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Talented violinist shines at Gala Concerto Competion

Talented violinist shines at Graduation Gala Concerto Competition

Fourteen years of practice paid off for Hilary Hayes last night when the talented violinist took out the top prize and $5,000 at the annual University of Auckland Graduation Gala Concerto Competition

The twenty year-old Bachelor of Music (Honours) student, who has played the violin since the age of six, wowed the audience with her moving rendition of Dvorak’s Violin Concerto in A Minor.

Backed by the University of Auckland Symphony Orchestra, Hilary played under the guidance of acclaimed conductor Professor Uwe Grodd, to a rapt crowd.

Hye-Won Suh was awarded second prize with her flute performance of Concerto for Flute and Orchestra by Ibert; and pianist Kento Isomura placed third with his rendition of Proko­fiev’s Piano Concerto No 3.

The annual competition marks Autumn Graduation Week at the University. This year’s judges were Dr David Lines, Acting Head, School of Music, who was joined by Associate Concertmaster for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Donald Armstrong, and acclaimed pianist John Chen.

Hilary, who resides in Mission Bay, but was raised in Hamilton, is in her final year of study majoring in Classical Performance (Violin). She has previously won many competitions including the KBB Music National Performers Competition. Her trio was also awarded the prestigious Pettman/Royal Overseas League Arts International Scholarship for a New Zealand Chamber Ensemble in 2009 (valued at $50,000). Hilary was formerly concertmaster of the NZSO National Youth Orchestra (2012) and also currently plays as a casual violinist for the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

“To have the opportunity to perform one of my favourite pieces with orchestra was an incredible experience and winning the competition was a wonderful outcome for me. I am so grateful for the huge amount of support I received from my teacher Stephen Larsen and also all the dedication put in by Associate Professor Uwe Grodd and my friends and colleagues in the orchestra!” says Hilary.

The packed concert, performed at the Town Hall, was opened with the famous chorus Oh Fortuna from Carmina Burana sung by students from the School of Music and the University of Auckland Chamber Choir, conducted by Karen Grylls.

"The Graduation Gala Concerto Competition is an exciting and vibrant event in the life of the School of Music. This year's event was no different with three brilliant soloists, and an exceptional orchestra and choir. The success of the night was a tribute to the whole school, staff and students alike," says Dr David Lines, Acting Head at the School of Music.

Music Works once again generously joined forces with the School of Music to sponsor the event.

The University of Auckland’s National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries comprises the Elam School of Fine Arts, School of Architecture and Planning, the Centre for Art Studies, the School of Music and the Dance Studies Programme.


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