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Outstanding young musicians awarded Kia Ora Patricia Pratt Scholarships

04 June 2019 | media

Four outstanding young musicians—flautist Anna Cooper, tenor Manase Latu, soprano Katherine McIndoe and pianist Siyu Sun—have been awarded 2019 Kia Ora Patricia Pratt Scholarships in Musical Performance, enabling them to continue their postgraduate development at renowned international music schools.

Kia Ora Patricia Pratt scholarships are supported by the Kia Ora Foundation, established in 1997 by New Zealand-born philanthropist Annette Campbell-White.

This year, 25-year-old Anna Cooper from Gisborne, has been awarded a scholarship to support her Master of Music degree at the Fontys Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in the Netherlands.

Anna completed her Bachelor of Music (first class honours) at the University of Auckland in 2016 and is currently six months into a two-year Master of Music programme, after travelling throughout Europe to meet teachers. “The two who made the most impact on me were both based in Tilburg…and the school has a unique Master of Music programme,” says Anna. About seventy percent of the study allowance can be spent with teachers outside the school, and Anna has chosen to take lessons in the flute, Baroque flute and piccolo. She will also include an education stream as part of her Masters, including her thesis.

Anna has already enjoyed success in Europe, being invited to perform in master classes and with several orchestras. This follows her notable performances in New Zealand, including performing a double concerto with Bridget Douglas, principal flute of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO) during an NZSO Gala, winning the Auckland Youth Orchestra Competition and the University of Auckland Graduation Gala Concerto Competition, and playing with the Auckland Philharmonia and the Auckland Chamber Orchestra.

“In the future I would like to be based in New Zealand, playing for orchestras, organising chamber music concerts and teaching the flute,” says Anna.

Tenor Manase Latu is being funded to study at the Royal College of Music in London. Twenty-three-year-old Manase studied at the University of Auckland, graduating with a Bachelor of Music (First Class Honours), and has performed extensively in New Zealand and Australia over the past five years, as a soloist and as a member of the Auckland Chamber Choir, New Zealand Youth Choir and Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir, also winning a number of prestigious competitions. In 2018 he was the youngest finalist selected for the Lexus Song quest.

Since leaving university Manase has been an emerging artist with New Zealand Opera, and is touring with this year’s production of Barber of Seville.

Manase’s teacher since 2013, Dr Te Oti Rakena, describes him as an ideal recipient of this award. “The breadth of his talent is reflected by his consistent high placing and frequent wins at regional erformance competitions, his participation in the New Zealand Youth Choir and Voices New Zealand,” he says. “He has proven his singing prowess across all the national platforms available to young singers in New Zealand and is thoroughly prepared for the next stage of his artistic development.”

Soprano Katherine McIndoe, who also received a Patricia Pratt scholarship last year, is currently in the second year of her Vocal Studies Master’s at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (GSMD). This year’s scholarship will go towards her move to complete her Artist Diploma in the Opera Studies department, as part of a limited programme that accepts only four sopranos each year.

Before moving to the UK, Katherine received a Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours in Classical Performance Voice from the New Zealand School of Music, Victoria University of Wellington, and was a Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist with New Zealand Opera and a member of the inaugural Dame Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation Singer Development Programme the following year. She won the Dame Malvina Major Foundation Wellington Aria Competition in 2015, received a Kiwi Music Scholarship and a GSMD scholarship. 

Described by her UK vocal coach Linnhe Robertson as a lyric soprano with exciting potential, Katherine is enjoying all the opportunities available at GSMD—participating in masterclasses, projects and performances including a semi-staged production of Bernstein’s Candide with the London Symphony Orchestra under Marin Alsop, which featured Sir Thomas Allen and Anne Sofie von Otter.

Over the Northern summer, Katherine has been accepted into two summer programmes, the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme at the Aldeburgh Festival, and the Les Azuriales Young Artist Programme in Nice.

“I have also been lucky that, outside Guildhall, I have been continuing to build on my operatic experience,” says Katherine. “Last year, I performed as the Governess in The Turn of the Screw with King’s Opera in London, as well as Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro with Bloomsbury Opera. I just worked with Bloomsbury Opera again to perform my first Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, and will perform the Governess again next month at the Barnes Music Festival. This operatic experience is paramount in preparing me for the next year, as operatic performance will form the bulk of my course.

Pianist Siyu Sun, currently studying her Master of Music at the University of Auckland, plans to use her scholarship to help fund her Artistic Master’s in Performance with Professor Ronan O’Hora at GSMD. “Guildhall School offers an ongoing series of intensive one-to-one lessons, group lessons and masterclasses with international composers and conductors,” says Siyu. “In my two years of study, I intend to take up as many performances opportunities as I can in renowned concert facilities such as Royal Albert Hall, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Cadogan Hall and Wilgmore Hall.”

Her performances in New Zealand have already brought her considerable success. Siyu has appeared as a soloist with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, the NZSO, the Auckland Philharmonia, and Wellington Chamber Orchestra. She was awarded the 2018 Blues Award for the Most Meritorious Performance in Arts and Cultural, the first prize in the 50th Anniversary National Concerto Competition performing Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 2 with the NZSO, and second prize in the Wallace National Piano Competition, among a wide range of other competitions.

Associate Professor Rae de Lisle, who has taught Siyu for several years, describes her as an exemplary student. “Siyu has yet to reach her potential as a musician and her attitude and dedication will mean that she will continue to grow,” she says. “She is realistic about the pathway for a pianist and wants to extend her knowledge and playing ability as much as she can so that she can apply this in all aspects of her musical life. “

David Bremner, who convenes the Kia Ora Patricia Pratt Scholarship Selection Panel, warmly congratulated the young scholars.  “We will follow their future international careers with great pride and great interest.

“I also wish to acknowledge the Kia Ora Foundation for their support. Their generosity ensures that these talented New Zealand classical performers can continue their study at internationally recognised institutions and are supported to reach their true potential on the world stage,” he said.

Kia Ora Patricia Pratt Scholarships were established by Annette Campbell-White in memory of her mother, Patricia Pratt, to assist outstanding young New Zealand musicians to continue their musical development at a renowned international music school or Conservatorium for up to two years. The scholarships are awarded for classical music performance, including vocal or instrumental performance or conducting.

Universities New Zealand, also known as the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee, administers this scholarship in addition to over 40 undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships each year. Applications for the 2020 Kia Ora Patricia Pratt Scholarships close on 1 March next year.

Information about the scholarship is available at