Albums: Musica Sacra
Christmas a Cappella
Christmas a Cappella II
Dr Indra Hughes, the Conductor of Musica Sacra, is widely recognized as one of the most distinguished musicians working in New Zealand today. Described by the New Zealand Listenerin December 2011 as "New Zealand music's Richie McCaw"*, he received his early training at the cathedral in Blackburn, Lancashire, and at Oriel College, Oxford, where he was Organ Scholar and also took a degree in Law. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and also holds the Gerald H Knight Memorial Prize for the highest marks in the RCO Choir Training Diploma examinations.
In March 2007 he became the first person in New Zealand to be awarded the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts (University of Auckland), with a thesis presenting new theories about the unfinished ending of Contrapunctus 14 from JS Bach's The Art of Fugue. In September 2007 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Dr Hughes held a number of important church music positions in England before moving to New Zealand in 1995 as Organist and Director of Music at the Anglican cathedral in Auckland. As well as being Conductor of Musica Sacra, he now works as a freelance conductor, organist, harpsichordist, teacher and speaker and he is a well known and popular broadcaster for Radio New Zealand. He is Organist and Choirmaster at All Saints, Ponsonby, Auckland.
Indra Hughes is an experienced recitalist, particularly known for his interpretations of Bach'sThe Art of Fugue, which he first performed in 2000, the Bach anniversary year. This concert had the distinction of being the only organ concert in Auckland ever to be completely sold out, with every seat taken well before the start of the concert. He took this work on tour around New Zealand in October 2002 and has performed it to much acclaim in England. He has also performed Bach's Goldberg Variations on the organ. Recitals have included acclaimed performances of the English Romantic repertoire and he has given recitals in prestigious venues such as Westminster Abbey, Coventry Cathedral, Southwark Cathedral, Sydney Cathedral, Melbourne Cathedral and Dunedin Town Hall.
He has directed the music for Her Majesty the Queen on three occasions, including the great service of thanksgiving for the opening of the completed cathedral in Auckland in 1995.
As Chairman of the Friends of the Auckland Town Hall Organ, Indra has been closely involved in the project to install the new Klais organ in Auckland Town Hall; Musica Sacra sang, and Indra Hughes was one of the organists, at the opening concert in March 2010; he also gave one of the official Inaugural Concerts in September 2010. In June 2010 Indra was elected Vice-President of the New Zealand Association of Organists, and President in June 2012.
Charismatic and inspiring young American conductor Marc Taddei is enjoying a surge in popularity as the passion and attitude he brings to performances becomes ever more widely known. He is sought after by every professional orchestra in New Zealand – both in live concerts and in the studio – making him by far the busiest conductor in the country, and his expanding list of international debuts speaks to the increasing recognition he is garnering as a major conducting talent overseas. After many years as Music Director of the Christchurch Symphony, he has taken up his new position in 2007 as Music Director of the Vector Wellington Orchestra in New Zealand’s capital city.
Within New Zealand Marc is known as a champion of contemporary music, and works closely with most if not all of the country’s leading composers. He premiered and toured Gareth Farr’s ballet The Wedding in 2006, conducted New Zealand’s largest orchestral recording project, View from Olympus by John Psathas with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and has worked with dozens of other New Zealand composers. In 2005, his groundbreaking Christchurch Arts Festival concert featured 2 hours of 5 contemporary New Zealand composers and was attended by 1500 people.
That innovative programme, with compositions by Eve de Castro Robinson, Harry Harrison, David Downes, Cris Cree-Brown and Anthony Ritchie, and contemporary multimedia interplay from Roger Horrocks, Rick Harvie, Julia Morrison, and Grahame Sydney, caused critic Ian Dando to observe: “Taddei’s message in this concert is to “celebrate the state of our arts without any cringe – that our artists are world-class”. Christchurch could say the same of Taddei’s bold programme. He has extended the city’s musical taste to an adventurous point where backtracking to its conservative past is no longer an option.”
Kenneth Young is one of New Zealand’s leading conductors who has established himself as a passionate and skilled interpreter of Romantic, 20th Century and contemporary repertoire. Himself a composer, he has received considerable recognition for his recordings of New Zealand and Australian orchestral music.
Young took up the position of Principal Tuba with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in 1976 and his experience as a conductor with the NZSO dates from 1985, culminating in his appointment as the orchestra’s Conductor in Residence early in 1993. In 2001 he resigned from the NZSO in order to pursue his conducting and composing career fulltime.
Young has worked regularly with all the regional orchestras throughout New Zealand, and his engagements with the NZSO and the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra have included highly acclaimed CD recordings of the orchestral works of Douglas Lilburn, Edwin Carr, David Farquhar, Lyell Cresswell, Anthony Ritchie, Gareth Farr, Christopher Blake, Jack Body and many others. He also regularly conducts seasons with the Royal New Zealand Ballet Co. and the Australian Ballet.
Outside New Zealand, Young has worked with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, the City of Osaka Sinfonia, and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. He has particularly enjoyed the many opportunities to perform Australian and New Zealand repertoire together in concert on both sides of the Tasman and has received considerable praise for his recordings of Australian music.
In addition to his work as a performer and conductor, Young has become one of New Zealand’s leading composers. Numerous commissions from the NZSO, Chamber Music New Zealand, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, BBANZ, the International Festival of the Arts, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestra Wellington and Radio New Zealand, have been performed nationwide and also in the United States, Europe and Australia. Recent premiers include his ‘Portrait’ for Solo Violin and Orchestra with the NZSO and his Lux Aeterna with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, both to wide critical acclaim.
