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Resignation to benefit the performing arts sector

Media Release 30 March 2004

Resignation to benefit the performing arts sector

Justine Cormack today tendered her resignation as Concertmaster of the Auckland Philharmonia. On 1 July 2004 Justine will become, with her colleagues in the New Zealand Trio (cellist Ashley Brown and pianist Sarah Watkins), artists in residence at The University of Auckland.

Professor Sharman Pretty, Dean of the National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries at The University of Auckland says, “The University recognises the artistic excellence of the New Zealand Trio and its commitment to the future of New Zealand music, both performance and composition. The Trio will be a flagship for the University. Its commitment to this exciting partnership is a key indicator of our collective commitment to excellence in the performing arts in Auckland and in the wider national context.”

The members of the New Zealand Trio will have a significant teaching role in the School of Music as well as a prominent performing profile. The University will support and encourage the Trio's artistic output of recordings, public concerts, concerts within the University and national and international tours.

On her new appointment, Justine Cormack says, “I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to concentrate on what has always been my dream – a residency as a chamber ensemble at a fine New Zealand university.

“My Trio colleagues and I could not be more thrilled to be able to concentrate on our 'chamber music-making' with the support of The University of Auckland, as well as to become part of such a highly respected teaching staff. It will be an honour,” she says.

“As the New Zealand Trio, we are keen to be a fundamental part of the cultural landscape of New Zealand, to be role-models for our young musicians, and to be able to give back to New Zealand what we have each gained from this wonderful country.”

Justine says that the four and a half years she has spent with the Auckland Philharmonia as Concertmaster have been hugely rewarding and valuable for her as a violinist. “The opportunities that my time has given me have been many,” she says, “with concerto appearances and ongoing solos within the orchestra and of course the experience of leading the full orchestra in so many concerts and musical situations. It has been a privilege and has been a fundamental stage in my professional development.”

Auckland Philharmonia General Manager Anne Rodda cannot speak highly enough of the resigning Concertmaster. “Justine is a gifted violinist and we will miss her tremendously. She has openly shared her music with the public, and those who have worked alongside her have benefited from her work ethic, her integrity, her practical common sense, and her sense of humour.

“I applaud The University of Auckland for their astuteness in securing the New Zealand Trio as artists in residence. It is a signal to New Zealand and abroad that Auckland reveres its artists. Justine, Ashley and Sarah are among the cream of New Zealand musical talent and will be a source of great pride to the University, to Auckland, and to New Zealand.”

The Auckland Philharmonia will be searching for a new Concertmaster in the coming months, and will secure the services of an Acting Concertmaster until such a replacement is found.


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