About Us


Grace Liu · Head of Academy

Mrs Grace Liu, who took the first place honor in flute major to admit in the School of Music in Zurich, Switzerland and then had great influences from Zurich principal flute Maria Goldschmidt and well-known flute professor Mario Ancillotti also from other masters such as Sir James Galway, Felix Reggli, Aurele Nicolet, Peter Lukas Graff, etc. with great honor. Mrs. Grace Liu has taken the role of principal flute played numerous classical symphonies, conducted several concerts in Europe and worked with a few well-known conductors in Lugano Conservatory Youth Symphony Orchestra, such as, Giorfio Bernasoni, Denis Fedeli. At the year of 2010, Mrs. Grace Liu worked with the well-known Switzerland pianist Ulrich Koela to conducted her own recital and participated a modernist works ‘nine flute concert’ with live recording in Lugano Broadcast Music Hall.


Uwe Grodd · Music Director and Head of Woodwinds

The New Zealand based German flautist and conductor Uwe Grodd first gained worldwide recognition when he won First Prize at the Cannes Classical Awards 2000 for the Best Eighteenth Century Orchestral Recording with his CD of Symphonies by J.B. Vanhal (8.554341).

Grodd has been involved in more than fifty commissions of new music and conducted the premières of the New Zealand operas Galileo by John Rimmer / Witi Ihimaera and Len Lye: The Opera, by Eve de Castro-Robinson / Roger Horrocks. For four years he was Artistic Director of the International Music Festival NZ. A graduate of Mainz University, Germany, he studied with teachers of international repute, including, André Jaunet, Robert Aitken and Sergiu Celibidache.

He is Professor of Flute and Conducting at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.


Melody Lin · Flute & Woodwind Programme Coordinator

After graduating from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with a Bachelor of Music (Performance), Dr Melody Lin furthered her studies at The University of Auckland with Professor Uwe Grodd, gaining a Master of Music with First Class Honours in 2007 and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 2011. Winning awards in numerous competitions, Melody also gained first place in the Flute Ensemble Competition at the 2007 Australian Flute Festival.

An active orchestral musician, Melody is the Principal Flute of the Manukau Symphony Orchestra and Pipers Sinfonia, performs regularly with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and has been a guest player for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. She has also been a guest principal flautist with the Opus Orchestra and St. Mathew’s Chamber Orchestra. As a concerto soloist, Melody has performed with the East-West Philharmonic Orchestra (Sydney), both The University of Auckland Chamber and Symphony Orchestras and the Manukau Symphony Orchestra. Melody has taught flute and chamber music as an Artist Teacher at The University of Auckland since 2008. She is the Director of the Magic Flutes NZ, the University of Auckland Flute Ensemble.


Rae de Lisle · Head of Piano

Dr. Rae de Lisle is currently Associate Professor of Piano at the University of Auckland. Following 8 years of study and performing in London Rae became one of New Zealand’s foremost concert pianists, touring regularly for Chamber Music New Zealand, playing concertos with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and recording for radio and television.

Rae’s teaching has produced many outstanding young pianists, including prizewinners in the Sydney International Piano Competition, the Lev Vlassenko Australasian Piano Competition, the Bradshaw and Buono Competition in New York, and the Perrenoud Foundation International Piano Competition.  Her students have won all the major piano competitions in New Zealand. She received an Excellence in Teaching Award from the University in 2011.

Rae is Artistic Director of the Wallace National Piano Competition and the Wallace International Piano Festival. She was on the jury for the 2012 Dublin International Piano Competition and the 2009 Singapore National Piano Competition and has been adjudicator many times for the NZCT School Chamber Music Contest. In 2011 she received the Marie Vandervart Award for outstanding service and commitment to fostering the love of chamber music in New Zealand.

Rae’s PhD research into focal dystonia, the most devastating of musician’s injuries, has resulted in specific concepts about instrumental retraining which led to presentations and keynote speeches throughout the world. She is now working on a book focusing on the development of injury preventative piano technique at every level, from the beginner to the advanced pianist. 

In 2016 Rae was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to music.


Richard Liu · Piano Programme Coordinator

Born in Taiwan, Richard Liu graduated with a MMus with First Class Honours in Piano Performance at the University of Auckland and a MMus in Accompanying at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London with full bursary. He studied under Bryan Sayer, Rae de Lisle, Sarah Watkins, Donald Bowick, Susan Tomes, Graham Johnson, Eugene Asti and Robin Bowman. After returning from his studies in London, he worked in various different roles as an artistic teacher in piano performance, artistic teacher in studio piano pedagogy, voice coach, staff accompanist, and assistant to various teaching studios at the University of Auckland.

