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Kiwi Music Scholarships awarded to outstanding young performers

21 December 2017 | media

 Katherine McIndoe  Benson Wilson Bradley Wood

From Left to right: Alexander McFarlane, Katherine McIndoe, Sam Rich, Benson Wilson and Bradley Wood.

Five talented young performers have been awarded Kiwi Music Scholarships to continue their musical development.

They are pianist Bradley Wood, timpanist/ percussionist Sam Rich, baritone Benson Wilson, soprano Katherine McIndoe and violist Alexander McFarlane.

Violist Alexander McFarlane, aged 22, holds a Bachelors of Music from the University of Auckland. He has been awarded $20,000 to continue his Artist Diploma studies at the Guildhall School of Music in London, where he is studying with Professor David Takeno. In November last year he won the Guildhall’s viola competition which led to a performance in St-Martin-in-the-Fields. He also won the University of London Symphony Orchestra’s Concerto Competition, which gave him the opportunity to play a concerto with the orchestra this year. He also won a scholarship to attend the International Musicians’ Seminar Prussia Cove in 2017, one of the world’s most renowned master class programmes. He has also played in very successful string quartets in both years of study at Guildhall and regularly plays Principal Viola with the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra, including under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle. His aim is to continue improving his playing, with a focus on chamber and orchestral performing, in order to prepare himself for forging a career as a musician.

Lexus Song Quest winner, Benson Wilson, aged 26, has been awarded $10,000 to continue his Artist Masters studies at London’s Guildhall. There the baritone is studying with vocal tutor Robert Dean and vocal coach Linnhe Robertson. He has been described by the head of vocal studies as one of the most talented singers and performers to have joined the Vocal Department in recent years. He graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Music with Honours in 2014. During 2017, he played the role of Schabernack in Le Grand Macabre with the London Symphony Orchestra’s Conductor Sir Simon Rattle. Over the next year he proposes to capitalise on performance opportunities in the UK.

Pianist Bradley Wood, aged 24 from Christchurch, has been awarded $5,000 to study a Master of Performance with Norma Fisher at the Royal College of Music in London. He has completed a Master of Music at the University of Auckland where he won the Janette McStay Prize for Pianists. In 2015 he was the winner of the National Concerto Competition where he played Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No 1, Op 1 with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. The same year he also won the Pettman/ ROSL National Chamber Music Competition and in 2016 toured the UK as part of the scholarship.

Soprano Katherine McIndoe, aged 23 of Wellington, has been awarded $15,000 to study an Artist Masters in Vocal Studies at London’s Guildhall. There she will be will working with Yvonne Kenny who gave a Master class in New Zealand last year. Katherine has a Bachelor of Music with Honours (First Class) from the New Zealand school of Music at Victoria University of Wellington. She has been a member of the Dame Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation Singer Development Initiative and also a Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist with New Zealand Opera. She won first place in the 2015 Dame Malvina Major Foundation Aria in Wellington. Her performance experience includes soloist with New Zealand Opera, including a solo in the Auckland Music in Parks concerts and Days Bay Opera.

Timpanist/percussionist Sam Rich, aged 23 from Auckland, has been awarded $10,000 to study either a Master of Music or Orchestral Performance Programme at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. There he will be under the guidance of percussionist Jacob Nissly. Sam has completed a Bachelor of Music with Honours from Te Koki New Zealand School of Music at Victoria University of Wellington. Last year he won the Orchestra Wellington Principal Timpani audition and in 2015, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Fellowship Programme.

Chair of the Selection Committee, Peter Walls, said the standard of applicants was very high this year.

“These are some of the finest young musicians this country has produced in recent years. I know they will embrace the opportunities the Kiwi Music Scholarship offers. The panel members and I will follow their future careers with great interest and high expectations.”

The Kiwi Music Scholarship was established in 2009 by Mr Sven Stenbäck in memory of his wife Maida Stenbäck née Saunders, a New Zealander who loved classical music. Funding for the scholarship is made available through the Kiwi Music Scholarship Trust.

The scholarship is to assist New Zealand citizens who have demonstrated accomplishment in musical performance (including vocal performance) or conducting, to enable them to further their musical education.

Applications for the 2018 Kiwi Music Scholarship close on 1 March next year.