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Soloist opportunity for young violinist

1 August 2014

Soloist opportunity for young violinist

Second year music student Brigitte Balzat is the first violinist to win first prize at the annual Waikato University Concerto Competition final last Friday night.

The Hillary Scholar has been playing violin since the age of nine, and comes from an extremely musical family of nine, all of whom play an instrument.

Britta has secured herself a guest soloist spot with the Opus Orchestra on their September tour for winning the concerto competition.

“I’ve never played with an orchestra before so I’m really excited about it and looking forward to the opportunities it might bring,” she says.

Britta performed a Henri Vieuxtemps piece, concerto no. 5 in A major op.37, with her mother, Vivian Balzat accompanying her on the piano.

She is enrolled in a Bachelor of Music under the performance stream and is relishing her time at University with the music programme.

She says that one of the main reasons for choosing Waikato was the reputation of the music programme and the high calibre of staff here.

Five music students progressed through to the final after a preliminary competition. The four other finalists were: Jacky Siu (cello), Lauren Grout (flute), Alex Geary (violin) and Alex Swale (cello).

Lauren Grout was runner up on the night with her flute concert by Carl Nielsen.

The adjudicator for the night was Read Gainsfor, who has performed widely in the USA, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa as solo recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician.

The Opus Orchestra’s September tour runs from 12 September in Hamilton, at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, moves through to Tauranga on 13 September at the Graham Young Youth Centre and finishes at the Civic Theatre in Rotorua on 14 September. For more information visit


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