Since 1988 he has been a member of the music faculty of the New Zealand School of Music at Victoria University Wellington where he lectures in conducting and orchestration. In 2004 Young was awarded the Lilburn Trust Citation in Recognition of Outstanding Services to New Zealand Music.
Album: Remember Parihaka
Peter Scholes was born in 1957 in Auckland and grew up in the thermally turbulent area of Rotorua, New Zealand. His high school experience was as a border at Auckland Grammar and then he specialisd in clarinet study at the Auckland Conservatorium of Music.
He now pursues the dual career of performing (both as a conductor and a clarinettist), and composing.
He has had works commissioned by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Royal New Zealand Ballet, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Saint Matthew’s Chamber Orchestra, CadeNZa, Chamber Music New Zealand, the Auckland Wind Quintet, Patrick Power, Gareth Farr, Amanda Hollins and Richard Mapp and for Radio New Zealand drama productions. His composition “Islands II” represented New Zealand in the 1993 UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers.
He was Founder and is currently Musical Director of theAuckland Chamber Orchestra He studied conducting with Juan Matteucci and has conducted all the professional New Zealand Orchestras as well as the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Prague Symphony Orchestra. His experience in conducting ranges from the traditional repertoire through to contemporary compositions with forays into unique projects such as combining Cook Island drummers with the symphony orchestra and multi-media orchestral performances. He was musical director of the Auckland Sinfonietta, a position he held from 1996-1999.
His has extensive experience in the area of education with the Auckland Philharmonia in pioneering new styles of young person's concerts to capacity houses at the Aotea Centre. He also conducted the “Lakeside” operatic spectaculars in Rotorua with the Auckland Philharmonia and a similar event with the Wellington Sinfonia. He was conductor for the ENZSO and ENZSO 2 recording and subsequent tours.
His specialist instrument is the clarinet which he studied with George Hopkins, Alan Hacker and Thea King and with Ken Wilson at the Auckland Conservatorium, now the University of Auckland School of Music. His interpretations received international acclaim when he was prize winner in the 1987 International Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition held in Rotterdam. From 1980 to 1993 he was principal clarinet with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and clarinet tutor at the School of Music and has been in groups such as Red Mole, Auckland Chamber Music Players, From Scratch, Digorie, The Auckland Wind Quintet and Avant Garage. He has appeared as soloist with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Christchurch Symphony and Southern Sinfonia. He has given recitals for Chamber Music New Zealand and was guest artist with the New Zealand String Quartet in quintets by Mozart, Weber and Brahms. He is a frequent soloist with the Auckland Chamber Orchestra.
Tecwyn Evans was born in Auckland and studied conducting and composition at the University of Otago under Jack Speirs. After his studies in New Zealand he left on a Fulbright Scholarship to study conducting at the University of Kansas with Brian Priestman and Simon Carrington.
Tecwyn began his career as Chorus Master for Glyndebourne Festival Opera in 1999 - a position he held for four years. After making his debut conducting performances of La Boheme for Glyndebourne in 2000, Tecwyn has conducted Don Giovanni (English Touring Opera), Die Fledermaus (ETO), Fidelio,La Boheme and Pelleas et Melisande (Opera Theatre Company), The Rake's Progress and Eugene Onegin (Royal Northern College of Music), Hansel and Gretel (Opera New Zealand), Rotter (Oper Köln), Carmen and Madama Butterfly (Grazer Oper/University of Otago), Aida (Exeter Festival), La Rondine, L'elisir d'amore and Falstaff (Opera North), Die Meistersinger, Le Nozze di Figaro, Die Csardasfürstin, La Traviata, Don Giovanni, Faust, The Queen of Spades (Grazer Oper), Maria Stuarda and Simon Boccanegra (Chelsea Opera Group), as well as working on the music staff at Glyndebourne, Opera North, and National Opera de Paris.
In 2005 Tecwyn was a finalist in the Leeds' Conducting Competition, soon after which followed his debut with the BBC Philharmonic making his debut at the BBC Promenade Concerts at the Royal Albert with the same orchestra. His German operatic debut came in 2008 stepping in at two week’s notice to conduct Torsten Rasch's new opera Rotter at Oper Köln. Just prior to this he conducted the London National Opera Studio singers in concert with the Orchestra of Opera North. 2008 concluded with concerts with the BBC Philharmonic and a successful debut with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
Tecwyn has fullfilled return invitations to the BBC Philharmonic, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and also made highly successful debuts with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, Manchester Camerata and the RNCM Symphony Orchestra. He also conducted ‘Wonder’, a major new commission from Salford composer Alan Edward Williams with the BBC Philharmonic and BBC Singers.
In 2010 Tecwyn recorded a CD of music by NZ composer Anthony Ritchie with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and conducted British Violinist Anthony Marwood in the world premiere of Ross Harris’s Violin Concerto no. 1 with the same orchestra. He also recorded a CD with Bryn Terfel and the orchestra of Welsh National Opera for Deutsche Grammophon. From 2009-2011 he was Erster Kapellmeister und Stellvertreter des Chefdirigenten of Grazer Oper, Austria.
More recently Tecwyn has appeared in concert with the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, conducted the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, and appeared at Proms in the Park in Caerphilly with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.