NZCT Chamber Music Contest Results

Monday, 8 August 2016
Photo credit: Andy Crown

After a week-end full ot talent, laughs and many memorable moments, we have a winner for the 2016 NZCT Chamber Music Contest.

Congratulation to YEREVAN TRIO for adjudicating the first place by performing Babadjanian's Piano Trio in F-sharp minor (movements 2 and 3). The trio is composed of:  Sophie Zheng (violin, Hillcrest High School), Hyein Kim (cello, Hillcrest High School) and Marianna Kang (piano, Waikato Diocesan School for Girls). 



This award is presented to a Finalist group chosen by an audience text vote at the completion of the Finals.The People's Choice Award went to: Kōkako Trio, from Auckland. 

Kōkako Trio (Auckland)

Nino Rota | Trio for Flute, Violin and Piano 

Mabel Hung, flute, Epsom Girls’ Grammar School
May Gao, violin, Epsom Girls’ Grammar School
Esther Wu, piano, Epsom Girls’ Grammar School



Groups eligible for these awards must contain wind and/or brass and/or percussion instrument(s). The awards went to: Kōkako Trio.



Apollo Trio (Wellington)
Gareth FarrMondo Rondo

Thomas Prince, violin, Wellington College

Tessa Dalgety-Evans, cello, Samuel Marsden College

Stella Lu, piano, Newlands College


District/Regional adjudicator, Simon Brew, says this of the performance: “Very captivating playing. I appreciated the fun you brought to this music. Some fine chamber music and ensemble work going on. Bravo!”

The Apollo Trio formed late in 2015 with Contest 2016 in their sights, even arranging a rehearsal with the work’s composer, Gareth Farr so as to fully immerse themselves in the piece. They chose the name because the “Apollo is one of the most important Greek deities and is recognised as the God of art, music, truth and poetry,” says pianist, Stella Lu. “Mondo Rondo means ‘round world’ and we love the poem that Gareth wrote to give context to the title.” 



Both sections of the Composer Awards are open to all secondary school students. Entrants in the senior section are required to write works of between four and fifteen minutes for three to eight instruments, while the junior section entrants must write between one and four minutes for two to four instruments.


SENIOR SECTION WINNER: Liam Furey (Wellington)

Piano Trio in G minor for violin, cello and piano

Liam Furey is an 18-year-old year 12 Home Schooled student from Lower Hutt, Wellington. Liam says about his piece: “My Piano Trio in G minor was composed over the course of two months this year, with the intention to do three things: To expand my composition repertoire to larger instrument groups as opposed to solo, to break from the Romantic style of writing into the Impressionist/Neoclassical music style, and to enter this piece in the Chamber Music Contest

Composition Adjudicator, Alex Taylor comments on the work saying, “This is a sophisticated work with a strong harmonic sensibility. You create strong dramatic tension and develop lines into long, flowing phrases. Overall a distinctive and energetic piece of chamber music.”.


JUNIOR SECTION WINNER: Yoonseo Shin (Taranaki)

Into the Woods for piano and cello

Composition Adjudicator, Alex Taylor, sums this piece up perfectly with these comments: “This is a strong and sensitive work and a deserving winner of the junior section. You’ve presented a sophisticated, well-crafted harmonic language, coupled with idiomatic writing for both instruments.”

Yoonseo Shin is a 15-year-old year 11 student at New Plymouth Girls’ High School.

Yoonseo says: “This composition tells a short story of sorts; a young child walking alone through dark and eerie woods, hence the title of the piece. Every part of the composition portrays what is happening to this child, what they are doing and seeing.

‘Through the Woods’ was inspired by many classic fairy tales and stories such as ‘Little Red Riding Hood’, where the young protagonist ventures through dark, ominous places alone. This piece was also heavily influenced by my own taste in music, which lies in my preference to music or songs that seem to tell a story to the people listening.