He has collaborated with various organisations including Auckland Choral, Voices New Zealand, University Singers, New Zealand Opera, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Opus Orchestra, Waitakere Orchestra, Queenstown Violin Summer School and Westlake Girls High School. He was a tutor for the former University of Auckland Academy of Music and is now involved with the Pettman National Academy, Piano Program Coordinator for Albany School of Music & Remuera Music Academy, as well as adjudicating regional competitions, and examining for NZMEB.


Justin Bird · Piano Programme Assistant Coordinator

Justin Bird is an acclaimed pianist, teacher, collaborator, piano tuner, and arranger. He has won the New Zealand Kapiti Coast National Piano Competition, and was awarded the NZ Young Performer of the Year for piano. He has also represented NZ at the Kowhai Australasian Piano Concerto Competition, and been a finalist in the NZ Young Musician of the year Competition and the MTNA National Young Artist Competition in the USA. Justin has had the privilege to appear with many college and youth orchestras, as well as the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

As a young pianist Justin studied with Rae de Lisle, then Bryan Sayer at the University of Auckland. Continuing his studies in the USA with Read Gainsford at Ithaca College and Florida State University, and Marian Hahn at the Peabody Institute, Justinthen moved to Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music to complete a Doctorate in Music studying with André Watts. Justinhas been sharing his love for music since the nineties, always maintaining a private studio wherever he lives, as well as teaching class piano in many different colleges and schools. After his Associate Instructorship at IU, he taught at Vincennes University, and then accepted a position as Artist Faculty at Omaha Conservatory of Music in Nebraska.

Justin thrives as an accompanist and chamber musician, and has twice been part of the winning group in the NZ National Chamber Music Contest. His recent studies incorporate his interest in early keyboard instruments, and conducting, and in 2016 he published his own piano arrangement of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. For recordings and more, visit www.justinbirdmusic.com.


Stephen Larsen · Head of Strings

Stephen Larsen is a well known New Zealand violin teacher.

Since his student days in Christchurch he has had a fascination with violin pedagogy, something which he has studied intensively ever since.

He maintains a busy teaching schedule, as well as teaching violin and viola at the University of Auckland he teaches students in both Christchurch and Auckland through the Pettman National Junior Academy of Music.

His students have enjoyed success in numerous competitions on a national and international level and have gone on to work and study all over the world.

He has regularly been invited to give lessons, masterclasses and talks on violin playing and teaching throughout New Zealand.


James Bush · Head of Baroque Studies & Strings Programme Coordinator

Born in Christchurch, New Zealand, James studied with Ellen Doyle before leaving to complete his undergraduate studies with Christopher Bunting and Derek Simpson, graduating with first class honours from the Royal Academy of Music, London. This was followed by a Master of Music degree with Timothy Eddy at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. James later studied baroque cello with Phoebe Carrai and Markus Möllenbeck at the Hochschule der Künste, Berlin.

Winner of the Television New Zealand Young Musicians Competition and the National Concerto Competition of New Zealand, James has appeared as soloist with all of New Zealand’s major orchestras.

James has been invited to teach, coach and give masterclasses in situations as varied as the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the University of Hong Kong, the National Youth Orchestra of Catalonia and within New Zealand as a special guest at the IRMTNZ National Conference.

James’s long and continuing association with the Swiss based Jonas Foundation, a foundation working to combat the social exclusion of young people through music, led him to found a music school in the poorer eastern suburbs of Berlin, which he directed for 7 years.

Advanced studies in England, America and Germany, have given James a broad knowledge of the prevalent streams of pedagogical thinking. His teaching philosophy includes a special interest in encouraging children to learn to improvise within classical models.


Catrin Johnsson · Head of Voice

Catrin Johnsson was born in Sweden and trained at the Skondal Institute (Organist Course) and Royal University College of Music in Stockholm (Solo Vocal Course), where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music.  She completed her formal training at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she graduated with a PG.Dip in Opera as well as a Dip.RAM and LRAM. She has furthered her studies with Jacqueline Bremar and David Harper.  Awards include the prestigious Christina Nilsson Award from the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, Elena Gerhardt Lieder Prize, Flora Nielsen Prize, Michael Head Prize, Katie Thomas Prize, and the Minnie Hauk Prize.

