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Farr from Russia win top music title

6 August 2006

Farr from Russia win top music title

Farr from Russia

Young chamber music group Farr from Russia from Westlake Girls High School in Auckland won the 2006 New Zealand Community Trust Chamber Music Contest last night (Saturday 5 August).

The National Final was held in the Wellington Town Hall with eight secondary school groups from Auckland, Christchurch, Hawkes Bay and Hamilton competing for awards and musical accolades. The contest is New Zealand's longest running contest of its kind (it started in 1965) and is presented annually by Chamber Music New Zealand.

Contest organiser Megan Mannering said, “The girls were absolutely stunned when they won. You could see it on their faces. It was fantastic.” The group consists of violinist Jenny Lui, cellist Sarah Lee and pianist Somi Kim. They performed the fiery first movement of Piano Trio Opus 32 by Arensky which was followed by New Zealand composer Gareth Farr’s piece ‘Ahi’, hence the group’s name ‘Farr from Russia’.

Each member of Farr from Russia received the James Wallace Prize of $1,000, plus the Arthur Hilton Memorial prize of a relevant musical text valued at $100.

Two members of the Australian Goldner String Quartet, violinist Dimity Hall and cellist Julian Smiles, judged the competition. Dimity said, “It was a very closely competed final. There were up to four groups which could have taken out the prize. In the end it was the passion and vibrancy of the winning trio, and their ability to pull off two very different pieces of music which gave them the advantage.” Julian added, “The audience was treated to a very interesting variety of works which made for a great concert.”

A special highlight of the National Final was the performance of the winning Original Composition by Wellington student Tabea Squire. Her winning composition, titled Random Berg 7, was performed by Shaken from Wellington. She was awarded the SOUNZ prize of $500 by Catherine Gibbs, Chair of SOUNZ, Centre for New Zealand Music. She was also awarded a subscription to CANZ (Composers’ Association of New Zealand).

The other finalists were The King Trio (King's College), Santorini (St Cuthbert’s College) from Auckland, A La Vez (Burnside, Lincoln and Cashmere High Schools), The Young Trio (Burnside High School) and Adidam (Burnside High School) from Christchurch, Fourtitude (Woodford House, Havelock North High School and Lindisfarne College) from Hawkes Bay, and Trois Escargots Chaud (Hillcrest High School and St Peter’s School) from Hamilton. This was the first National Final since 2001 that featured a group from a regional centre.

In presenting the 2006 New Zealand Community Trust Chamber Music Contest, Chamber Music New Zealand acknowledges funding from the New Zealand Community Trust and Creative New Zealand, and support from the James Wallace Arts Trust and SOUNZ (Centre for New Zealand Music).

For more information and images please contact Anna Dean, CMNZ Communications Co-ordinator at or phone 0800 CONCERT (266 2378).

About the New Zealand Community Trust Chamber Music Contest
The New Zealand Community Trust Chamber Music Contest is the longest running youth music competition in New Zealand and is the only national chamber music competition for young musicians and composers in the country. It is presented annually by Chamber Music New Zealand.

Nationwide District Contests were held in 14 centres during June as a total of 538 chamber music groups made up of 2,033 students battled it out for a place in the final. The District Contests were adjudicated by a selection of top New Zealand musicians including Owen Clarke, Miranda Adams, Richard Mapp, Brigid O’Meeghan, Sarah Watkins, David Matthews and Deborah Rawson.

Groups that competed at last night’s National Final:
In order of performance

The King Trio – Auckland
David Choi violin King's College
Edward King cello King's College
Denny Liu piano King's College

SMETANA Piano Trio, Op.15 - First Movement

Trois Escargots Chaud - Hamilton
Ying-Te Liu clarinet Hillcrest High School
Olivia Francis violin St Peter’s School
Grace Francis piano St Peter’s School

DARIUS MILHAUD Suite for violin, clarinet and piano

A La Vez - Christchurch
Joshua Leung violin Burnside High School
Lindsay McLay viola Burnside High School
Sylvia Nissen cello Cashmere High School
Leeyan Voon piano Lincoln High School

JOAQUIN TURINA Piano Quartet Opus 67 – Lento and Vivo

Farr from Russia - Auckland
Jenny Lui violin Westlake Girls’ High School
Sarah Lee cello Westlake Girls’ High School
Somi Kim piano Westlake Girls’ High School

ARENSKY Piano Trio Opus 32 – Movement 1
GARETH FARR Ahi PianoTrio - Scherzo

Fourtitude – Hawkes Bay
Heneriata Wilson flute Woodford House
Emily Irwin double bass Havelock North High School
Ben Hunt drum kit Lindisfarne College
Matthew West piano Lindisfarne College

CLAUDE BOLLING Sentimentale and Veloce

The Young Trio - Christchurch
Josiah Young alto saxophone Burnside High School
Jonathan Tanner violin Burnside High School
Anita Huang piano Burnside High School


Santorini - Auckland
Kareena D'Souza violin St Cuthbert's College
Zenith Chae cello St Cuthbert's College
Zoë Butters piano St Cuthbert's College

JOHN PSATHAS Three Island Songs - II and III

Adidam - Christchurch
Sol Choi violin Burnside High School
Julianne Song violin Burnside High School
Lindsay McLay viola Burnside High School
Grace Park cello Burnside High School
Anna Maksymova piano Burnside High School

CÉSAR FRANCK Piano Quintet Allegro non troppo, ma confuoco

Winner of the Original Composition section TABEA SQUIRE – Random Berg 7
played by Shaken of Wellington

Tabea Squire violin Onslow College
Alina Junc violin Newlands College
Sooji Clarkson viola Hutt Valley High School
Sunny Lee cello Queen Margaret’s College


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