I was lucky enough to grow up in a very musical household; my father was a music professor and composer, and my mother a piano teacher. There isn’t a time I can recall where our house wasn’t constantly filled with music.
One of my earliest memories is being driven to my first violin lesson aged four. My mother had asked me if I wanted to learn the violin, to which I decisively said ‘no’. A few days later in the car I discovered we wIere on our way to a lesson anyway - I felt so betrayed! But that all changed the moment my teacher put a little violin in my hands.
After that I was hooked. Music became a really important tool of self-expression for me. In the earlier years I was also passionate about ballet, but it got to the point where I had to pick one, and music came out on top. I was lucky to get accepted into the NZ National Youth Orchestra at a young age and their annual programmes became fantastic goals for me to work towards.
I moved to Wellington to study at the New Zealand School of Music after I left high school, and with that came heaps of great opportunities - I joined a string quartet which went on to perform all over the country, as well as in Australia and Canada, and I got to tour and record professionally with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
Once I completed my bachelor’s degree, I knew I needed to get out of New Zealand and move somewhere where I’d be thrown in at the deep end and consistently challenged and inspired. I got accepted into the College of Music and Theatre ‘Felix Mendelssohn’ in Leipzig, Germany, where I have been studying towards my master’s degree over the past two years. Moving to the opposite end of the world has been a big learning curve, and working in such a demanding environment has taught me a lot about myself, not only as a musician but as a person too.
When I have a free moment, I love to read and watch films and write poetry. I also spend a lot of time talking to friends and family back home - I’ve got the international/time-difference friendship thing down to an art!
New Zealand School of Music
Wellington, New Zealand
What is your favourite piece of music, and why do you love it?
It’s like asking to choose between children… I think one of the greatest works ever written is Mendelssohn’s String Octet. The fact that he wrote it at the age of 16 is insane. Every time I hear or play it, I find new moments to enjoy and savour. The dialogue between all the parts is masterful, and it’s such a wonderful combination of playful and sincere. And trying to put the work together with other musicians always results in many laughs!