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Waikato to host International Cello Fest 2016

Waikato to host International Cello Fest 2016

World-leading cellists and cello teachers will congregate in Hamilton next year for a week-long international cello festival.

Hosted by the University of Waikato, International Cello Fest 2016 will take place in the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts from 21-28 August, 2016. It is the first time an event of this kind has been held in New Zealand.

Headlining the event are international cellists Wolfgang Schmidt, Li-Wei Qin, Philippe Muller and ‘rock-star’ Richard Aaron who will deliver concerts and master classes throughout the week.

“The festival is a wonderful opportunity for audiences from Waikato and further afield to experience classical music of the highest quality in New Zealand’s premier concert chamber,” says event organiser and the university’s senior lecturer in cello, James Tennant.

Students from New Zealand, Australia and Singapore will be vying for first prize in the Cello Competition, which is being supported by the Wallace Foundation. Conservatorium of Music students will also be involved in the Festival Orchestra and the Cellophonics ensemble, alongside Katherine Austin (senior lecturer in piano) and Lara Hall (lecturer in violin).

“Students will have the chance to impress the international guests and make an artistic statement that could propel them as their careers progress,” says Mr Tennant.

For Waikato Conservatorium of Music composers it will be an opportunity to premiere new works as musicians perform compositions by Associate Professor Martin Lodge and senior lecturer Michael Williams.

Wolfgang Schmidt, Germany’s renowned concert cellist, is looking forward to being part of this event and says “the festival will be a great experience for all who attend and are involved”.

To keep up to date with International Cello Fest 2016, including the latest programme information, visit


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