See www.lucymulgan.com for other news and exciting projects.

Stephen De Pledge

Piano

Read More
Back to page

Stephen De Pledge

Piano

New Zealand pianist Stephen De Pledge performs internationally as a soloist and chamber musician.  He studied with Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he won the Gold Medal in his final year.  He subsequently spent two years at a Junior Fellow at the Royal College of Music, and studied in Paris with Yvonne Loriod. After winning the NFMS Young Concert Artist Award he made his debuts in the Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Barbican Hall in London and has since given concerto performances with the BBC Scottish Symphony, Bournemouth Symphony, New London and Philharmonia Orchestras, amongst others. 

Solo performances in recent seasons have taken him to Tokyo, Cologne, Paris and New York, as well as throughout New Zealand, where he has been based since 2010.  He has performed with many musicians, including Dame Felicity Lott, Dame Evelyn Glennie and Viktoria Mullova.  His extensive discography includes works by Bliss, Barber, Messiaen, Shostakovich and Brahms, and premiere recordings of Arvo Pärt, Henryk Gorecki, Ned Rorem and the 1st piano concerto of Lyell Cresswell for Naxos, which was written for him in 2012. 

In addition to his performing schedule Stephen De Pledge has a teaching position in the piano department at the School of Music, University of Auckland.

Ariana Tikao

Tararua - Taonga pūoro

Read More
Back to page

Ariana Tikao

Tararua - Taonga pūoro

Ariana is a singer, composer, and leading player of taonga pūoro. She writes waiata exploring themes relating to her Kāi Tahu identity and mana wāhine, often drawing upon historical kōrero from her ancestors. She recently was awarded the Jillian Friedlander Te Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa award and was named as a 2020 Arts Laureate by the Arts Foundation of New Zealand.

She has been mentored by Richard Nunns and Brian Flintoff, two of the people who have led the taonga pūoro revival – after the instruments fell silent for generations. She regularly works with other taonga pūoro exponents, and is now focusing on supporting other wāhine players.

She started performing in 1993 with the folk group Pounamu, and has subsequently released three solo albums: Whaea (2002), Tuia (2008), and From Dust to Light (2012); and has been involved with many collaborative projects, including Emeralds and Greenstone, Auaha, and Ihimaera.

In 2008 she was a soloist in the World of Wearable Arts show in Wellington, and that same year performed in the Pao Pao Pao festival at the Wellington Town Hall, where she was presented with an achievement award from Toi Māori.

In 2015 Ariana and Philip Brownlee were commissioned by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra (CSO), to compose the first concerto for taonga pūoro ‘Ko te tātai whetū’. Ariana performed it with the CSO that year, and later with Stroma and the Nelson Symphony Orchestra. She was set to perform it with the NZSO in April 2020, but these performances were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. She has also performed with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, the New Zealand String Quartet, and in 2016 was a featured singer in John Psathas’s epic international collaboration ‘No Man’s Land’.

In 2019 Ariana toured nationally with Atamira Dance Company, for the dance show Onepū, choreographed by Louise Potiki Bryant. Ariana co-composed the show’s soundtrack with Paddy Free, and also performed as Hinearoaropari, the atua of echoes. Ariana and Louise have been long-time collaborators, and their music video for Tuia won the best music video award at imagiNATIVE film + media festival in Toronto in 2009. Ariana, Paddy and Louise worked together on a new project in 2020, Te Taki o te Ua, about the importance of water, in the context of the Climate Crisis.

Ariana’s music has featured on television, film, theatre, dance, and in online media. Whatever the setting for her music, Ariana always brings artistic integrity, and what one reviewer described as “depth and dignity”.

Ruby Solly

Tararua - Cello & Taonga pūoro

Read More
Back to page

Ruby Solly

Tararua - Cello & Taonga pūoro

Kai Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Waitaha, Ashkenazi

Ruby Solly is a Kai Tahu musician, taonga pūoro practitioner, music therapist and writer living in Wellington. She has played with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Whirimako Black, Trinity Roots, and The New Zealand String Quartet as both a cellist, and a player of traditional Māori instruments (ngā taonga pūoro). She has also worked as a session musician and recording artist with groups such as So Laid Back Country China, Jhan Lindsay, Strowlini Orchestra, and many other artists around Wellington. In 2019 she completed a Masters thesis in the therapeutic potential of taonga pūoro in mental health based music therapy, while working in schools, hospitals, prisons and with private clients from iwi around the motu. She also has experience as a composer with pieces commissioned by the New Zealand School of Music in association with SOUNZ, as well as in film work in association with Someday Stories, and the Goethe Institute with Wellington Film Society.

Ruby is also a published poet and has been published in journals associated with many of New Zealand’s universities such as Landfall, Sport, Turbine, and Mayhem. She has also exhibited poetry in Antarctica, America and New Zealand, and was a runner up for the 2019 Caselberg Trust International Poetry Prize. Additionally, Ruby is a script writer and has found success with her film Super Special which shares knowledge about Māori views of menstruation through narrative. The film aired on Māori TV, and will also air at the LA Women Film Fest.

In 2020, Ruby released her debut album Pōneke and in early 2021 her first book Toku Papa was released by Victoria University Press. She recently composed a piece for the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra and taonga pūoro quartet ‘Maiangi-Nui’ which premiered in March 2021.

Alistair Fraser

Tararua - Taonga pūoro

Read More
Back to page

Alistair Fraser

Tararua - Taonga pūoro

Alistair Fraser (Pākehā) is a manu whakatangitangi a ngā taonga pūoro, a player, composer, maker and researcher of ngā taonga pūoro who has been making, performing and composing with these musical instruments since 1999. Al has elegantly woven taonga pūoro into many projects that are recognised as being at the forefront of Aotearoa arts practice and puoro Māori, through musical collaborations with artists such as Dr Richard Nunns, Ariana Tikao, Riki Gooch, Te Ahukaramu Charles Royal, Ruby Solly, Bridget Douglas, Grove Roots, and the NZ Symphony Orchestra. Alistair has collaborated with dance practitioners including Lemi Ponifasio (Jerusalem, NZ Festival of the Arts 2020) Ōkareka, Daniel Belton, and Lou Pōtiki Bryant, and visual artist Joe Michael (Voices For The Future, NYC United Nations Building with music by Rhian Sheehan and Brian Eno 2019).

Alistair has released six solo and collaborative albums through Rattle Records since 2018, Toitū Te Pūoro, Shearwater Drift, Ponguru, Panthalassa, Mixed Messages and Nau Mai E Kā Hua.

In 2020 Alistair and Riki Gooch released their album, Rangatira, through Noa Records and in 2021 released Bird Like Men as part of the ensemble Tararua through Oro Records.

Alistair was a researcher for Hokotehi Moriori Trust and Otago University from 2017-2020, researching Moriori musical instrument culture. Alistair has completed two research trips to the United Kingdom and Ireland to investigate taonga pūoro held in collections there, one in 2015 and one in 2016 as a Churchill Fellow.