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Further Recognition For Outstanding Young Singer

Further Recognition For Outstanding Young Singer

Mezzo-soprano Madeleine Pierard, a Victoria University of Wellington honours graduate in music described as an exceptionally gifted performer, is the winner of the Patricia Pratt Scholarship in Musical Performance for 2006.

The award follows Madeleine’s success in the 2005 Lexus Song Quest and a long list of other achievements including pianoforte success culminating in an Associate Diploma from Trinity College in 1999. Her academic recognition includes an Aotea Centre Performing Arts Trust Award, International Arts Foundation Scholarship, Jack McGill Music Scholarship (Creative New Zealand) and the Ariadne Danilow Music Prize.

Madeleine will use her US$16,000 Pratt scholarship award to assist her postgraduate opera studies at the Pears Britten International Opera School, Royal College of Music, London, under the tutelage of Lillian Watson, commencing in September.

Born in Napier into a large family of musicians, Madeleine completed a Bachelor of Music at Victoria in both performance and composition (under Jack Body and John Psathas) in 2004, and received first class honours in performance at that university in 2005, studying under Jenny Wollerman.

Madeleine, 24, began singing at secondary school with national choirs and has been a member of Wellington semi-professional vocal ensemble Sings Harry, the NZ Youth Choir, Tower Voices New Zealand, Baroque Voices and is now a Tudor Consort member. She has been a soloist for a number of oratorios and choral concerts, including the Orpheus Choir’s Gorecki Ave Maria and Fauré Requiem, along with a televised Mozart Coronation Mass.

Along with opera, Madeleine has a reputation as an interpreter of contemporary works through her interest in composition. She has performed with the contemporary music ensembles Gateseven and Stroma and most recently, Felix the Quarter. With these groups she has premiered many New Zealand works by established and emerging New Zealand composers and has been a regular guest performer at the Nelson Composers’ Workshop.

Madeleine’s recent and forthcoming opera roles are Pamina in the Victoria Opera’s production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, First Flower Maiden in Wagner’s Parsifal with the NZSO, the lead role of Josephine in The Daughters of the Late Colonel by Dorothy Buchanan, Anne Trulove in a concert performance of Stravinsky’s Rake’s Progress with the NZ School of Music Orchestra and Prince Orlovsky in Die Fledermaus with Opera Hawkes Bay. She is also in the Chapman Tripp Opera Chorus for the NBR New Zealand Opera.

Madeleine is the eighth major winner of the Patricia Pratt Scholarship established by Annette Campbell-White in memory of her mother. A New Zealander, Ms Campbell-White now resides in the United States and funds the scholarship through the Kia Ora Foundation.

Administered by the NZ Vice-Chancellors’ Committee, the Patricia Pratt Scholarship aims to assist outstanding music performers who have completed an honours degree in musical performance in this country to continue their development at an international music school.

The Kia Ora Foundation has also made a supplementary grant of US$13,000 to viola player Serenity Thurlow to allow her to pursue postgraduate study overseas, as well as a US$20,000 grant to 2005 Patricia Pratt Scholarship winner Malavika Gopal for her second year of study at the New England Conservatory and US$11,000 grant to trombonist Blair Sinclair for his continuing studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

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