Catrin is a Performance Teacher at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. She is a guest tutor at the New Zealand National Singing School. In London she ran a very successful private voice studio and was also a voice teacher at St Paul’s Boy’s School and at Latymer Upper School.


Takako Nishizaki (西崎崇子) · Visiting Professor (Violin)

Takako Nishizaki is one of Japan’s finest violinists. After studying with her father, Shinji Nishizaki, she became the first student of Shinichi Suzuki, the founder of the famous Suzuki Method of violin teaching. Subsequently she went to Japan’s famous Toho School of Music, and to the Juilliard School in the United States, where she studied with Joseph Fuchs. She was second prize winner in the 1964 Leventritt International Competition, and first prize winner in the 1967 Juilliard Concerto Competition.

Takako Nishizaki performed as a soloist with many international orchestras, among them the Sydney Symphony, the Melbourne Symphony, the New Zealand Symphony, the Central Philharmonic in Beijing, the Shanghai Symphony, the Polish National Radio Symphony, the Moscow Symphony, the Ukraine State Symphony, the Slovak Philharmonic, the Orchestre National de Lille, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Singapore Symphony, the China Philharmonic and many orchestras in the United States and her native Japan.

Takako Nishizaki is one of the most frequently recorded violinists in the world today. She has been awarded so far no fewer than eight gold and platinum discs in Hong Kong and Taiwan for her recordings of the “Butterfly Lovers Concerto” and other recordings of Chinese music for violin and orchestra. In recognition of her contribution to the promotion of Chinese music outside China, Nishizaki was awarded the Golden Violin Prize.


Andrew Beer · Visiting Professor (Violin)

Born in Vancouver in 1982, Andrew’s principal teachers were Lawrie Hill, Gwen Thompson, Gerald Stanick, Ani Kavafian and Donald Weilerstein. He holds a BA magna cum laude from Stony Brook University and an MM and GD from the New England Conservatory of Music. He served as a performing and teaching fellow at Carnegie Hall and the Juilliard School from 2007-2008, and from 2008-2013 held the position of assistant principal 2nd violin with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Andrew has proudly been concertmaster of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra since 2014, and is an occasional guest concertmaster with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.


Terry Spragg MNZM · Consultant Adviser

Terry Spragg was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, MNZM, for her services to the performing arts, particularly in Manukau, South Auckland.  She has been the director of the Howick School of Music, arts manager for the International Music Festival and is the founder and manager of the Manukau Symphony Orchestra.  Her career has been devoted to the advancement of music education with particular interest in the fostering of instrumental ensemble participation for youth and community musicians.  Born and educated in Christchurch, Terry moved to Auckland at the time of her marriage to bassoonist, Christopher Spragg (now deceased).  She trained as a secondary school music teacher, Dip. Teaching, but soon established that her skills lay not only in teaching, but also in management.  Following study at the University of Auckland she became one of the first in New Zealand to awarded a Post Graduate Diploma in Arts Management.  She is an accomplished pianist and viola player.


Calvin Peter Baker · Voice

Calvin Peter Baker was born in George, South Africa. After immigrating to New Zealand in 1996, his love for music and singing developed. Calvin completed his Bachelor of Music in Classical Performance- Voice, and has a First Class Honours degree in the specialisation of Studio Pedagogy, both gained at the University of Auckland. A tenor, Calvin studied singing under the tutelage of Dr. Morag Atchison and Dr. Te Oti Rakena, and has performed in choral, ensemble, and soloist contexts. Having discovered early in his vocal training a passion for vocal science and singing technique, Calvin carried out independent research considering the effect of laryngeal morphometry on vocal acoustic parameters and, in 2015, music education topics that explored the impact of online learning and technology in the teaching of voice, and gesture as a pedagogical tool (presented at the 24th NEWZATS Conference, 2016).
Calvin is experienced in teaching a variety of repertoire, and enjoys teaching students of a wide range of ages, and cultural and educational backgrounds. He teaches at High Schools, as well as in his private studio, in Auckland. Sensitive to students’ individual needs, he works to cater to their own learning style whilst providing them with a solid technical foundation from which the voice can grow healthily.
Calvin is a member of the NEWZATS council.


Marika Balzat · Violin

Marika started learning the violin at the age of 4 and has been passionate about music ever since. She has been part of many performance opportunities, including touring with her family band to the USA, parts of Europe, Australia, and Fiji. She has also been part of live performances with Marian Burns and enjoys a playing a variety of styles including classical, folk and Irish music. She has had solo gigs for weddings, Hobbiton and multiple shows.

