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Christchurch conductor, pianist and flautist win the awards

Christchurch conductor, pianist and flautist win Dame Malvina Major Foundation Awards

The Dame Malvina Major Foundation has recognised the outstanding ability and potential of three up-and-coming Christchurch musicians in its latest round of awards for the region.

Conductor Vincent Hardaker and concert pianist Bradley Wood have each received 2017 Dame Malvina Major Foundation Christchurch Arts Excellence Awards worth $5,000, with flautist Matthew Lee recipient of the $1,000 Cecily Maccoll High Achiever Award.

Vincent, who was raised in Christchurch and attended Burnside High School, completed a First Class Honours degree in conducting at Victoria University’s New Zealand School of Music. He was Conducting Fellow with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Assistant Conductor for Orchestra Wellington for two years.

He says the award means a real chance at achieving his dreams of being a conductor at the highest international level.

“The money will go towards my study at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen, where I am about to start a postgraduate programme in orchestral conducting. While Christchurch is the hometown in my heart, it will be an adventure to make Copenhagen my home in order to achieve my dreams!”

Bradley Wood will use the funds to study towards a Master’s in Piano Performance at the Royal College of Music in London. Born and raised in Christchurch where he attended Christ’s College, Bradley went on to achieve First Class Honours in Classical Performance (Piano) at the University of Auckland. He has won numerous piano competitions including the Christchurch National Concerto Competition.

He says he feels incredibly honoured to have received a Dame Malvina Major Foundation Arts Excellence Award.

“The Foundation’s generosity affords young musicians the opportunity to venture out into the wider musical world. With their support, I will be able to study in London and devote my time to improving as a pianist and musician.”

Flautist Matthew Lee says he will use the Cecily Maccoll High Achiever Award, funded by a legacy from the late Cecily Maccoll, towards travel costs for auditions and competitions. Originally from Gisborne, Matthew has lived in Christchurch since 2012 where he completed a Master’s in Flute Performance at the University of Canterbury.

He says the award means he can focus less on the everyday matters of finding a way to fund study and dedicate more time towards preparing for Doctoral auditions and applications.

“It is also just a great privilege and honour to be given this award, looking back at previous recipients. There is a lot of amazing up-and-coming talent, and it is humbling to be considered part of this group.”

Dame Malvina Major says the Arts Excellence Awards are just one of the ways the Foundation supports young artists at a grass roots level.

“The focus of our regional committees is on fostering local talent and supporting the development of young emerging artists in their communities. Alongside financial support, this can include offering professional guidance and organising events where young talented artists have the opportunity to perform.

“The Foundation is very proud to be able to support promising young artists like Vincent, Bradley and Matthew and we will watch their progress with great interest.”


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