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Musical talent on show at Graduation Gala Concert

Musical talent on show at Graduation Gala Concert

Rising stars from The University of Auckland’s School of Music will take to the stage next month for the 7th annual Graduation Gala Concerto Competition at the Auckland Town Hall.

This year the finalists – Linda Filimoehala (euphonium), Shauno Isomura (violin) and Liam Wooding (piano) – will compete for the grand prize, accompanied by The University of Auckland Symphony Orchestra, conducted by internationally acclaimed musician and School of Music Professor Uwe Grodd.

The judges are Associate Professor Allan Badley and Dr Davinia Caddy from The University of Auckland, joined by Professor Michael Endres from Canterbury University, who will act as the external adjudicator.
Musicworks has once again generously joined forces with the School of Music to sponsor the event. The top performer will receive a cash prize of $5,000 and the title of Graduation Gala Concerto Competition supreme winner.

The concert will feature Linda Filimoehala performing Euphonium Concerto by Joseph Horovitz, Shauno Isomura performing Violin Concerto in D Minor, Op 47 Movement I by Jean Sibelius and Liam Wooding performing Piano Concerto in G major by Maurice Ravel. There will also be a special performance by the Auckland Chamber Choir conducted by Associate Professor Karen Grylls.

"The Graduation Gala Concerto Competition provides a unique opportunity for the School of Music to present three of its most talented classical performance students to a large and enthusiastic audience in a venue steeped in tradition. Our three finalists have worked exceptionally hard to reach this point and their success will serve as an inspiration to others" says Associate Professor Allan Badley, Head of the School of Music.

The University of Auckland Graduation Gala Concerto Competition will be held on 9 May at the Auckland Town Hall (Queen Street) at 7.30pm. Admission is free; patrons are strongly advised to arrive early to be assured of admission.
Visit the Graduation Gala website:

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.

Finalist’s biographies:

Linda Filimoehala
Twenty-one-year-old, Mt Albert-based euphonist Linda Filimoehala was born in Tonga and raised in New Zealand. Linda has won many competitions throughout Auckland and has participated in many brass bands, such as the Auckland City Youth and Senior Band and the Smiths Locksmiths Manukau City Brass Band. She is currently playing for the Trusts Waitakere Brass Band and the Royal Airforce Brass Band. Linda helps other bands in the Tongan community, such as Kuna Youth, Harmony Koula, the Konistitutone and the Dominion Methodist Band. She loves brass bands so much that she also has a family band called the Central Auckland Brass Band.

Linda is a third-year student at the School of Music, studying a Bachelor of Music majoring in Classical Performance (Euphonium). Her specialist teacher is Jonathan Baker.

Shauno Isomura
Twenty-year-old, North Shore-based Shauno Isomura was born in New Zealand to Japanese parents. He has won many contests including first place at the 2010 KBB National Young Performers Competition, first place at the 2010 Tauranga Concerto Competition and he was chosen as one of the top six competitors in the 2011 NZ National Young Performers Competition. He was a member of the Spiritoso Quintet who received a gold award at the 2009 Australian International Music Festival. Shauno was chosen as the Associate Concert Master of the 2011 NZSO National Youth Orchestra, which was given standing ovations in both the Auckland and Wellington concert. His notable performances include the 2012 Kea World Class Awards, the Grand Opening of the 2009 Australian International Music Festival and has appeared as a featured soloist with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in five concerts within the past two years, performing pieces such as Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D and Elgar’s Salut d amour.

Shauno is a third-year student at the School of Music, studying a Bachelor of Music majoring in Classical Performance (Violin). His specialist teacher is Dimitri Atanassov.

Liam Wooding
Twenty-year-old, Kingsland resident Liam Wooding (Ngati Tuera/Ngati Hinearo) is originally from Whanganui where he learnt to play the piano from several local teachers. He was accompanist for the Whanganui Lyric Singers and played the piano in several community and school productions, of which a feature was performing at the Sydney Youth Musicale. He moved to Auckland to study at The University of Auckland under Senior Lecturer Rae de Lisle. Highlights for Liam include reaching the finals of the Pettman/ROSL Arts International Chamber Music Competition and giving his best performance at the Auckland Chamber Music Society Competition, which his group, Etaceti won. Liam also teaches at the Lewis Eady Music School and hopes to pursue postgraduate studies overseas.

Liam is a third-year student at the School of Music, studying a Bachelor of Music majoring in Classical Performance (Piano).


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