She has a particular love for teaching music and has had experience teaching children of various ages. She is currently in her 2nd year at Auckland University studying her Bachelors in Violin Performance and has also gained her ATCL Diploma in Violin. 


Charles Brooks · Cello

Charles is one of New Zealand’s leading cellists. In a long international career he has been principal cello with the Shenzhen Symphony and Guiyang Symphony Orchestras, China, the Orquestra de Camara de Valdivia, Chile and most recently tutti cello with the Sao Paulo Symphony in Brazil.

He was also the professor of cello at the Austral University and ran the youth string orchestra programs at the Teatro del Lago, both in Chile.


Teresa de Vries · Piano

Teresa – MMus, BMus (1st Class Hons) Piano Pedagogy, AIRMT – is an enthusiastic and passionate music educator who enjoys inspiring students towards a love of music. Graduating with a Bachelor of Music in Performance Piano (1st class honors) and a Masters in Piano Pedagogy, she was the recipient of three first in class awards (Musician’s Health, Studio Pedagogy and Music Education Research Methods) and a Kate Edgar Trust Masters Award Scholarship. Past teachers include Bryan Sayer, Michael Houstoun, Rae de Lisle, Stephen De Pledge and Sarah Watkins. Teresa has taught for over 16 years, all ages from beginners to advanced and students are known for competition and examination success. Additionally, Teresa is a regular competition adjudicator and presenter of professional development seminars for teachers and workshops for students.

Teresa values ongoing professional development and is a member of many organizations including the IRMTNZ (Institute of Registered Music Teachers New Zealand) and in the past, the MTNA (Music Teachers National Association of America). Teresa is currently researching the historical teaching method “Partimento”, an aural pedagogy in wide use during the 18th and 19th centuries in Europe developing the ability to improvise within classical harmonic models.


Charlotte Francis · Violin

Charlotte Francis, PhD, MA, BA (Hons), Mus B (Hons), LMus (Violin) (AMEB), AMus (Piano) (AMEB), grew up in Brisbane and began learning violin and piano from the age of five, studying violin with Elizabeth Morgan, John Willison and John Curro, and piano with Joyce Bennett and Diane Selmon. While still at school she formed a very successful string quartet with her three sisters which performed extensively throughout Australia.

Although maintaining a busy performing schedule, she completed a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours and then a Master of Arts from the University of Queensland. This led to a Teaching Fellowship and scholarship at the University of Otago where she gained her PhD in Classics with a Commentary on Book 10 of Martial’s Epigrams. Whilst studying, she performed regularly both as solo and ensemble performer throughout the South Island, and taught violin for the Marama Strings Project, in association with the University of Otago and subsequently established a successful violin studio in Dunedin. In 2011, Charlotte commenced her Bachelor of Music in violin performance with Stephen Larsen at the University of Canterbury, before moving to Auckland to pursue an Honours degree at the University of Auckland. She has taught for the Pettman National Junior Academy and participated in masterclasses and lessons with Elisabeth Kufferath, Charles Castleman, Donald Armstrong, Nikki Chooi, and Ida Kavafian.

She continues to perform in many ensembles nationally and in 2016 formed the Francis-Lee duo with pianist Gemma Lee, which performs regularly throughout the Auckland region. Charlotte has a passion for teaching violin and is currently assistant teacher to Stephen Larsen (University of Auckland) and Takako Nishizaki. Her students have achieved success in competitions around New Zealand as well as participated in the New Zealand National Youth Orchestra and continued to study music at tertiary level.


Eddie Giffney · Piano

New Zealand multi-instrumentalist Eddie Giffney recently received his Masters of Music with Distinction, majoring in Performance Piano at the Royal College of Music, with Ashley Wass. He is now studying for a doctorate at the University of Auckland.

He has achieved considerable success on three instruments: piano, accordion and harpsichord. Recent highlights include concerto performances with the Auckland Symphony Orchestra, St. Matthews Chamber Orchestra and Bach Musica, a recital for the London Chamber Music Society at King’s Place, and recitals at St James’s Piccadilly and Princess Alexandra Hall. Last year, he won the Mitchell Prize after four rounds of the Royal Overseas League Competition, and reached the semi-finals of the Jean Francaix International Piano Competition. He also gained 12th place in the Accordion World Championship in Shanghai, and has twice been the South Pacific and NZ Open champion on the classical accordion.

Eddie enjoys performing works by living New Zealand composers as part of his concert practice, and has recorded for composers Jack Body, Leonie Holmes, and John Elmsly.

