National Office Team
Peter Walls – Chief Executive
DDI: + 64 4 802 0751
Peter is a highly experienced classical music manager in New Zealand, having spent nine years as CE at the NZSO, and continues to hold the role as music director of the Opus Orchestra. Prior to his role at the NZSO, he was Professor of Music at Victoria University, was made an Emeritus Professor at Victoria in 2006 and received an ONZM for his services to music in 2012.
"Chamber Music New Zealand is an organisation that I have long admired. I am proud to be working with an excellent group of colleagues in trying to ensure the wide-ranging musical riches we have are available to all New Zealanders."
Becky Holmes – Office Administrator
P: +64 4 384 6133
Catherine Gibson – Artistic Manager
DDI: + 64 4 802 0752
M: +64 27 533 4611
Catherine trained as an oboist and played as a freelance musician in London for many years. In New Zealand her varied career has included: as an oboist – teaching and playing on occasion with the different orchestras in NZ, before she took up the role of Youth and Artist Liaison at Canterbury Opera. She then worked at Lincoln University in the area of student conversion and retention. Catherine has held the role of Artistic Manager at CMNZ since 2013.
“It is an exciting challenge to help bring wonderful chamber music within the reach of all New Zealanders and to look for diverse opportunities to develop our emerging musicians.”
Sue Jane – Education and Outreach Coordinator
P: +64 4 384 6133
"My favourite thing about chamber music is… well, the music! I love the intimacy, clarity and variety of chamber music. I joined Chamber Music New Zealand in November 2011, and have undertaken a variety of positions with this great organisation before becoming their first Education and Outreach Coordinator in 2014.
I have had an eclectic career path to date, starting as a survey/graphics draughtsperson with the Department of Conservation; then moving onto being a funeral/wedding organist and accompanist in Whanganui before becoming Library Manager at Raroa Normal Intermediate School in Wellington. That was a busy and vibrant role where I not only immersed myself in youth reading and literature, but also taught the school orchestra, choir, and various musical beginner groups - all good grounding for this current role, which also includes organising the NZCT Chamber Music Contest.
Jack Hobbs – Artistic Assistant
P: +64 4 384 6133
Jack is a recent graduate of the New Zealand School of Music, originally from Australia. He was based in Canberra for five years, studying and working as a freelance cellist and teacher. He also coordinated the young artist programme for the Canberra International Music Festival.
"It is exciting to join such a vibrant organisation as CMNZ, assisting with administration of the various activities of the Artistic Team. My focus is on supporting the roster of artists that we tour through our regional presenters."
Rachel Hardie – Operations Coordinator & Wellington Concert Manager
DDI: +64 4 802 0758
M: +64 27 544 2088
"My best chamber music memory is hearing the buskers in Covent Garden taking chamber music to the world (and doing very well out of it). Hundreds of passers-by stop and listen to the trios and quartets brave enough to weather the weather.
My role at CMNZ is Operations Coordinator and Wellington Concert Manager, this involves planning tours and schedules for the musicians and overseeing the concerts in Wellington. My background is as a stage manager, mostly with opera companies but before returning home to New Zealand I worked some years with a violin maker organising concerts for chamber musicians in his large London home."
Virginia Close - Development Executive
P: +64 4 802 0759
Originally from the USA, Virginia comes to Chamber Music New Zealand after serving as Development Consultant at the University of Canterbury where she managed their Annual Giving programme, Trust and Foundations, as well as some of their stewardship initiatives. Prior to that she served as the Assistant Director of the Annual Fund at Colgate University where she managed the Young Alumni and Student Giving programmes before making her way to travel Australia and New Zealand.
“I am grateful to Chamber Music New Zealand for giving me the opportunity to continue working in the non-profit sector in New Zealand, and I’m even more excited to bring my experience in tertiary education to the arts.”
Shelley Davis – Marketing Manager
DDI: + 64 4 802 0754
M: + 64 27 576 6522
With organisations as diverse as 20th Century Fox and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra under her belt, she has a wide-ranging background. Her passion is celebrating all things creative and dabbling in new challenges.
“Music is an intrinsic part of so many lives – from the concert hall to the sounds of everyday it heightens emotions, inspires creativity, captures the essence of a moment. I love that I can be a part of something that celebrates this idea and I learn so much from being surrounded by such incredibly talented and passionate people."
Alessandra Orsi – Marketing Executive
DDI: + 64 4 802 0753
M: + 64 27 544 2221
Originally from Milan, Alessandra joined the team in 2016. Before moving to Wellington, she lived in Australia for five years, working with a number of organisations including SafARI Arts Festival, Sydney Festival and Merrigong Theatre Company.
Laurel Bruce – Ticketing & Database Coordinator
DDI: + 64 4 802 0756
"My favourite thing about chamber music is seeing the enjoyment the performers get conversing with one another through beautiful strains of music.
I have been working for CMNZ since 2008 processing subscriptions, organising seating plans and maintaining our database. But I believe my most important role is making sure our subscribers are happy and meeting any special requirements they may have."
Darcy Woods – Design & Print Coordinator
DDI: + 64 4 385 3914
"Music is a vital part of the creative process for many people and for me it is especially so. It is much easier to generate ideas when I am submerged within a good piece of music, sometimes I can listen to the same piece a good 17 times until my ideas are accurately applied to paper. I’m new to the CMNZ crew but what I have experienced thus far has been amazing, being able to follow my ideas through to the final printed/digital form is exciting to say the least.
In my spare time I paint imaginary things and annoy the good people of Wellington with my street photography antics, I use an old 1950’s Rolleiflex TLR as my weapon of choice so if you see me on the streets….be a tiger."
Anna van der Leij – Publicity & Communications Executive
DDI: + 64 4 802 0754
M: 022 137 0059
Anna has a background in music performance and broadcasting. She trained in voice and piano at Otago University, organ and piano in Australia, and performed in choirs and early music ensembles in Aotearoa, Australia and the UK. As a freelance writer and producer, including creating content for RNZ and as a former Producer for ABC Classic FM, she loves finding engaging and appealing ways to connect with audiences.
“Classical music has a bit of a reputation as something elite, irrelevant and removed from real life. This just isn’t accurate. Chamber music in particular offers us dynamic and often intimate experiences where there is something rewarding for everyone. I find that tremendously exciting, and I feel extremely lucky working with the fantastic Chamber Music New Zealand team and artists to help amplify chamber music’s voice in Aotearoa.”