We are thrilled to announced that the Virtuoso Strings Quintet have been selected to play in the NZCT Chamber Music Contest 2023 finals to be held in Christchurch on 5 August. In early June they won the Wellington title, successfully competing against 37 other groups from the Wellington region. They then gained second place after competing against twelve Lower North Island groups.
The five players, Rochelle Pese (violin), Zung Bawm La Htaw (violin), Jillian Tupuse (viola), Teddy Sneyd-Utting (viola) and Veititi Alapati (cello) are Sāmoan, Myanmar and Pākeha. They are part of our uniquely multicultural youth orchestra in Porirua which brings together young people from a wide range of ethnicities and offers free tuition. They have been playing together since they were beginners, taught by Virtuoso Strings’ Director of Music Liz Sneyd. They have also been tutored by a range of professional musicians from the NZ String Quartet, the NZ Trio, the NZSO and the NZ School of Music.
Their winning composition was created for them by the orchestra’s Director of Music, Craig Utting, who matched the music to their individual abilities. They memorised the entire thirteen minutes for the performance.
“The Virtuoso Strings Trust is delighted with the quintet’s success”, says Trust chairperson Dr Hongzhi Gao. “We’re very proud of them. It’s very special for these young musicians to do so well in such a competitive environment. It makes the work we do with young people in Porirua all the more rewarding and will encourage others to follow.”