Alongside his private piano teaching practise, for the past six years he has been a tutor with the APO’s Sistema Aotearoa programme in South Auckland and enjoys working with a section of the community who may not otherwise be exposed to classical music.


Laura Gu · Piano

Laura Gu joined the Remuera Music Academy teaching staff in 2015 and teaches piano, music theory and aural. She has recently completed her Master of Arts in Music at the Waikato Institute of Technology, and in 2012 she had finished her Bachelor of Music performance degree at the University of Chengdu.

Laura began studying piano at the age of four, and during her formal music studies she has been awarded numerous top national scholarships.

While studying under Xiumei Li, an experienced piano educator at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music, Laura has become skillful throughout the years in communicating ideas accurately and have found effective ways to teach. She is commendable in teaching piano and music theory for young children and adolescents. Her students have also have won and achieved high accomplishments during the recent years.


Clare Hood · Voice

Clare Hood is currently completing her MMus in Classical Vocal Performance at The University of Auckland under Dr Morag Atchison, Dr Te Oti Rakena, and Dr Gregory Camp as a University of Auckland Masters Scholar.

She holds both a BMus (Hons) in Classical Voice Performance with First Class Honours and a BSc in Computer Science from The University of Auckland. In addition she holds an ATCL Diploma in Speech and Drama, and Grade 8 Piano (Distinction) from Trinity College, London.

Clare has six years experience as an academic tutor in a variety of subjects, and two as a voice teacher. In both her capacities, she works with students from Junior School to University age.


Sayaka Hughes · Piano

Sayaka Hughes, is currently in her last year of studying a Bachelor of Music at the University of Auckland, where she has a full academic scholarship. Majoring in Piano Classical Performance, she is being taught by Head of Piano, Dr Rae de Lisle.

She greatly enjoys teaching piano to students and has previously taught piano for four years in addition to accompanying for various ensembles and vocalists for concerts and competitions.

While at high school she gained her ATCL and LTCL diplomas from Trinity College London and she recently won the Mozart Class at Te Awamutu in 2014 and was third in the Lions Club Scholarship this year and nominated for PACANZ, 2016.

She hopes to further her study in Auckland for her postgraduate Honours and continue to be inspired by the musicians and teachers in Auckland.


Esther Hunter · Flute

Esther Hunter picked up the flute in high-school upon the suggestion she learn a more “social” instrument, and has been hooked ever since. Since then she has been actively involved in music groups across the country, and is the current concertmaster for the Gold award-winning University of Auckland Concert Band and the New Zealand Youth Symphonic Winds.

Esther is a 2017 flautist/piccolo player in the Auckland Youth Orchestra, and currently studying a Bachelor of Music at the University of Auckland with Prof. Uwe Grodd. Esther has considerable experience in chamber groups, concert bands, pit orchestras and orchestras, and holds an ATCL diploma in Flute Performance. She is passionate about helping children develop a love for music, and aims to grow their skills in all aspects of musical knowledge and instrument technique.


Tomomi Johnston· Saxophone & Clarinet

Tomomi started playing clarinet and saxophone at age 10 in Japan. She has been playing for 13 years in school bands and has taken part in competitions, various concerts as soloist and workshops. She graduated from the Faculty of Education of Oita University in Japan and learned teaching method of music as well as her specialty.

She is studying Classical Saxophone under Michael Jamieson at the University of Auckland. She is a member of the UoA Saxophone Quartet and Auckland Youth Orchestra. She also performed at the final concert of the 2015 New Zealand School of Music’s, Queens Birthday Chamber Music weekend and LECT presents tertiary chamber groups. Tomomi gained the top mark in NZ of Trinity College London Grade 7, passed the ATCL with distinction and LTCL in 2016.

Her teaching goal is to empower other emerging players to find their talents, passions and joy of music.


Tina Kim · Piano

Tina (Inah) Kim studied under the tutelage of Rae de Lisle since the age of 12 and has completed her master’s degree in performance music at the University of Auckland in 2016. As a pianist Tina has been active in competitions from a young age and has made many achievements throughout out the years.

In 2010 she was a finalist in the National Christchurch Piano Competition and in the following year gained first prize at the Auckland University’s Gala Concerto Competition. She also received first prize at the 2012 National Young Performer Awards.Tina was invited to perform as a soloist with the Auckland symphony Orchestra more than two times in venues such as the Town hall and the Bruce Mason Centre.

Tina has a special love and interest for chamber music. In 2013, Tina was the winner of the Royal Overseas League/Pettman Scholarships performing as the pianist of the Trinity trio. This allowed her piano trio to tour different places in the UK giving performances while attending international music festivals receiving intense coaching from internationally renowned musicians. The following year the piano trio was invited to attend the Pablo Casals Music Festival in France and made it to the finals of the Brahms International Chamber Music Competition held in Austria. Last year the trio went on a performance tour around New Zealand and gave ten concerts.  Besides her performing career Tina has many years of experience in accompanying for choirs and musicians and has been teaching piano privately since 2010 after undergoing a pedagogy course from the university.


Joshua Kirk · Violin

Joshua is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Auckland, studying violin with Stephen Larsen. A recipient of a University of Auckland scholarship for “academic excellence, all-round ability, and leadership potential”, Joshua has a passion for helping people learn. Joshua has a wide range of ensemble playing experience; he is currently the Principal Second Violin of the Auckland Youth Orchestra, and a member of the University of Auckland Symphony Orchestra.

In 2017, Joshua was also a member of the NZSO National Youth Orchestra. Outside of violin playing, Joshua has been successful in his conducting studies, placing First in Class for his Stage One and Stage Two papers, and plays in brass and wind bands.


Fumie Kiuchi · Piano

Pianist, accompanist, composer and teacher. Fumie started taking piano and solfege lessons at the age of three. Fumie graduated from the Tokyo College of Music on Classical Piano Performance, also studied at Longy school of Music and The New school in U.S.


Daly Li · Violin

Daly Li, has completed his Bachelor in Music, majoring in Violin Classical Performance at the University of Auckland studying under the tutelage of Elizabeth Holowell.

Daly has a huge passion for orchestral and ensemble playing, previously participating in the Academy of Strings, Manukau Youth Orchestra, Auckland Youth Orchestra, Manukau Symphony Orchestra and the University of Auckland School of Music Symphony Orchestra.

In 2014, Daly won the Manukau Symphony Orchestra Competition and was awarded with a scholarship. Also in 2015 he was also awarded the Eleanor Spragg scholarship. He attended Pakuranga College and this is where he was awarded the Rive Cup of Excellence in Instrumental Music in 2011.


Linda Lin · Piano

Linda Lin holds a Master of Music with First Class Honours in Piano Performance at the University of Auckland under the guidance of Rae De Lisle and Stephen De Pledge.
Linda has been a prize winner in numerous competitions from national and local competitions in Hong Kong, Beijing and Hainan. In 2000, Linda attended music school in Beijing and was chosen to have the opportunity to learn from Professor Jin from the prestigious Central Conservatory in China. Linda was a semifinalist competitor in the Wallace Piano Competition in 2015 and has participated in Master-Classes with renowned artists such as Bryan Sayer, Read Gainsford (Florida University) and Glenn Riddle (Melbourne Conservatorium of Music).
A much sought after teacher, Linda’s students has had numerous success in exams, competitions and auditions including acceptance into University of Auckland Piano Performance Major. Linda has also been chosen as an adjudicator for the annual Rangitoto Piano Competition.


Michelle Liu · Guzheng

Michelle has graduated from Xi’an Conservatory of Music. She has performed several times with the Philharmonic Society Orchestra. She has composed and played background music for New Zealand dramas. Now she focuses on combining eastern and western music culture.

Michelle has over 6 years of teaching experience with the Chinese Zither (Guzheng). Adopting different methods and levels of students.


Matteo Napoli · Piano

Matteo Napoli is an honours graduate of the Giordano Conservatoire in Foggia. He studied with a galaxy of world-renowned teachers such as Aldo Ciccolini, Nikita Magalov, Alfredo Speranza and Yvonne Lefebuerre.

Mr Napoli has been invited to perform the virtuoso repertoire with special attention to the Music of Franz Liszt.

In 2003 in Auckland, New Zealand, Matteo Napoli performed as guest pianist with the Manukau City Symphony Orchestra under conductor Uwe Grodd playing a world premiere of Ferdinand Ries Piano Concerto No. 6 in C.


Marcello Napoli · Violin

Marcello Napoli is a musician, teacher, researcher and writer, specialising in music education with specific interest in neuroscience, synaesthesia, and multisensory therapy. He holds a Bachelors degrees in Violin and Methodology Orff-schulwerk.

Over the last 20 years he has undertaken training courses in a number of different fields of music education. These have included exploring Dalcroze, Alexander, and Gordon. After three years of intensive training in Bobbio and at the Orff-Schulwerk and full immersion workshop Institute in Salzburg; he obtained a degree in Methodology Orff-Schulwerk at the OSI (Orff-Schulwerk Italian).


Ina-Marie’ Nel · Recorder

Growing up in a family of music teachers, Ina-Marie’s passion has always been to inspire her students through recorder playing in making use of the variety of different-sized recorders in ensemble work. Her other passion is connecting  with fellow musicians to perform at functions, weddings and churches and in this way serving the community.

Ina-Marie’ is a BA graduate with a licentiate in Music (specializing in recorder) through the University of South Africa with a background in full-time and part-time teaching capacities at primary and high schools and privately as music specialist. She has entered students for music competitions and international exams. She enjoys arranging music for her younger students and accompany them on the piano or African marimba. She will soon conclude  her Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Primary) through the University of Canterbury as a distance course.

Her strengths are motivating her students and building their self-confidence through learning new skills. She fosters good relationships with parents and she is an organized, focused , yet flexible teacher whose enthusiasm for the recorder rubs off on her students.


Daniel Ortiz · Guitar

Daniel gained a Bachelor of Music (Honours) at Javeriana University, Bogota Colombia in 2009. After his Major in Classical Guitar Performance he also studied Suzuki teaching methodology (2010), music production (2011) and a Business GradDip at Auckland University of Technology (2013).

He taught performance and music theory at El Bosque University, guiding college students through a general understanding of music as a profession. Now his guitar teaching experience spans more than ten years. In 2013 he received a Graduate Diploma in Business from AUT while freelancing as a composer and audio editor for a variety of videos. He worked for Harmonic Studio as Creative Strategist and Recording and Composition assistant.

Currently Daniel composes music for Mova3studio as well as teaches guitar and does the marketing for Remuera Music Academy.


Clare Penny · Flute

Clare Penny (DipMus(perf), CertTESOL, ABRSM, AIRMT) studied under international flautist and conductor Uwe Grodd from the age of 11, and at just 16 entered Auckland University to study Performance Flute. Clare has played and taught in NZ, Europe and China, including 18 months living in Beijing, teaching English. Clare is a dynamic and engaging performer, who is passionate about teaching music to the highest standards.

Her many students have achieved great success in exams, competitions, and auditions. Recently, she re-entered Auckland University to achieve her Masters Degree, an opportunity to study French flute music on a full-time basis.

In her spare time Clare can be found in her huge garden, the yoga studio or cooking up a feast to share with friends.


Martin Qi · Viola & Violin

Martin Qi is an experienced violin and viola teacher who is well versed in the art of orchestral and chamber music playing. He is currently completing a Masters of Music at the University of Auckland specializing in Studio Pedagogy; having just completed his performance degree and honours, with first class.

Martin has been a finalist in both the NZCT National Chamber Music Competition and the ACMS Competition. He has previously been the principal violist in both the CYO and UoA Symphony orchestras. In 2012 Martin was the assistant-principal viola in the NZSO National Youth Orchestra, as well as having performed under the baton of Plácido Domingo.


David Robertson · Flute

David is a student under Prof. Uwe Grodd at the University of Auckland. From 2016, he has been the co-principal flute and piccolo player for the Auckland Youth Orchestra. David has extensive experience in chamber ensembles, symphony orchestras, pit orchestras, and concert bands, having competed at the NZ National Concert Bands Festival every year since 2011. In 2016 he was presented with the New Zealand Scholarship (music) by NZQA for academic excellence. When not involved in music, David spends his time learning French and Chinese, having been awarded the Confucius Institute Chinese Award (University of Auckland) in 2016.


Yulia Sheynin · Piano

A qualified and experienced music education specialist with extensive knowledge and experience in the theory and practice of music education in a variety of culture and ethnic environments. Her major strengths are: proven music education and piano teaching skills; extensive experience in teaching piano and music theory; solid understanding and knowledge students psychology, behavior and needs; focused on achievements; enthusiastic and exhibiting the highest standards of diligence and responsibility within the teaching practice.


Zoe Stenhouse-Burgess · Flute

Zoe is a student at University of Auckland studying under Prof. Uwe Grodd. She has been studying the flute since she was eight. Zoe has won a number of awards in the NZ Woodwind Competitions (2008 and 2010) and NZ Chamber Music Competition (2012 and 2014). Zoe performed in the Concerto Concert of the 16th World Suzuki Conference in Matsumoto, Japan, and was selected for the final of the Australian Flute Festival Young Artists Competition (2013 and 2015). Zoe achieved distinction in her Dip ABRSM in 2014, and auditioned successfully for the University of Auckland Young Scholars Programme with the School of Music, 2015. She has participated in Master Classes with Bart Feller, Andrew Nicholson, Margaret Crawford and Robert Aitken.


Ludwig Treviranus · Piano

Wellington born Ludwig Treviranus is of Samoan/German heritage. From 2015-2017 he was piano lecturer for the Young Musician’s Programme at New Zealand School of Music.

He holds a Doctorate of Music from Florida State University where he studied under Dr Read Gainsford. In the USA, he was a finalist for the Beethoven International Piano Sonata Competition in Memphis, Tennessee (2009) as well as the Florida State Music School Chopin Competition (2010). Before his studies in Florida, Ludwig held a scholarship as a Maori/Pacific Island scholar to complete his Masters degree at the University of Auckland under Dr Rae de Lisle.

In 2013, he developed an interactive workshop entitled ‘At Ease with Music’ making classical music accessible through live performance, imagery, and audience participation. This was presented to schools around the Wellington region and performed at Expressions, Genesis Theatre, in Upper Hutt.  That same year he recorded a double CD for the book titled Living Echoes – The First 150 years of Piano Music from New Zealand, edited for the Sunrise Music Trust by Gillian Bibby. In 2015, Ludwig took a major performance role in the presentation of Prodigies and Prostitutes: The Unexpected World of Piano Composition in Early New Zealand, which was given in universities and conferences around New Zealand.

In addition to performance and teaching, Ludwig is an active adjudicator for regional music competitions around the country.


Sarah Watkins · Chamber Music

Sarah is a founding member of NZTrio, a group widely recognized as one of New Zealand’s most dynamic and indispensable music ensembles, bringing bold and eclectic performances to audiences around the world.

Her lifelong passion for accompanying and chamber music has led to an impressive career in the US and New Zealand, where she is highly sought after as a collaborative pianist, recording artist, and ensemble musician. She has been an official pianist for the Michael Hill International Violin Competition since its inception in 2001, has performed as a freelance player in the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Auckland Chamber Orchestra, and has appeared as concerto soloist with St. Matthew’s Chamber Orchestra, ACO, and the APO. In 2014 Sarah recorded Chris Watson’s “sing songs self” for solo piano and orchestra with the NZSO, a composition which was awarded the prestigious 2015 SOUNZ Contemporary Award.

Sarah is a graduate of the University of Canterbury (NZ) and the Juilliard School in New York City, where she earned both Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in collaborative piano. While living in the US, Sarah worked as a staff pianist at Juilliard, Yale University, and the Aspen Music Festival.  Among academic highlights was her work as coordinator of the collaborative piano program at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California, and several years on the music faculty of Purchase College, New York. During the period 2004-2009 NZTrio was ensemble in residence at the University of Auckland, where Sarah also taught collaborative piano and chamber music.


Annabel Yu · Piano

Annabel Yu, pianist for more than 10 years and is currently completing BMus in University of Auckland with David Guerin. Not only can she play the piano, Annabel is also a singer and a percussionist. She has won many awards in the past few years with various choirs, orchestras and chamber groups. During her years in high school, Annabel was awarded many music prizes and scholarship due to her excellent musicianship and leadership skills.
Since 2016, Annabel has been an active member in the Auckland Youth Choir where she played both percussion and keyboard instruments including the harpsichord and the celeste. Annabel aspires to understanding more about being an all-rounded musician and wishes to explore the world in the future.


Yunesang Yune · Flute

South Korea born, Yunesang felt genuine love for the flute at the age of 9, and is currently studying Classical Performance Flute under Professor Uwe Grodd. In recognition of her potential she has been recipients of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestras Internship programme(2016) , Therle Drake award(2016), Finalist of the NZ woodwind competition(2012), Best performer of a NZ work(2012), and awarded the KBB award for her sextet “Les Six”(2015). Yunesang who has a passion for orchestral music has been working with Kathryn Moorhead, principle flautist from the APO as part of her orchestral internship programme in 2016. Her involvement with the Auckland Youth Orchestra as second flute both years (2016, 2017) have developed her musical maturity as a rising young musician. Yunesang has had masterclasses/lessons with UK flautist Emily Beynon, Uwe Grodd-Flute Professor of Auckland University, James Kortum- Flute lecturer of the Sydney Conservatorium, American flautist-Eric Lamb and NZSO principal flautist Bridget Douglas. Upon completion of her undergraduate studies Yunesang wishes to continue her studies in performance flute pursuing her Masters in Music.